It is difficult to find a garden or a large terrace where there is not one of these.
The orange tree is a fruit tree very cultivated throughout the Mediterranean area and other areas with mild climates, not only for its fruit, orange but also for the beauty and color of its leaves and fruits, which make it in addition to a functional tree, a beautiful ornamental piece.
Of course, the orange tree is a fruit tree that gives very sweet fruits, so the possibility of receiving pests is further accentuated. After all, who can resist an orange?
In this article, you will learn all about the orange tree, its pests, and how to get rid of them. Attentive to all the information.
A tree of Asian origin
Despite what we may think, the orange tree is a tree that originated in Southeast Asia. Although from its origin to the present day tree and fruit have undergone numerous natural modifications, the orange tree is already about 20 million years old.
It is not surprising, then, that for as long as it has been possible to disperse its species through many places in the world. The cause can be found in large migratory movements.
Currently, countries such as Brazil, the United States, or Mexico are some of those who occupy the first positions in world production of oranges, although Spain follows closely occupying the fourth or fifth place according to the year we consult.
Its fruit, orange , sold worldwide because of its flavor and its properties, including the abundance of vitamin C. Therefore, it has gastronomic applications (for pieces, in desserts, cakes, cookies or any pastry, juices, or even the peel) as well as ornamentals, since there are even varieties whose fruits are not edible, that is, they are used only as an ornament in gardens.
A subtropical species
When talking about pests of any plant, it is important to know that, even if we do not have them, we can carry out prevention work.
For this, the most important thing is to know properly the natural process of tree growth and the care you need every day.
Therefore, we are going to give you some tips to correctly cultivate the orange tree and thus avoid the appearance of pests that can cause serious losses in the harvest. Remember that a healthy tree is much more resistant to the appearance of pests.
- The orange tree is a tree of mild climates, and in fact, one of the aspects to take into account if we want to cultivate it is the temperature that will be in the place where we raise it, be it a terrace, our garden or an urban garden. We must know that the orange rarely tolerates temperatures below -3º Celsius. This means that the frosts cause in their fruits and flowers damages so serious that they can produce the complete disappearance of the harvest.
- It is a tree that requires abundant rainfall, although we can resort to irrigation. This is necessary between spring and autumn, every 3 or 4 days if it is drip irrigation or other types of localized irrigation.
- It needs a lot of light in its flowering and in the development of the fruits.
- As for the soil, better permeable and moist, deep to allow the expansion of the roots of the tree. They do not tolerate soil salinity.
- As for the fertilizer, the orange tree is a tree that needs a lot of fertilizer. We can often observe diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies such as magnesium, zinc, or iron. Of course, the fertilizer should not start until the beginning of the second sprout since we have planted it. It is paid from March to September but only during the first four years of life. In any case, each type of fertilizer is different, so consult a specialist in agro-garden stores which one is appropriate according to your climate and soil.
- Pruning is also essential to make it a healthy tree. Pruning must be very soft when the plants are still young so that we encourage the plant to enter the production phase.
- Finally, remember to work on weed control.
Although we take good care of our orange tree, there is a possibility that due to geographical, atmospheric conditions, etc., we may suffer the arrival of unwanted insect pests to our garden.
Of course, we can also find pests in the orange tree. Here are some of the most common that you can find in this type of tree in any of its varieties:
- The California red louse ( aonidiella aurantii ) receives that name for presenting a red shell. It is one of the main pests of the orange tree because it damages the fruit. One way to identify them is through the spots left on the skin of the fruit, which causes it to be yellow and finally fall to the ground.
- As in any type of crop, mites form one of the main orange pests. Despite their small size (between 0.3 millimeters and 0.5 millimeters), they can cause serious damage to the tree, especially the leaves. When we talk about mites, we usually refer to two types mainly, the red spider ( tetranychus urticae ) and the red mite ( Panonychus citri ). Both are arranged in the leaves, turning their color to yellow or a matt color and deforming the leaves. They can cause defoliation.
- The whitefly ( aleurothrixus floccose ) in its adult phase causes the disease of the bold in the orange leaves. In this way, it avoids the formation of new shoots that will later be fruits that attract other pests such as mealybugs or mites.
- As with any type of citrus, aphids can appear on the orange tree. They suck the sap of the tree and cause the rolled deformation of the leaves. Like the whitefly, it can also cause bold disease.
- The thrips ( pezothrips kellyanus ) damage the fruit, mainly in its development phase, both in its upper and lateral sides.
Although these are the main pests of harmful insects that can develop in orange trees, other organisms such as fungi can cause diseases in our tree.
For example, brown water or rot is caused by a type of fungus that directly damages the roots causing the tree to weaken. Other diseases of the orange tree are osmosis or anthracnose.
How to eliminate orange pests
Depending on the type of pest we have, we must resort to one solution or another. However, there are some tips that will help get rid of most pests. Here we leave you the most effective:
- Eliminate all weeds around the orange tree. Some insects like the red spider take refuge in them. Of course, there are specific products such as ovicides, larvicides, or pesticides, but we must remember that excessive use will create resistance to the product, and, in addition, we can eliminate other organisms that are beneficial to our garden.
- In the case of aphids and thrips, the ideal is to cut the damaged leaves or shoots when it is not spread throughout the tree.
- Do not be afraid to use manual methods. Like the previous one, shaking insects from the tree if there are not too many can work well. Of course, you should start working on pest prevention to prevent them from returning and caring more than ever for your tree.
- To reinforce the previous step, you can make a homemade sprayer with soap and water and give small ‘showers’ to your tree. It is a fairly easy but very effective natural remedy with small pests.
- Another way to prevent the pests that you have shaken from the tree from rising again is to put special adhesive tapes around the lower part of the trunk. While harmful pest insects will stay there, so will other insects that don’t have to be harmful. Therefore, if you opt for this method, the idea is to monitor the tape every day and remove it when there are no more insect pests.