Joy Us garden

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My Orange Tree is infested!

My beloved Citrus, which yields me so much bounty, has thrips, mealy bug and even a touch of scale.  It’s not a pretty sight close up.  Regardless, it bears luscious fruit which I use for smoothies, poaching, salad dressing, flavoring water and more – if I had a bathtub, I’d bathe in it!   If you refer back to this post “A Story of Thrips and Bad Pruning”  you’ll see part of the cause of this horticultural nightmare – the neighbor’s closely planted Myoporoum hedge is riddled with thrips and aphids.

orange tree infested

Above is the tree before its initial “whammy” of a prune job.   You may not be able to tell but it is in a corner of the back yard with the motley hedge on one side and the neighbor’s garage on another  – both of which reduce the air circulation in and around the tree.  Lack of air circulation = increased insect breeding.

orange tree infested

orange tree infested

Here are close-ups looking inside the tree illustrating how densely it grows.  It’s so white from the mealy bug you can’t see the thrips!

orange tree infested

Here you can see the discoloration on the skin of the fruit cause by the thrips.  I do not use chemical sprays or fertilizers anywhere in my garden. The fact that the skin’s appearance is not wonderfully smooth and orange is of no concern to me because I am not commercially selling the fruit.  So, to help the tree combat the onslaught of pests, we thinned it and opened it up to increase the air circulation and let more sunlight into the center.

orange tree infested

A mere drop in the bucket of what was actually taken off the tree.

orange tree infested

Some of the fruit which was shared with friends.

orange tree infested

Yum – not pretty on the outside but vibrant and juicy on the inside!

The video below gives you a closer look at the Joy Us Orange Tree and its environs.

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