University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Xavier Martini recommends planting windbreaks on two or more sides of citrus groves. He gave this advice to growers at a recent Citrus Insect Management Workshop in Lake Alfred, Florida.
Martini said windbreaks do a good job of keeping canker and HLB-spreading psyllids out of groves. The trees also help prevent wind damage and soil erosion.
Because Florida groves experience mostly winds from the east and west, Martini recommends using the organic wind barriers on at least those two sides.
Martini, who works at the North Florida Research and Education Center, recommends fast-growing native plants that reach 40 feet in height. “Pine trees are good … I like pines a lot,” he said. He also mentioned redbay as a good plant to use as a wind barrier. Numerous other plants also make good windbreaks for citrus groves.
Other characteristics of good windbreak plants are that they have long lives, are wind resistant and are tolerant of cold, heat and salt.
Growers who plant wind barriers should ensure they leave enough room between the barriers and groves for tractors and other equipment to maneuver, Martini advised.
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