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An assortment of Florida grown agriculture commodities, including tomatoes, potatoes, and citrus. Photo taken 05-09-16.

Lime Tree Trouble

Q: Can you please provide guidance regarding a lime tree in our yard? It yielded more fruit this past summer than in any previous years. It does sit a couple of feet in front of a sprinkler head. Admittedly, we did failed to fertilize it since we bought the house a couple of years ago.

A: Unfortunately, this lime tree has seen better days. Lime tree Trees sometimes bear and abundance of fruit when they are in very poor health.  Fertilizer may have helped but the lack of fertilizer did not cause this.  There is loose, damaged and missing bark.  The light green Lichens on Lime Treesplotches are Lichens and cause no harm on your plant but usually show up when the plant is under a great deal of stress and has lost a lot of leaves over an extended period of time.  It may have succumbed to Citrus Greening, a bacterial disease that there is no cure for at this time.  The water from the sprinkler system shouldn’t have caused any damage unless you were overwatering it (the base of the tree can rot due to too much water).  The grass growing right up to the base of the trunk can also cause problems of too much humidity near the soil line.  For more information see this publication about “Citrus Problems in the Home Landscape“. 

If this were my tree, I would remove it.