Checking in from Phoenix

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, life has been keeping me busy. So, thought i would make an update.

In 2012, I started a make over of the back yard. I took out an oak tree and moved a bunch of flowering shrubs. Since then I’ve planted a flame grapefruit, multibudded peach, nectarine/apricot/plum/peach, multibudded Asian pear, Spice Zee, cocktail grapefruit, sundowner apple, pumalo, Washington, cara cara, taraco, Kishu, Kinnow, pixie, flame grape and Thompson grape.

Last spring I added two multibudded pluots, desert delight nectarine, flavor delight aprium, double delight nectarine, gold kist apricot, Crimson grape, and citrus in pots: tangalo, gold nugget, Owari, and Clementine.

I had a Meiwa in a pot that was doing good, I planted it and it died over the summer when I was gone. The pumalo slowly declined and died over the last 6 months.

The aprium, desert delight and Crimsom did not establish and died, so I replaced them this year.

The established Fairchild, Meyer lemon and orange (maybe AZ sweet) all had very reduced yields this winter. Lemon normally has 180-200 had about 30, Fairchild and orange dropped from 50 to 3-4 each. Not sure if alternate bearing or something else. Meyer is does not have alternate bearing issue. All had lots of flowers and bees last spring, as they do now.

Oh well, that’s all the bad news.

Good news: the one year old gold kist and all 8 varieties of pluots are flowering including the flavor supreme (700-800 hours chill). I’m surprised to have flowers on the supreme, I did not get many chill hours this winter. I’ll thin them down once I see how many fruits develop. The desert gold peach has 3/4" fruit all over it already. My wife got all the fruit except for a few very over ripe peaches last year (even at that, they were still better than grocery store), but I’m getting closer to renting here full time, so i should get some of the fruits of my labor. 8 of the citrus are flowering for the first time this year, so i should have some nice citrus this next winter. And my rose bushes have flower buds. :<)

For the cirtus experts, both the gold nugget and Clementine on flying dragon in pots have curling leaves. Not enough water, too much water, fertilizer problem? The soil is AZ Citrus mix brand and fast draining. There are two irrigation heads in each pot that are on for 4 minutes every 4th day, every other day in the summer. Water flows out of the pot after watering and is never dried out as measured by a meter. Fertilized with Vigro 6-4-6, Osmocote Plus and a foliage spray.



Possibly citrus leaf miner.

What Richard said. The other cause of curled citrus leaves can be heavy aphid infestation. If your leaves have little tunnels in them, then it’s CLM. The other rarer cause would be psyllid infection, and that’s more a worry, as psyllids can carry Cirtrus Greening Disease. Without having close up pics of the leaves, my bet is on CLM.

Ditto on the CLM. Really common here in Phoenix.

Think it would be very challenging growing citrus outdoors in pots in Phoenix. It will get easier once you put them in the ground.

Your choices sound appealing. I never understood why I saw so few kumquats while I was there; a gorgeous small landscape tree with few pests, that produced decorative $4 a pound fruit that hung on the tree for months.

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After looking up CLM, I can see why the consensus is CLM from a photo taken 3’ away. Here’s a close up of some typical leaves. I don’t see any tunnels.

It’s not aphids, I’m really familiar with that pest in my Alaska gardens.

The leaves are leathery and dry around some edges.

Kokopelli: yeah, I spent quite a bit of time researching the varieties, in particular the harvest times. Hoosierquilts posts on the citrus have been very helpful. The 4 potted trees have been thru one summer. I found light colored pots at Costco that work well. I’ve been contemplating buying a house with a bigger lot than the 6000sq ft one I’m on now and if I do, I’ll plant them there.

I do.

I was expecting to see tunnels like this photo. The upper left leaf in my photo has a couple of lines, Are those tunnels or veins?

I do, too, especially the bottom photo. You’re referencing a photo of fresh tunneling, where the leaf has not had an opportunity to contract. I would say with 99% certainly this is CLM. The damage is done to the most tender leaves, and it is usually mainly cosmetic, unless you have a very young tree that is mostly young flush And, very easy to treat. CLM is in all citrus states, and you need to time your treatment to either 4 weeks or so prior to the appearance of the pest, if treating systemically, or a week or two prior, if using a topical treatment. We all deal with it, those that grow citrus in citrus states, Jim. Large, established orchards don’t even specifically treat for this pest (but it gets incidentally treated with preventative treatment for psyllids that might carry HLB).

Good point about the freshness of the tunneling. The photo I pulled off of the UC IPM is clearly taken when the larva is active. This has been going on with the trees since last summer.

As always, thanks for yours, Richard and at120 expert advice:slight_smile:

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If you want to minimize damage for this year, consider spraying with a topical pesticide like spinosad monthly starting in late April/early May through October.

Although Spinosad is applied topically as a foliar spray, its benefit is that it penetrates juvenile leaves and kills a good percentage of the eggs. This is something many other traditional pesticides cannot do. Once the leaves are past tender growth stage there is little that can be done to control damage.