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Sick Washington Naval Oranges...

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by MAEW on September 13, 2004 04:16 AM
I'm hoping someone can help me with my young Wash Naval Orange tree. I planted it in spring, and things went splendidly for a few months. Now, however, I hv several immature fruits which, still green, hv split wide open while still on the tree; several other fruits still appear sound. Additionally, there is some sort of growth -- it looks almost like a clear sap that has oozed out -- all the way around one limb (the whole limb died and withered) and this same sticky sap is appearing in a couple of other places.
I've no idea what is wrong, if the two items are related, or what to do... I wd love some guidance on this one.... Can someone help me? I'm in the central valley in CA. [LIST]
by catlover on September 13, 2004 05:36 AM
I have heard through several sources that one of the reason's for splitting in oranges can be caused by irregular watering. [dunno] I have throughout the last yr. planted 5 more citrus trees but they are very young yet and small(I am removing any fruit til next yr)....but I have an older lemon and orange tree...the orange is out where it doesn't have very good soil (granite) and looses water quickly....they split this year because of the heat and not watering correctly....they take quite a bit of water in the beginning. I don't like the taste of the oranges on that tree anyway so I use them in my compost pile.
As far as the sap is concerned I haven't a clue.

Been doing some further research and navels are more susceptable to splitting than other oranges....some years are worse than others. Weather changes including temp, high humidity after dry periods, and wind are the biggest problems. The water content in the fruit changes so when dry they shrink and then you water again and it takes in more moisture than the skin can take and they split. They say to water to a 2 ft. depth and then let the soil dry out a bit and then rewater...(deep water in other words)....don't leave the soil moist or you will run into more problems....if you use an insecticide/fungicide make sure to water before applying the solution.

I don't know where you live exactly but it has been hotter than heck here recently in Southern everything is suffering!

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by Longy on September 21, 2004 10:03 PM
G'day Maew, i agree that the fruit is splitting because of inconsistent watering. You will find that if you mulch the tree heavily out past the dripline after a good soaking and a feed you'll have a better water retension in the soil and it'll handle a dry patch a lot better. Citrus have a root system that feeds close to the surface which is why they respond badly to dry periods and why the mulching will help.
If this is your trees' first year in the ground you're better off to remove the fruit at least for the first year. It's a big job for a little tree to put out fruit so early and you'll get a better tree in the long term if you allow the root system to develop and put its energy into establishing a good strong plant.

The bleeding sap sounds like foot rot. I've pulled some info off the net and pasted it below. If you punch "citrus bleeding sap" or similar into your search engine there's lots of info available.

"Closely inspect the trunks and lower limbs of each tree. Carefully
cut away any bark that's loose, cracked. or bleeding sap. Don't remove
healthy bark! And no wood need be removed unless it's rotting.
Immediately treat such surgical wounds with a smear of Bordeaux Mixture
diluted with water to a thin paint consistency. "
( Maew i think a copper based fungicide mixture would work as well here.)
Hope this helps.

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