See tips from UF/IFAS Tip of the Week for reducing heat stress in citrus trees and improving the health and improving tree health.
Citrus grows well in The Sunshine State, but there’s no denying that Florida summers are brutal. Despite the fact that citrus trees love sunshine, the intense Florida sun can sometimes be too much for citrus. In the era of citrus greening where citrus trees need all the help they can get to stay healthy, finding ways to limit heat stress in citrus trees helps them to be healthier and more productive, according to the UF/IFAS Tip of the Week. See tips for helping citrus trees deal with hot Florida summers below.
Limiting Heat Stress in Citrus Trees
According to the article, heat stress in citrus trees starts when the temperatures hit 98 degrees frequently. An early sign of heat stress is the inward curling of leaf edges, but photosynthesis has been reduced way before visual signs are present. Advanced signs of heat stress include:
- Leaf bleaching
- Rapid yellowing of canopy
- Growth retardation
- Reduction in flowering
- Reduction in fruit setting
- Increased fruit drop
- Fruit sunburn
While growers cannot change the weather, there are steps that can be taken to limit heat stress in citrus trees, according to the Tip of the Week article. Options for reducing heat stress include:
- Frequent irrigation to meet extra water demand.
- Reducing competition from weeds.
- Adding a good soil cover from cover crops or turf in groves with row middles.
- A steady mineral nutrient supply during the summer for citrus greening-infected trees.
- Avoid using any spray with oil as it will damage the leaves in the hot summer sun.
- Use a treatment that shades the tree, like kaolin clay, individual protective covers (IPCs), or partial shading.
- Build up water in the soil by applying mulch around the tree, especially during extreme heat events.
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.