As everyone strives to stay healthy amid the coronavirus crisis, the April issue of Citrus Industry magazine focuses on another kind of health — young tree health.
In the first of four articles focused on practices for planting new trees, University of Florida (UF) researchers Ozgur Batuman and Megan Dewdney give growers advice on what to watch for when receiving trees from nurseries. Checking for disease symptoms, examining root health and looking for other irregularities prior to planting are among the tips they provide.
When planting trees, one option citrus growers can consider is the installation of fabric mulch groundcover, the topic of a second article on young tree health. UF’s Sandra Guzman shares her research results on how groundcover can impact water use, nutrient dynamics and root growth. Benefits seen from the groundcover include weed reduction, faster plant growth, better roots and water savings.
The third article on keeping young trees healthy focuses on weed management for both new blocks and resets. UF authors Ramdas Kanissery and Mongi Zekri give the best strategies for weed control prior to planting, in the early establishment period and post-establishment. They also recommend ways to avoid young tree damage and provide information on herbicide bandwidths.
Finally, in the fourth article, UF economist Ariel Singerman examines the economics of installing mesh bags, also know as individual protective covers (IPCs), on young citrus trees. The IPCs are mainly used to safeguard trees from psyllids and HLB infection. Singerman crunches the numbers for different scenarios to help growers decide if they want to use IPCs on newly planted trees. Factors he considers in his analysis include yield, price, caretaking savings and one- vs. two-time use of the mesh bags.
Find all these articles and more in the April issue of Citrus Industry magazine, coming soon!
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