- Author: Ben Faber
Several calls have come in from growers lately about yellow avocado and citrus trees. the yellowing is most common on the late summer flush leaves or can affect the whole canopy on young trees. In severe cases leaves fall. This happens going into winter after a warm fall when growing conditions are good. During the winter, the root systems become depleted of stored starch and die.
During winter, trees go into what is called a “quiescent” state, a version of dormancy found in subtropical tree crops. This is a resting mode that protects them to a certain degree from frost damage. There is not much that can be done in a field setting until temperatures warm up and the trees begin growing again in late winter/early spring. As the temperatures increase, the trees gradually recover and the foliage re-greens.
Winter Yellows can be exacerbated in years when we do not have leaching rains to remove salts from the root zone. And it can also be more severe when we have those years when winter rains just never seem to stop and rootzones become waterlogged. We may never see that time again.
Photo by Greg Moulds