If your fruit tree has lopsided green fruit it may be a victim of Huanglongbing (HLB) and commonly called Citrus Greening. HLB or Citrus Greening is caused by a bacteria called Candidatus Liberibacter asisticus.
Early Symptoms of Citrus Greening
Early symptoms of Citrus Greening are asymmetrical yellowing of the leaves known as “blotchy mottle”. It’s often mis-diagnosed as the tree having a mineral deficiency. It appears on a single branch but will eventually spread to the entire tree.
Later Symptoms of Citrus Greening
Later symptoms of Citrus Greening are twig die back and decrease in fruit production. The fruit will also show signs of infection with the lopsided fruit, under developed fruit or fruit that drops prematurely.
“Scout” Citrus Trees
You should “Scout” your fruit trees quarterly or even monthly for early or late symptoms of the bacteria. If you think your tree has HLB you will need to contact one of only a handful of labs that perform testing. Once a diagnosis is made they will advise you if the tree can be treated or will need to be destroyed. Furthermore they want to determine if The Citrus Greening bacteria has spread to other fruit trees in the area.
Keep in mind that Citrus Greening is more common in commercial crops more so than trees on a residential properties. However, you can never be armed with enough knowledge to protect your investments, even if it’s just a fruit tree.