See one UF/IFAS horticulturist’s tips on helping citrus tree recovery after storms like Hurricane Irma.

January’s Florida Citrus Show in Fort Pierce saw University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) horticulturist Evan Johnson share tips on aiding citrus tree recovery after damage and stress caused by storms like Hurricane Irma. Citrus trees suffered damages both from high winds and flooding. His tips were shared in a article. See them summarized below.

Tips for Hurricane Citrus Tree Recovery                                                                 

Johnson maintained that growers need to first decide if they want to put the time and effort into citrus tree recovery if the trees have structural root damage rather than simply planting new trees. “You need to make a decision as you’re looking at the state of these trees. Is it better to remove the tree and not put more money into it?” he said. He shared that it can take years for citrus trees with structural root damage to heal and start putting out normal amounts of fruit.

If growers are choosing to keep trees and undertake citrus tree recovery, he offered the following tips:

1.    Don’t push growth in damaged citrus trees. “We want the tree to have a chance to recover,” he said. Pushing the trees to replace leaves and produce normal amounts of fruit can lead to long-term damage. “We need to let the tree slowly recover … before we start pushing that tree to really grow and produce a larger fruit crop again,” he said. Recovery will be slow, Johnson admitted, saying, “we’re also going to see a slower growth pattern in this next year, probably.”

2.    Maintain good root health. Areas to combat include pests–like phytophthora, Diaprepes root weevil, nematodes—and soil issue like salinity and drainage. 

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