Effective Citrus Scab Management: An Easy Guide For Home Gardeners

Posted on: 10 July 2023

If you're like many people who've decided to add a citrus tree or two to your outdoor living space, you're probably looking forward to bowls of fresh fruit on the table as well as the aesthetic value that a well-tended citrus tree adds to the picture. To get the most from your citrus trees, it's important to be on your guard against potential threats — and that includes citrus scab

Citrus scab is a common problem that you might encounter while growing citrus trees in your home garden. This fungal disease, caused by Elsinoë fawcetti, results in unsightly, scaly growths on the fruits, leaves, and twigs of citrus trees. Though the fruit remains edible, the blemishes can detract from its aesthetic appeal.

Here's what you need to know about managing citrus scab in citrus trees: 

Early Detection Is Crucial

Spotting the signs of citrus scab early can make a significant difference in managing this disease. Affected trees usually show symptoms in the form of warty, cork-like outgrowths on the fruit, leaves, or twigs. These raised growths may initially appear pinkish-white, later turning into a dark, crusty texture. As you examine your trees regularly, you'll become skilled at recognizing the early signs, enabling you to act swiftly.

Sanitation and Pruning Practices

Good sanitation practices can go a long way in preventing citrus scab. Removing and disposing of fallen leaves, fruit, and pruned branches is essential. They may be infected with the disease, and leaving them on the ground could lead to a resurgence.

Pruning also plays a significant role. By removing diseased or dead branches, you are essentially taking away the places where the fungus can thrive. When you prune your trees, make sure to allow sufficient space between the branches. Adequate spacing promotes good air circulation and helps keep the foliage dry, minimizing the conditions that favor fungal growth.

Fungicide Applications

Applying fungicides is a viable way to control the spread of citrus scab. Copper-based fungicides are often recommended. The application should start in the spring when new leaves start to appear and should continue at intervals throughout the growing season. It's essential to follow the fungicide manufacturer's instructions regarding the concentration and frequency of use.

Importance of Resistant Varieties

Lastly, if citrus scab has been a recurring problem in your garden, consider planting resistant varieties of citrus trees. There are several varieties that have been bred for resistance to this disease. By choosing these varieties or others that are resistant to citrus scab, you will be adding an extra layer of protection against citrus scab.

If you need help caring for landscape citrus trees, reach out to a landscaping company in your area. 


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