Lime trees can be affected by a number of tree diseases common among citrus trees. This can result in poorly developed fruit, rotting fruit and in some cases, a smaller fruit size. Horticulture specialists at Texas A&M University report that there are no chemical control substances available to prevent lime tree disease, but citrus spray oils can help reduce the risk of infestation. Still, most lime tree diseases are not very serious and can be controlled with adequate pest control.
Gummosis is a hardening of the trunk or limbs that results from poor cultural practices. It's a disease of the citrus tree, caused by the fungus Phytophthora citrophthora. This type of lime tree disease can occur at any time of the year. Although it's not life-threatening, the risk of the disease developing can be reduced with proper maintenance.
Leaf Miner Infestation
Leaf miners are a type of pest that can affect lime trees. These attack the foliage of the lime tree and cause extensive physical damage to the branches, leaves and trunk of the tree. According to an article on SignOnSanDiego.com, the citrus leaf miner was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in 1993 and attacked Persian lime trees in Florida. These pests have spread to other states, and can be controlled with insecticides.
Stylar End Breakdown
Stylar end breakdown is a condition in which the juice vesicles of the lime tree rupture and cause excessive juice deposits around the blossom of the fruit. This juice ends up breaking down the rind of the fruit and damages the outer layer.
Root and Foot Rot
Rotting of the roots and base of the tree trunk can cause yellow-veined foliage and a thin, sickly-looking tree. This can happen to lime trees at any time of year and at any stage of growth, but can be prevented by disinfecting the root regularly and following recommended cultural practices. If left untreated, this disease can cause poor blossoms and a limited yield of the lime fruit.
Scab disease in the lime tree is caused by a fungus called Elsinoe fawcetti. This lime tree disease can affect both the fruit and the leaves, and may cause leaves to fall prematurely and produce brown or discolored fruit. Scab disease can be controlled by spraying fungicide on the tree branches, root and leaves.