Research shows benefits to using gibberellic acid on citrus trees suffering from citrus greening.

Citrus growers see a lot of side effects in citrus trees suffering from citrus greening.  Off-season flowering is a common problem in HLB-affected trees, mainly because it causes the trees to use up valuable resources. Gibberellic acid, or GA, can be used to control off-season flowering and help citrus trees deal with citrus greening, according to UF/IFAS Horticulturist Tripti Vashisth during an OJ Break in Bartow, and relayed in a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Benefits of Using Gibberellic Acid

According to Vashisth, off-season and prolonged flowering puts added stress on citrus trees already dealing with the stressors of citrus greening, but GA can help reduce that stress by reducing flowering, she maintained.

Research has shown the trees are more productive when not flowering continuously or out of season. “We did see improved fruit size (and) improved fruit retention, which means possibly less drop, and better yield with GA,” Vashisth said.

Additionally, GA has also been shown to help with postbloom fruit drop, or PFD, because the fungus that causes PFD is spread from blossom to blossom. Fewer blossoms means fewer fungicide sprays and better control of PFD.

Vashisth ended with, “I think GA does hold a promise, but I would like to bring some caution to the growers that if you are deciding to apply GA you have to find the right time to apply.” The article maintained that growers should test GA on a small citrus block “until [growers] become more familiar with it, and then go on a larger scale.”

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