My question concerns all kinds of citrus. I have a fairly new orchard with some trees that have gotten big quickly and some small ones that were planted later as I continue to fill my land with citrus trees. My question concerns smaller trees. For a year now I have had an attack in the orchard during the nights where the animal has eaten all the leaves and branches, leaving the tree looking skeletal. This mostly happens to the grapefruit and orange trees, but lately it has happened to lemons and limes as well. Some of the branches that have been eaten are as thick as a pencil and there are never branches or leaves left behind, clean as can be! I live in San Diego, the northern part of the county in a very rural area. It's not a deer or a raccoon. I have investigated for this looking for foot marks or droppings. We do have very large valley rats. Would they do this?
I doubt it was an animal such as rat, rabbit..squirrels are another thing, they climb and eat foliage/bark..
Are you near a body of water? Could it be beavers..they're quite destructive. What happened to your tree sounds like something they'd do..I've seen trees at the woods devoured by beavers.
I would suggest taking samples of the chewed bark and/or stems to your local agricultural extension office for identification and recommendations.