troublesome trees

A forum for problem solving and exchanging ideas and knowledge related to the edible garden. Now includes sub-forum for sharing recipes and other ideas for using produce.

Moderators: Forum_mod, Pam, jack, Sam, Luzy

troublesome trees

Postby onesimus » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:35 pm

I removed all the fruit from my orange tree last week since there will be no one at the house to keep an eye on it and remove any fallen fruit. All of it was quite small and a taste test revealed it was juicy but very tart.

The tree itself didn't look the best. It needs a good pruning I think. However, the leaves were covered in a blackish substance. I'm not sure whether it was just dirt, or some kind of disease.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do to get it into better shape and producing eatable fruit. Maybe it's too far gone for this year and I'll have to be patient until it's time to fruit again.

I also have a peach tree that is desperate for some TLC. Both trees, as well as a grape vine seem to have been left to their own devices for years. It would be tempting to cut them all down and start again with trees and vines of my own choice rather trying to fix all of the inherited problems. But then again, the attempt to resurrect them may make an interesting challenge and I'm sure would be more rewarding if it succeeds.
User avatar
onesimus
Propagator
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:01 pm
Location: Young, NSW

Postby Sam » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:56 pm

The black stuff sounds like sooty mould. Prune it well and then give it a good spray with white oil and see how it goes.

There's a great article about pruning citrus in the latest GA magazine.
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, wine and tarragon
make it French, sour cream makes it Russian, lemon and
cinnamon make it Greek, soya sauce makes it Chinese, Garlic
makes it good.” Alice May Brock, Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook.
User avatar
Sam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 3502
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Caboolture, Qld (just nth of Brisbane)

Postby Luzy » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:30 pm

I like your idea of the 'interesting challenge', onesimus - if the resurrection works, you will have trees and vines that are well established and won't need to be coddled to become water-wise. :D
User avatar
Luzy
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 7297
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Melbourne, Vic

Postby Spider Lily » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:57 pm

Now would be a good time to prune back the grape vine if you want to keep it. In Spring it will come back all lush and green.

Do you know if it is a fruiting vine or just the foliage?
User avatar
Spider Lily
Gardening Sage
 
Posts: 1747
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:30 am
Location: Sydney, NSW

Postby gardenlen » Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:12 am

g'dau onesimus,

a bit of sooty mould there it won't alter the quality or flavour of the fruit the tree is able to produce. even doubtful that it will do the tree that much harm, but a good dose of white oil will do the trick, there is a homemade recipe on our site, look for the ants but the most likely cause of the sacle causing the sooty mould. generally a very healthy tree will resist some of the infestation.

to me pruning is just to keep a tree manageable and bit a tidy generally keeping the middle of the tree open to encourage more fruit production, i don't see it as necessary to the qulaity of the fruit. reckon that comes from how fertile the soil is? we used to mulch our fruit trees very heavily with green mulches, generally pasture grass mulches these add nitrogen and other trace elements plus keep the soil moist, so much so that in a low/medium rainfall area we always got masses of juicy sweet fruits.

don't know much about grapes but now seems like a good idea to prune they do need it.

len :D
With peace and brightest of blessings,

len

--
"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."

http://www.lensgarden.com.au
User avatar
gardenlen
Gardening Sage
 
Posts: 1752
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:22 am
Location: north of gympie

Postby onesimus » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:45 am

Spider Lily wrote:Now would be a good time to prune back the grape vine if you want to keep it. In Spring it will come back all lush and green.

Do you know if it is a fruiting vine or just the foliage?


It's a fruiting vine. It had fruit when we inspected the house prior to purchase - small black grapes.

The place has been rented out for a year and a half and from the vine's appearance now, no one picked any of the fruit last season, unless they picked off all the grapes individually. The vine is covered with little stalks.

I think I'll be cutting it back quite severely so it can be kept tidier with more easily accessible fruit. At the moment it's quite wild looking and spread across a wire frame above fence height.

I'll have to grow something else above the fence for privacy - but something a bit more effective (and attractive) all year round.

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions.
User avatar
onesimus
Propagator
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:01 pm
Location: Young, NSW

Postby cordelia » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:31 pm

Dear onesimus,
Have you thought of propagating from the prunings of your grape? It is quite easy....get a length of four to twelve nodes, snip just below a node at an angle, and bury half the length in a sandy loam, or light soil, at an angle ( I lay them at about 30 degrees to the ground). then wait! Propagating anything you can and donating to the local school's fete is a lovely way to join in in a new community, and a great way to meet other gardeners to exchange local knowledge and plants and good company.
All the best with the new garden! (and house, I suppose...)
User avatar
cordelia
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 740
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra

Postby cordelia » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:36 pm

White oil as mentioned should do the trick, but after that you can give the tree occasional showers of soapy water (sunlight or velvet, not smelly soaps or any detergents).It helps to keepon top of it.
I know it is not considered the done thing, but we sweetened our very tart oranges a bit by a generous dose of semi-rotted chook manure...
User avatar
cordelia
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 740
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra

Postby Bulbinella » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:25 am

If it is sooty mould, and it does sound like it, your tree is infected by scale which in turn are "farmed" by ants, they protect the scale who in turn secrete a honeydew that the ants take back to their nest, it's this secretion that causes the sooty mould (which is a fungus) you have to remove the black covering as it prevents photosynthesis, yes, using white oil (pest oil) to control the scale, should also loosen them so you can hose most of them off, you'll also need to prevent the ants from reaching the scale you can use a horticultural glue for this.
I've sent you some details.
User avatar
Bulbinella
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:08 pm
Location: SW Sydney

Postby onesimus » Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:45 pm

Thanks again everybody.
Another visit to the house made me realise that the trees are right in the middle of the place I'll need to put my veggie garden - so it looks like the problem will be solved with a chain saw.

At least it will give me the chance to plant trees of my choosing in a location of my choosing; instead of tolerating a less than ideal inheritance from the previous owners.
User avatar
onesimus
Propagator
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:01 pm
Location: Young, NSW

Postby Luzy » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:36 pm

It sounds like you'll be happy with that solution, onesimus. And, you'll have all the joy of watching your new garden develop. :D

I have tried, with my tamarillo, using a light soap spray for the sotty mould (and the aphids). Leave it for a short time, and the mould is easily wiped/sponged off. But my tree is only a year old and quite small - easy to reach.
User avatar
Luzy
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 7297
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Melbourne, Vic

Postby cordelia » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:38 pm

"Bulbinella: you'll also need to prevent the ants from reaching the scale you can use a horticultural glue for this.
I've sent you some details.

Dear Bulbinella, are you able to post the details, or are they too big?It would be good to have them on the forum for future reference if it is possible. Ta
User avatar
cordelia
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 740
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra

Postby Pam » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:18 am

yes please!
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld


Return to Fruit and Produce

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron