1. Q: New tree last year - 3 ft tall, had 4 great grapefruit. This spring got many blossoms and something ate them all including new growth,(someone said cutter bees). saw nothing. sprayed with various sprays, and lost about all new growth. then in July, got very good new growth, tree has beautiful look, good leaves, healthy, but no blossoms. Nursery said wait til next year. Anything I can do to prevent loss of blossoms next year, Spray?, Fertilize?

A: Most citrus trees only bloom once a year; ie. the reason you got a great second flush of growth, but no blooms. The tree should bloom beautifully next spring. I really can't imagine what would have eaten the new growth and blooms, although we have problems with spotted cucumber beetles and grasshoppers. Watch closely during bloom next year to see what is causing the problem. Since the tree is growing good, keep on your same program. If you need to spray for an insect pest make sure to use a product with some residual, ie. if you use Malathion, it only kills for 8 hours and then is gone. So you would have to spray very often to take care of a problem. Sevin and Diazinon have a longer residual so you don't have to spray as often. However, you can only use a product which is labeled for citrus.

2. Q: I'm from Minnesota and own a Marsh Grapefruit tree. I had fruit on it in December until I picked all three. About a month after I picked them the leaves started falling off the tree and a few branches turned tan as though dry. It has been pruned by the nursery so it stays a certain size, because it is a potted tree. I try to keep a temp. of about 70-80F and fertilize it with Miracid acidic fertilizer. Will it continue to grow? should I prune off the "dead" branches or leave them? Is this normal?

A: The only reasons I know of that a Marsh Grapefruit would loose leaves and have dry, dead branches are severe drying or exposure to cold temperature below 27 degrees F. Whatever, I would advise you to wait until it begins to resprout after the temperature warms. Then remove dried, dead wood back to just above the new sprouts. I assume you are not fertilizing it with Miracid during the trees dormancy!! Just keep it moist and not wet during this leafless period. If this tree is grafted and had died back to the graft union (just above the soil line), when sprouts arise they will not be that of Marsh Grapefruit. You might want to check out the information on Parson's Archive bout growing Satsuma Mandarin and follow those directions with the Marsh Grapefruit.

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