Later today, I’m giving a brief presentation and report at one of our groves on Early Pride dieback. We’re using two documents: 1) a pamphlet going over our experience in managing the problem, and 2) a paper co-authored with USDA on Early Pride. Here’s the link to both documents.
Foliage | Canopy
Alturas, Florida, has been hit hard with citrus greening. Trees in groves continue to be removed at an increasing rate. This photo, next to one of our groves, shows the devastating result of this disease. At least the risk of transmission of disease to our grove is reduced once this grove is taken out.
Early Pride is a relatively new licensed citrus variety that’s being planted more often in Florida. It’s popular as a fresh fruit because of its early season maturity, large fruit size, deep orange color and sweet flavor. If you’re thinking about working with Early Pride, there are some things you need to know about its tendency for dieback in leaves, twigs and shoots. From our recent experience, the dieback seems manageable, but there are some things you should do to treat and prevent it. I tracked the development, causes, treatment and recovery of dieback in one of our groves over a year from when the trees first went into the ground to determine what are the causes and treatments for Early Pride dieback. Almost all the trees eventually recovered by following the practices we worked out.
This is Part 1 of two posts on managing dieback in Early Pride citrus. This first post discusses symptoms and disease progress, and Part 2 will cover causes, treatment and recovery. This post will be updated as more information comes in. The last updates were on September 17, 2014.
• Aperture:ƒ/8• Credit:Steve Rogers• Camera:DMC-LX7• Taken:November 27, 2013• Copyright:© 2013 Steven Rogers Photography All Rights Reserved• Flash fired:yes• Focal length:4.7mm• ISO:100• Location:27° 56.251′ 0″ N 81° 53.307′ 0″ W• Shutter speed:1/80s• Title:Early Pride Dieback
Today, I had a chance to drive around the citrus groves in this area with some visitors from California. We talked about alternative crops, marketing, and variety licensing among other things. During the visit, we happened upon a section of one of the groves showing what I would call classic, textbooks symptoms of greening. Seeing the differences in the patterns in these symptoms can be subtle, but once you get accustomed to the general look, you begin to recognize them more easily. Here are eight examples we saw today.
In April, 2014, I met Drew Dyess and a friend for a photo shoot in a citrus grove. Drew, who works for Plant Food Systems, wanted some good photographs to use in his work. This would be one of those rare opportunities where you can get great images of citrus people working in the grove. I met Drew and his friend after work one afternoon. His friend helped us out by serving as our lighting director, and Drew carried on about his work while we shot away. The results turned out great–be sure to check out the gallery below!
• Aperture:ƒ/18• Camera:NIKON D800• Taken:April 5, 2014• Focal length:16mm• ISO:1250• Location:27° 58.51296′ 0″ N 81° 53.69293′ 0″ W• Shutter speed:1/100s
Going down a back road in citrus country in Central Florida, you can see out the back window of your truck that quite a bit of dust us stirred up as you drive. The dust lingers in the air like smoke. This indicates it hasn’t rained for several days, and the top portion of the soil is drying out. It’s not yet dry enough to affect the condition of the trees much, but if these conditions persist for another week or so, we’d likely see the diseased trees–especially those with greening–show wilted foliage.
• Aperture:ƒ/2.7• Credit:Steve Rogers• Camera:Oregon 650• Taken:August 13, 2013• Focal length:4.0819997809mm• Location:27° 56.6819′ 0″ N 81° 54.178′ 0″ W
It could just be coincidence, but oak trees appear at least in some cases to protect trees from citrus greening disease. I’ve photographed this situation in several locations, so it’s tempting to conclude that it’s more than just a random occurrence. The photo above is a dramatic example of this effect. Basically, trees that are under or next to oak trees do not show anywhere near the same degree of citrus greening symptoms as do citrus trees further from the oak trees. More photos after the jump. We call this phenomenon, the Oak Tree Effect.
In citrus harvesting, we have a type of fruit that we call, “shiners”. Shiners in citrus trees are individual fruits left on the tree when all the other fruits from that tree have been harvested. Usually, shiners are completely healthy, normal fruits that happened to escape notice by harvesting crews. Often, shiners are found higher up in the trees. In many cases, we don’t notice shiners until after crews have finished harvesting a block and moved to a new location. This photo of a ‘Sunburst’ variety shows a shiner left behind after a recent harvest. Sometimes, as in this photo, shiners are on the outside of the trees, but we more often find them in the interior of the tree where they are harder to notice. In fact, shiners are few and far between–less than one per tree on average-but when they are there, they really jump out at you!
• Aperture:ƒ/4• Camera:DMC-LX5• Taken:March 25, 2013• Exposure bias:-1.3EV• Flash fired:no• Focal length:9.2mm• ISO:80• Location:27° 58′ 46.15″ N 81° 52′ 38.53″ W• Shutter speed:1/800s
Despite a number of challenges in controlling diseases such as citrus canker and greening, Florida citrus growers are optimistic about the future. This grove, located in the Ridge area of Florida, is a recently-planted 1- to 2-year-old grove.With good care, the grove should start producing some marketable fruit within the next 2 years.