Several days ago, we noticed that fruit and leaf drop are beginning again. From what I can gather, this might be some of the first of the season, at least in our area in Central Florida. This is the same sort of drop we’ve seen the past couple of years at about this same time. It’s hard to pin down a cause, but it seems the fruits and leaves most affected by this drop are affected with greening symptoms. Here’s a quick drive through video of several trees to give you a general idea what we’re seeing in the groves. The video is after the jump.
The problem is going to get worse as it picked up in the last few days as far as we can tell. As you can also see in the macro imagery below, there seems to be a disorder appearing on the stem end of many, but not all, fruits that precedes abscission. The drop doesn’t seem to be affecting healthy trees anywhere near as much, if at all.
We’ve had close to 8 inches of rain in the last couple weeks that might be contributing to what we’re seeing. It’s easy to suspect a fungal problem that might be involved, considering how wet it’s been.
To look into this further, I’ve decided to use a technique I call “qualitative modeling”. This is a way to graphically represent potential causal factors in the drop, assign weights as to suspected contribution to the drop, then refine the model over time and space. Gradually, you zero in on the cause, and hopefully that leads to some specific steps for getting it under control.
• Aperture:ƒ/1.8• Credit:Steven Rogers• Camera:DMC-LX7• Taken:October 1, 2014• Copyright:© 2014 Steven Rogers Photography All Rights Reserved• Focal length:4.7mm• ISO:80• Shutter speed:1/125s• Title:Lake Hancock Fruit Drop