My citrus trees (honey mandarin, meyer lemon, mexican lime) all have leaf miner problems. While I was picking up more trees for my yard last Spring, I asked the person at the nursery what to do about them. He said that it was merely a problem of aesthetics and that it would not harm the trees. I did not harvest one piece of fruit from any of the trees this past year. The lemon flowered, but none of the fruit was retained. The orange and lime did not even flower. Almost all of the leaves are now affected and I wonder if this "aesthetic" issue is impacting photosynthesis. I have begun spraying the leaves with spinosad (one treatment about 8 days ago, a second today), but am not sure whether this is the answer. Another recommendation I was given was to drench the root system in the spring with imidacloprid. Is this a good plan? If so, when should I apply it?
Any better suggestions?
Montgomery County Texas
Thanks for the question.
You are applying the appropriate treatment. Yes the leaf miners are more of an aesthetic issue and will be worse in some years and not present in other years. The past two years we have experience a lot of water issues. With that said, fruit trees will have times of limited or not fruit. This is because they are alternate bearing. Also, fertilizing at the wrong time or stress may cause production issues. All citrus has been variable this year.
Thanks again for the question. If you need additional assistance, let us know. MP