BOOK REVIEW

Florida Citrus Diagnostic Guide

By Harold W. Browning, Robert J. McGovern, Larry K. Jackson, David V. Calvert, Wilfred F. Wardowski

Lake Alfred, Fla.: Florida Science Source , Inc, P. O . Box 8217, Longboat Key , FL 34228-8217, 1995. Hardcover, illustrated with 238 color panels , 244 pages , $80 (a CD of all color illustrations $50). On the web: www.ultimatecitrus.com/fssource.

Reviewed by Ron Couch

It is impossible to gauge the potential utility of the Florida Citrus Diagnostic Guide to the entire range of crfg members, particularly those in North America. Nevertheless a true statement about this hard-cover book is that it presents clear identification information on citrus insect and disease pests and about weather- and nutrient-related citrus plant and fruit conditions. It might therefore be quite useful to readers throughout the southern tier of the United States.


The Florida Citrus Diagnostic Guide is a comprehensive identification reference of Florida citrus insects, mites, diseases, horticultural problems and nutritional disorders. The text includes some cultural practices that may help avoid or control such problems. A total of 124 subjects are discussed and illustrated with 238 excellent color photographs. Each subject is treated with two facing pages of clear text and excellent photographic illustrations for convenience and understanding. The authors of the book are all associated with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.


This work is on the style of Florida Insects, Diseases and Nutritional Disorders in Color, by Dr. R.M. Pratt. According to the authors of the Florida Citrus Diagnostic Guide, many new problems, such as the citrus leafminer, Diasprepes borer and post-bloom drop, have emerged in the 38 years since Dr. Pratt’s book was published. Although that work is now out of print, it remains in wide use but since its publication some citrus nutritional disorders have become rare as citrus diseases and nutrition have become better understood by growers.


The Guide makes no pretense of prescribing extensive details of treatment for various afflictions resulting from insects, diseases or nutritional deficiencies; it merely sets causes forth in understandable fashion with illustrations to aid diagnosis by observation.


The Guide is neither intended nor designed to recommend pesticide or fertilizer uses, although general comments about those subjects and possible cultural practices that might deal with such problems are sometimes offered.


Scientific names are used where possible to identify organisms. Common names used in Florida and in other locales are also provided where available - however, some species do not have common names. Readers should understand that common names vary by region and may not be definitive without due reference to scientific names.


The illustrations attempt only to portray the general appearance of organisms and their effects on citrus plants, foliage and fruit, and are not intended to be universal in application with regard to characterization and diagnosis of problems. Careful study and submission of problems to experts may still be needed in some cases.


After a brief introduction on identifying insects and mites, the typical two-page spreads begin immediately presenting easy-to-understand information about common afflictions of citrus with color illustrations which together can greatly assist in diagnosis of many problems experienced in the cultivation of citrus. This reviewer quickly found several recognizable problems he had observed among his own cold-hardy citrus varieties in central Louisiana.


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