UF/IFAS sees citrus greening affects roots before leaves
“We are still trying to determine how the bacteria are killing the roots,” Johnson said. “This finding suggests that growers should focus more effort on maintaining the health of the root system in relation to other soilborne pests and overall soil quality to maintain as much of the root system as possible.”
Johnson suggested that growers increase the acidity levels of irrigation water and soil to match the optimum pH for the rootstock (preliminary results show that this improves root density compared to untreated groves) and water more frequently for shorter periods. Those treatments are being studied by UF researchers in Lake Alfred and at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee.
He added that while psyllid control is essential, growers should make careful decisions on how many resources to devote to any management strategy for greening-infected trees, based on their economic means, until field trials have been completed.
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