By spending half an hour or so on your trees now will improve the health and productivity of your citrus making sure your citrus keep on giving and giving.
Prune you trees now
Prune your trees now before the spring buds appear. If you live in a frost affected area wait until the after the last frost. Pruning isn't always necessary, but it helps to get the plant in control if it's getting too big and scraggly.
How to prune:
1. Always use sharp tools to get a nice clean cut and prevent damage by not tearing the tree
2. Remove dead or damaged branches
3. Remove branches growing inwards to improve air circulation
4. Trees should grow up to 3 metres tall, this makes fruit picking easier and pest and disease control more manageable
5. If you have trees that are really out of control and have been left unmanaged for years you can be quite severe with them and can prune half the tree back. You only want to do this if it's necessary because it means you won't get fruit for a couple of years
6. To control the size and also encourage more branching you can also give the plant an overall plant trim, by giving the whole tree and overall light branch trim, cutting about 10-15cm off the branches
Pick fruit off the ground
Another tip is to never leave fruiting on the ground, because this encourages pests or diseases
Citrus Gall Wasp damage
If you see lumps on the branches on your citrus trees than you've got citrus gall wasp on your trees. This is a common problem and all citrus can get affected by it.
The damage is done by a small black wasp that lays its eggs on the branches causing the branches to swell. Repetitive attack causes the tree to weaken and become unproductive.
There is no chemical treatment for this pest. The best thing to do is to cut the affected branches put it in plastic bags and throw in the bin or if you have a fireplace than throw the branches in the fire and burn. Do this by the end of august to stop the adult wasps from emerging and laying eggs in new shoots.
Silvery lines or trail on the new leaves means your tree has citrus leafminer. It's a tiny moth that lays its eggs on the leaf. The hatched larvae tunnel into the leaf and cause the tunnels creating ugly distorted leaves, reducing the harvest on the trees
1. Spray the plant with Pest Oil or Eco Oil every 2 weeks
2. Make sure you spray both top and bottom of the leaves.