One thing we’ve noticed in our area Florida is that some grapefruit groves seem to do well, even in the shadow of citrus greening disease. Many of our young grapefruit trees look green and healthy. We’d like to see more production, and hopefully that will come soon. The photo shows healthy-looking trees in the Lakeland area. If you get closer, you do notice a few minor signs of disease in the leaves here and there. But overall, you’d have to say this grove looks pretty good. Time will tell, though, because we’ve seen anything can change on a dime with this disease.
Recently, we’ve been looking at different roostocks for our citrus plantings. As seen in this mind map, there are no less than 15 or 20 different information sources that need to be considered. Much of this information is gathered over time, but there comes a point where you to refresh your memory to see if anything has changed since the last time you looked. How do you access and manage all the information that goes into making this kind of decision? If you’re like most people, you talk to others, email back and forth, read and you probably check 20 or so websites for the most recent information. That’s a lot of work, and becomes even more so if you have to do it more than once. I can’t disclose all the details yet, but I’m working with the University of Florida on a solution that will help growers make better rootstock decisions. Stay tuned for more later!
We started collecting tissue sample this week. This will help us work out the optimum nutrition program for the trees. Depending on these results, we might also start soil tests, too. These are the hands of Drew Dyess from Plant Food Systems, who is helping out.
• Aperture:ƒ/2.4• Camera:iPhone 5• Taken:October 6, 2014• Focal length:4.12mm• ISO:50• Location:27° 55′ 53.08″ N 81° 54′ 8.5″ W• Shutter speed:1/570s
Today, we’re starting an experiment to see if olive trees will tolerate the caretaking conditions we typically apply to citrus groves. In the instance shown in this photo, this is one of several olive trees planting within a new planting of citrus. This is far attention more than commercial olives would see in practice, but it’s a step in the direction to see what’s involved if we want to start retrofitting citrus groves with olive trees. Perhaps this might be gradual replacement or not, but this experiment will allow us to get olives in a wide variety of locations to see how they perform over time.
• Aperture:ƒ/2.8• Camera:DMC-LX7• Taken:September 10, 2014• Flash fired:yes• Focal length:4.7mm• ISO:100• Shutter speed:1/320s
We recently planted our first ‘Early Pride’ trees in Polk County. Here are some of the various symptoms that appeared back in October 2013 on the trees soon after they were planted. We’re currently looking closer into the dieback issue to see if the various symptoms have similar or different causes.
(Click the images to view larger versions.)
This photo shows a tag on a newly planted tree in a Florida citrus grove. This tag (placed on the tree while it is a nursery) tells the story about the tree, such as the variety, rootstock, date grown, etc. This is important for ensuring quality and consistency in the trees that are placed in the groves.
• Aperture:ƒ/2.4• Camera:iPhone 5• Taken:September 4, 2013• Focal length:4.13mm• ISO:50• Location:27° 56.27′ 0″ N 81° 53.42′ 0″ W• Shutter speed:1/467s
Tropical Storm Andrea hit Florida and brought around 3 inches of rain or so to our area June 6 and 7. This image shows the roads here just after some of the storm hit. More photos from the groves to come later. Greening-affected trees have responded in a positive way to the rain, with grapefruit doing especially well. This reinforces our belief that having sufficient water for greening-affected trees is vital to their survival, meaning that adequate irrigation will be especially important during dry seasons that come later. Young trees have also grown quite a bit of new flush, so we will need to watch them closely for psyllid and other insect populations that might attack any new growth.
This photo shows a microjet irrigation system in place and ready to irrigate young citrus trees when they are planted in the field. The black line running from the front of the photo to the rear is the line itself that water runs through, and the orange stake contains a small outlet, called a microjet, from which water will be sprayed on the trees.
• Aperture:ƒ/2.8• Credit:STEVE ROGERS• Camera:DMC-LX7• Taken:May 13, 2013• Focal length:4.7mm• ISO:80• Location:27° 56′ 27.25″ N 81° 54′ 13.71″ W• Shutter speed:1/200s