It may surprise you to learn that citrus trees can get too much sunshine in the Sunshine State. Manipulating the light environment around a plant can have several surprising benefits. Shade can suppress the HLB cycle and enhance citrus health and yield. Overall, a mildly shaded citrus plant is likely to have fewer signs of stress, less HLB-spreading psyllids, less severe HLB symptoms and higher yield.
In collaboration with the University of Florida an assessment is being made how shade impacts the various dynamics of pests, disease, plant health and horticulture. HLB is spread by Asian citrus psyllids landing on trees. Previous researchers observed that low light reduced psyllids landing on trees in a laboratory and that the shaded sides of trees in the field had fewer psyllids.
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