- Author: Leslie E. Stevens
- Editor: Noni Todd
Citrus And Avocados
By Leslie E. Stevens UCCE Master Gardener
Do my citrus and avocado trees need any special care in the summer? Carol P. Arroyo Grande
It's a good idea to keep an eye on these valuable trees, making sure they have sufficient water and aren't overwhelmed by pests and diseases. Citrus and avocado trees may require extra water to offset excessive evaporation during periods of hot dry weather. At the same time avoid overwatering, especially near the trunk, which can lead to root and crown rots.
Healthy citrus trees can withstand most minor pest invasions except for Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny mottled brown insect that is a vector for a bacterium responsible for the fatal citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB). The disease can kill all commonly grown citrus varieties within five years of inoculation, and there is currently no known cure. If you suspect you have this insect among your citrus trees, call the CDFA Pest Hotline: 1-800-491-1899.
Avocado trees also have their share of pests, including the pesky persea mite. Feeding damage causes visible spots on leaves which can lead to leaf drop and sunburned fruit. Reduce minor infestations in home gardens with strong water sprays, less frequent fertilizing and encouraging natural enemies. Treat heavier mite populations with insecticidal soap and water sprays.
These and other tips for growing healthy citrus and avocado trees will be covered during this Saturday's free “Advice to Grow By” workshop presented by UC Master Gardeners. Informational handouts will be available at this three-part workshop, and audience questions are encouraged following each presentation.
The outdoor workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo.Docents will be available after the workshop to answer questions until 1 p.m. Remember to bring a hat, sunscreen and water and join your fellow gardeners in the garden.
For more information about UCCE Master Gardeners or to register for workshops, visit our website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/mgslo/./span>