We have a 30-40 year old grapefruit tree in our backyard. It gives off beautiful sweeter grapefruits and provides so much beautiful shade, but it's in a bad way right now. We had an arborist come over and tell us that it has scale, fungus and rust mites. They want to treat every other month with copper and a few other chemicals to ward this off. The thing I am worried about is that these chemicals are going into my ground, into my vegetables and around my dog and my daughter. We were planning on doing a spring vegetable garden and the spray would most defiantly get into it.
I am going to get the names of the chemicals they are going to use, but it looks like my landlord wants to go ahead and treat this ( I understand her want to keep the tree alive. I do to!). I am worried about the chemicals.
So far he wants to tree the tree with malathion, copper sulfate and a fertilizer. All of this will get on my daughters play set, her slide, my clothes line, and in the spring it will get onto my vegetables.
Are their any other ways to treat this? Something not so crazy in price.
I hand picked all the scale off of my dwarf Myer lemon tree and it took me about 2 weeks, and it was only 1 foot tall. Nasty, nasty bugs. I hope there's a magic way! I've hear neem oil will help... I don't really know though, I'll be interested to hear what other people say!
The mites are the toughie, they are very resistant to organic controls, which is prob why they want to use the malathion. Are they going to spray or drench? A drench is much more targeted and therefore safer than a spray, I would request that. The copper is for the fungus, not a big deal. You could also suggest copper and fert, but avoiding the malathion for a season or so. Once the tree is in better health the mites may not be as much of a problem.