Newly planted citrus trees and resets require more care and attention than established trees to ensure establishment and proper growth.
Many growers use tree wraps to protect the trunks of young trees. These protective wraps offer a layer of protection to the bark underneath and can be used during the winter season or year-round.
Jake Price, University of Georgia Extension agent and Lowndes County Extension coordinator, shared some helpful information on tree wraps with growers during a recent Georgia citrus meeting. The event was hosted virtually by Fort Valley State University.
According to Price, tree wraps offer protection from sun damage and pest damage. They also help to prevent rootstock sprouts and provide a source of insulation during cold weather.
Additionally, protective wraps can be installed to protect the trunks of young citrus trees from potential herbicide injury. The wraps are typically installed around the lower 12 to 16 inches of the tree trunk.
Unfortunately, some wraps are not made to fit tightly against the tree, creating a gap between the wrap and the tree trunk. This can provide a habitat for unwanted insects and pests. It is important for growers to routinely scout for insects concealed in these wraps. If insects have colonized in the gaps, Price recommends removing the wrap, removing the colonies and installing a tighter-fitting wrap to avoid any tree damage.
Fortunately, there are cost-effective wraps available for growers. One of the most common wraps can actually be purchased at your local grocery store. According to Price, heavy-duty aluminum foil provides a great layer of protection for young tree trunks. It is cheap, easy to cut and remove, and fits tightly on the tree trunk to eliminate insect habitats.
Another type of protective wrap Price discussed was the tree T-PEE. Research shows that trees using a cone-shaped tree T-PEE receive greater freeze protection, especially if the microsprinkler is running on the inside.
Learn about past University of Florida tree T-PEE research here.