Citrus Rehabilitation from HLB

Rehabilitation of HLB infected citrus trees using severe pruning and nutritional sprays.

Citrus trees infected with Huanglongbing (HLB) bacteria become weak and develop dieback, resulting in lost production. These trees eventually decline to a production level that is not economical to maintain in a citrus operation. Sixteen-year-old ‘Valencia’ (Citrus sinensis Macf.) orange trees on Swingle citrumelo rootstock [C. paradisi × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.], 100% infected with HLB, in decline and losing production, were severely pruned (buckhorned) to stimulate regrowth and the new flush treated with foliar nutritional sprays. Nutritional sprays included the “Boyd cocktail” and two other nutrient treatments that contained phosphites plus nickel and cobalt. Heavily pruned trees and unpruned standard control trees were compared for shoot growth and canopy development.