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Grapefruit Trees

Q.I Identified my Citrus tree pest. Have been fighting it off & on for years.

Zone 87123 | Grapefruitdee added on January 5, 2019 | Answered

I have two Grapefruit trees my Mother started from pits in her breakfast slice. That was about 45 years ago. I inherited them. and have transplanted 3 times. Trunks diameters are 2″+ but I have kept them sized to fit through my door. Late Spring I place them outside and bring back in early October. Off and on I get Citrus Scale. It took over one and maybe killed it, the other I notice the infestation start and and did my usual spray– cheap window cleaner! The window cleaner coats limbs & leaves and drips down so easy to apply and it drys up the pests and they die! Just have to watch for those stragglers that seem to hide and reinfect again. The window cleaner is NOT only cheap (Dollar Store brand) but very effective. When touched the next day… the scale is powder instead of squashed bug wet. I also have Meyer Lemon Tree it is small but healthy so far!

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Answered on January 7, 2019

It was not really a question, and I have kept the trees small so they can get through door ways, and NOT impede pathways in home. Yes, they drop a few leaves when brought back into house in October, but seem fine in a few days. The window cleaner works and is pet friendly to both my cat and dog. I don't about neem oil, but will check it out. Transplanting has occurred maybe 6 times in the 45 years, and pruning is limited to removal of dead stuff, or an occasional spear. The grapefruit trees have NEVER produced a bloom or fruit. Thank you for responding.

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Answered on January 7, 2019

I'm not sure if there is a question in there, or did you write to tell us of your success with window cleaner for scale insect infestation. I hadn't heard of that one, and would be hesitant to recommend it due to possibility of phyto-toxicity for plant tissues from ammonia or alchohol.

45 year old grapefruit that is only 2" in trunk diameter and can fit through a door? Must be a dwarf variety.

Transplanting and heavy pruning to fit through the door can be extremely stressful for the plants and create susceptibility to pest infestation. If mine I would be enhancing a preventive approach rather than waiting for an infestation and then using an inappropriate, potentially photo-toxic material, even if cheap and superficially effective.

Regular neem oil applications can help to prevent scale infestation, as can good soil fertility and water management.

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