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For The Garden

Gardening suggestions for yellowing leaves on mandarin orange trees

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: April, 2013, Page 119



ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - I planted a mandarin orange tree last July, and now its leaves are yellowing and falling off. It is watered twice daily. Any suggestions?

A - It sounds like improper irrigation, according to city of Chandler water conservation coordinator and Master Gardener Cathy Rymer. Citrus trees need infrequent but deep watering (up to 3 feet at maturity). Too much water can produce soggy soil, which displaces oxygen and prevents the roots from absorbing nutrients. Also, frequent and shallow irrigation can cause salt burn, which manifests as yellowing and dropping leaves. University of Arizona Cooperative Extension’s publication, Irrigating Citrus Trees, recommends watering citrus trees up to one-year-old just once every seven to 14 days from March through April. Review this publication’s complete table of irrigation intervals and overall water needs based on tree size and age at cals.arizona.edu/pubs/crops/az1151.pdf.
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