Common Fungal Diseases On Citrus Trees And How To Prevent Them In The Home Landscape

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Common Fungal Diseases On Citrus Trees And How To Prevent Them In The Home Landscape

7 February 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Citrus trees are a popular choice for home landscapes due to their attractive appearance, sweet fragrance, and delicious fruit. However, these trees can be susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases that can severely impact their health and productivity. To prevent fungal diseases in citrus trees, it's important to understand the causes and implement proper cultural and control practices.

Causes of Fungal Diseases in Citrus Trees    

Fungal diseases on citrus trees are caused by fungi that infect leaves, fruit, or roots. These pathogens thrive in warm, moist environments and can be spread by rain splashes, wind-blown spores, or contaminated tools and equipment. Infected trees can also release spores into the soil that can infect new growth or nearby trees. Common fungal diseases include the following:  

Citrus canker causes lesions on fruit, leaves, and branches, leading to defoliation and reduced fruit quality.

  • Phytophthora foot and root rot is a soil-borne disease that can cause severe root damage and death of the tree.
  • Alternaria brown spot is a leaf spot disease that can cause premature defoliation and reduce fruit quality.
  • Greasy spot is a leaf spot disease caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella citri that can reduce photosynthesis and overall tree health.
  • Scab is a fungal disease that causes rough, scabby lesions on fruit and leaves, reducing fruit quality and marketability.

Preventative Measures

Fungal disease in citrus trees can be difficult to treat once it gets established. Here's what you can do to minimize the chances of your backyard citrus tree being infected by a fungal pathogen. 

  • Maintain Tree Health — A healthy tree is less susceptible to fungal diseases. Proper fertilization, watering, and pruning practices can help promote tree health and reduce stress.
  • Proper Cultural Practices — Proper cultural practices, such as proper spacing and avoiding overhead irrigation, can help reduce the incidence of fungal diseases. Each tree should have at least six feet of open space surrounding it. 
  • Sanitation — Sanitation is an important component of disease control. Removing fallen leaves, fruit, and twigs from around the base of the tree can reduce the number of pathogen spores in the soil.
  • Avoid Overcrowding — Overcrowding can increase humidity levels and create a moist environment, which is ideal for fungal growth. To avoid overcrowding, prune and remove dead or infected wood and leaves.
  • Fungicides — Fungicides can be used to control fungal diseases. However, it's important to use fungicides only as a last resort, as they can be toxic to beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife.

Contact your local landscaping company for more information on growing citrus trees in your yard.  

Learn more about landscape citrus trees.

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hardscaping areas that won't grow grass easily

I live in an area that is very difficult to grow grass. If I was to water my lawn a couple of times each day, the grass may grow, but that would cost me a small fortune in water bills and waste a lot of water that could be used for more efficient purposes. Instead of fighting the grass to grow, I decided to embrace the dryness of the area and complete the landscape design using mostly hardscape materials. I used rocks of all sizes coupled with wood to create a yard that I love to spend time in and am very proud of. Find out how to use nothing more than hardscape materials to finish your property.