Citrus tree troubeshooting and a great gardening resource

Thanks to one of my work programs, I found the best resource! It’s the Duval County’s Extension Office. And yep, every city has an extension office. They actually do a lot more than gardening. They offer “research-based education by trained professionals and volunteers in agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and 4-H youth development.”

The homepage for Jacksonville's.

I am too old for 4-H and I don’t can food or put up jam. But, I am raising an orange tree and new garden. And I couldn’t ask for more knowledgeable, friendly and helpful professionals to help do exactly that.

They can tell you all about native plants so you know what will grow the best and the easiest in your area. Also, what they’re at-risk to and what you can do to improve their quality.

I went to a presentation from their master arborist hoping to learn, in particular, more about my two-year old Hamlin orange tree. He is too young to produce but I want to make sure we are giving him all right stuff to grow up and get strong so we can have tons o’ oranges as soon as possible.

Our Hamlin orange tree...aka, "Hamlin" or "Little Hammy"

The picture is from when we planted him a year ago. He is just a bit bigger now but is under constant attack from bugs. Ick!

But, thanks to a special citrus education session from the extension office, I was able to pull a couple leaves from Hamlin to not only identify what was going on but to get some solutions.

And am I glad I did! The top of Hamlin looks fine…

He is bright, healthy green, just a couple of chewed spots but nothing too bad.

 BUT, when you turn the leaves over to reveal the underside?

Here are two of his leaves.

Gahhhhh! So gross.

I learned that the larger leaf most likely shows “greasy spot.” A disease caused by a fungus that needs to be treated with horticulture oil. However, some of the symptoms and effects of greasy spot never happened with Hamlin, like yellow mottling on the leaves and premature leaf droppage. I’ll be taking the leaf into the nice people at the extension office for their professional opinion.

The smaller leaf fascinates me. Do you see the perfect winding trail? It’s a leafminer! A bug that actually lives between the layers of the leaf so you can’t see it from the top and can’t treat with a topical spray because they are protected. Smart little bugs.

Up close!

What I can’t figure out, is what in the heck those little circles in a cluster are. Most likely eggs, right? But from what? I was able to rule out leafminer, soooo who’s sharing the leaf? I’ll be taking this little guy to the extension office, too.

Oh! And, the Duval County Extension Office has a newsletter (called A New Leaf, how cute is that?) that features monthly to-dos, events and helpful information.

Do you have any citrus trees? Are you familiar with the extension office in your county? Or, just share your favorite gardening resource…Hamlin needs all the help I can get him. 🙂


One response to “Citrus tree troubeshooting and a great gardening resource

  1. Pingback: Greenhorn gardening fail | Greenhorn Living

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