Meyer lemon tree dying #298145 - Ask Extension


Meyer lemon tree dying #298145

Asked January 25, 2016, 4:53 PM EST

My tree is about 8-10 yrs. ole & planted too close to my house. Even so, I've had great fruit production until this year. I have so many lemons but they're all sick as are the leaves that have black & white tiny spots (bugs?) under the leaves. The leaves are malformed. I did have the tree pruned 3 yrs. ago. Can you help me please. My son gave me the tree as a birthday gift.

Harris County Texas

Expert Response

I'm sorry to hear about your sick tree. Based on the photo you sent, it appears you have a scale insect infestation. This was corroborated by an Entomologist colleague of mine at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center, Weslaco. Basically, the scales reproduce and feed on your plant and excrete lots of sugary substances called honeydews. The honeydews become substrate for the sooty mold fungi hence the blackish mass you see on your twigs and fruits. You can remedy the situation by treating your tree with a systemic pesticide as soon as possible. The product can be absorbed and translocated through the plant tissue. The scale insects will pick up the product while feeding and this would result in effective control. You should be able to buy a systemic pesticide product at your nearest garden center. One active ingredient that works well is called Imidacloprid and may be available under different brand names.

Best of luck!
Olufemi Alabi Replied January 26, 2016, 10:30 AM EST
As for the scars on your fruits, most of those are likely due to wind abrasion.
Olufemi Alabi Replied January 26, 2016, 12:14 PM EST

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