See tips from a UF/IFAS plant pathologist on lengthening citrus tree productivity in the face of citrus greening by improving root health.

Citrus greening seriously compromises the roots of citrus trees, causing root loss that affects water and nutrient uptake that eventually kills the tree. A Citrus Industry article shared information from a recent OJ Break webinar where UF/IFAS plant pathologist Evan Johnson discussed improving root health with the aim of lengthening tree productivity. Explore the details below.

Improving Root Health

According to the article, citrus greening causes up to 30 percent to 50 percent root loss in the early stages of the disease and 70 percent to 80 percent root loss as the disease advances. While there are yet no management options for preventing root loss caused by citrus greening, Johnson shared options for extending the productivity of citrus trees through improving root health. Recommendations from the article include:

  • Modifying “soil applications to adapt to the root’s limited uptake capacity and to prevent further damage to existing roots,” such as “Irrigating and applying fertilizer in small, frequent doses…”
  • “Avoid using root growth stimulating treatments.” Johnson maintained they are counterproductive.
  • Avoid root stress by keeping the soil pH level at 6.5.
  • “Selecting rootstocks that are best suited to the grove’s conditions and that fare well under HLB stress.”

According to the article, growers who have followed the above guidelines have “reported a significant increase in root mass in their groves.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.