Fertilization of Young `Hamlin' Orange Trees with Controlled-release Fertilizer

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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Dept., 1251 Fifield Hall, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Young `Hamlin' orange trees [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] were fertilized six times/year with water-soluble N fertilizer at recommended rates (0.20, 0.34, and 0.38 kg N/tree per year) and with controlled-release fertilizer one time/year [Osmocote, IDBU, and a 44.5% urea-N fertilizer coated with a sulfonated ethylene-propylene-diene polymer (Sherritt, Inc.)] at 0.04, 0.06, and 0.08 kg N/tree per year for years 1, 2, and 3, respectively. There were no differences in trunk diameter, tree height, or tree rating among treatments in any year, although there was a slight reduction in tree rating for some trees with biuret symptoms in the Sherritt treatment in year 2. Leaf nitrogen content was acceptable for all treatments in all 3 years, except for the Osmocote treatment in year 2, which had low to deficient levels. Levels of other nutrients were all within acceptable ranges, except for low potassium levels for the Osmocote in year 2. There were no significant differences in yields of young trees in year 3, the first bearing year. Given its 44.5% N analysis, the total amount of Sherritt controlled-release fertilizer applied to young citrus trees was 4% that of the standard, water-soluble fertilizer and from 39% to 45% that of the two other controlled-release fertilizers in years 1, 2, and 3.

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