Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Citrus Trees in Arizona

My eagle eyes spotted “suspicious activity” at one of the houses I watch so I wandered over to see why the gent was messing around with one of the fruit trees on the lot.  He showed me his ID and identified himself as being with the United States Department of Agriculture USDA.  WOW…..the Feds are here.  LOL
Mr. USDA explained that California and Florida have a citrus pest that is causing major problems and they’re hoping it won’t spread to Arizona.  He said the nurseries in Yuma have been quarantined to prevent the bug from spreading.  They are placing insect traps in fruit trees throughout southern AZ to test for the nasty bug and have placed three traps in Palm Creek since we have so many trees in the park.  He will return every two weeks to analyze results and see if the bug has made it this far.  I asked for the name of the little critter but after he pronounced it for the third time…..I decided to call it a citrus pest.  The trap he placed in the tree is a sticky card so they can easily spot the kind of insects that land on it.  IMG_1378My curiosity was aroused so I spent some time on the internet to learn more.  I thought I would recognize the genetic name of the bug once I saw it but they all look alike so I won’t bore you with bug information.  I did read some things I thought were interesting though so will post it here.  Now I finally know why the trunks of some trees are painted white!
Here’s the stuff I copied from the net that I thought was newsy:
“ Surprisingly, the weather in the Arizona desert produces some of the best tasting citrus in the world. Heat produces sugar in citrus fruits making them sweeter and cool weather produces acid making citrus more tart. The hot summers and cool winters in the desert therefore produce a much fuller flavored product than can be grown in either consistently warm climates such as Florida, or in consistently mild climates such as the California coast. California's desert regions produce comparable quality to that of Arizona.
The trunk and branches of citrus trees when subjected to direct sun can burn badly. In fact, if the trunk of a tree is fully exposed to sun it can kill it. Citrus naturally branch to ground and therefore protect their trunks. However, when a citrus tree is trimmed as a shade tree it exposes the trunk. This is the reason that trimmed up trees have their trunks painted white.”
I definitely keep an eye on the three little check boxes I’ve added to the bottom of each posting.  You can mark the article as “interesting”, “neutral”, or “boring”.  It just takes a second to click on one of those little squares so that gives me feedback on what you like to read.
nice day

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