See tips for getting young citrus trees off to a good start in the era of citrus greening.

Young citrus trees in Florida have an uphill battle in the era of citrus greening, or HLB. New trees fare best when they have “a robust, established structural root system before they are infected by HLB,” according to a Citrus Industry article that shared tips for getting new citrus trees off to a good start from UF/IFAS plant pathologist Megan Dewdney; Dewdney shared the information at a CREC presentation in mid-January. See the details below.

Tips for Young Citrus Trees

Dewdney’s tips for young citrus trees revolved around helping new trees to best establish strong, healthy roots. The tips include:

  • Don’t let roots dry out.
  • Don’t jam “trees into the planting hole because it can lead to J-rooting if the lower structural roots are bent upward.”
  • “Be careful of salt burn when fertilizing…fertilizer in the planting hole will prevent outward root growth and is likely to cause salt burn of the roots.”
  • Monitor and treat for monitoring for “phytophthora, which can stunt young trees.”
  • Only plant larger new trees that also have a larger root system.
  • “Growers need to break up root balls at planting to help establishment and water penetration even in non-rootbound trees.”
  • “Growers may need to trim off spiraling roots at the bottom of the root ball.”
  • Inspect “the roots before planting to eliminate poor-quality root systems.”
  • “Make sure planting holes are adequately sized for root systems.”

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