In the past few weeks Burke’s Backyard has received letters concerning strangely shaped citrus. Two problems occur on citrus that will produce weird looking fruit but are not major problems and can be left untreated. These are citrus bud mite and Citrus Scab.
Citrus bud mite (Eriophyes sheldoni) – This pest is a microscopic mite that is usually found inside buds or blossoms. The result is distorted maturing fruit and leaves. It is not a major pest and doesn’t usually affect all the fruit on the tree. Ignore the pest or treat with a lime sulphur spray in autumn and winter.
Citrus Scab – Lumps and brown scabs on the skin of citrus (particularly lemons) are symptoms of a disease called Citrus Scab but not one that affects the fruit. Remove the scabs if using the rind or just use pulp or juice from the fruit. Ignore the disease, or treat by spraying with a solution of copper oxychloride (Yates ‘Fungus Fighter’) and white oil around October to get rid of the disease before scabs form.