Citrus Tree Leaves Shriveled
The Asian Citrus Leaf Miner
Tree Disease Basics playlist
Whiteflies in Temp AZ
Checked your citrus trees lately? What you see may be a little unnerving. Most of the trees are exhibiting shriveling curling leaves. Look closely and you will see it’s mainly the new growth that is affected. Now, I guess it is not going
to help telling you this is normally not a major problem.
Actually this is not that much of a problem for older trees. Some gardeners have written me saying it does make them feel bad. What you are seeing is the damage from the citrus leaf miner. This is a moth that invaded Florida about 20 years ago. It lays it’s eggs on a new citrus leaf and the larva tunnel between the leaf surfaces. When it matures the larva pupate at the end of the leaf in a curled portion. Then the moth reappears.
At first scientists and growers were scared this would cause devastation to the citrus industry but it didn’t at first. Citrus trees are tough and carry on normal growth despite the damage for a few years but eventually the health of the trees are at risk. This is because the trees produce less energy and in time the energy reserves of the trees are depleted.
Now, you have some choices here. You either ignore the damage and the trees normally do fine or you apply a spray.
Products that are effective include natural horticultural oils and spinosad insecticide available under many brands or the new Bayer Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control when you follow the label instructions.
With the natural sprays timing is very important. They must be applied when the new growths are less than an inch long.
These products may be repeated following label instructions. The Bayer product can be used at the beginning of the new growing season for season-long control. The product is applied to the ground. Follow the label instructions carefully
Arriving here in 2011 and breeding up to 15 times a year, the Asian Citrus Leaf Miner was in every citrus tree I looked at for several years.
The population grew unchecked well into the summer of 2019,. So for at least 8 years, the leaves on your citrus trees have been producing far less energy than normal.
Because of this the reserve cells are dangerously low. Biologically speaking, your citrus trees have run out of gas.
Because it has no natural predator in Arizona there was nothing to keep it in check. However now it competes with the Ash Whitefly.
It takes years but eventually a citrus trees reserves will be drained to the point that it can no longer defend itself against any insects or soil born fungus.
That’s where we come in, if it’s not too late we can get you started on a program to restore the energy reserves of your trees.
Watch the videos on this page to learn more.