Kumquat branches die back

Hi everyone. I have an issue with this Kumquat that has been growing strong last year and the year before with lots of fruits. Starting a couple months ago, tertiary and secondary branches were turn brown and eventually cause die of one main branch. Then a couple primary branches started dying back as well. I cut off the branches, removed all wires and put it in an area with morning sun mainly. However, more branches are dying back. Tree is mainly in bonsai soil. Original dirt from digging up the tree has not all been removed. What is the cause here? Fungal or root issues? Should I report this and bag it? Any advices will be truly appreciated.

No ideas come to mind. Is it just the lower branches or is it all around the tree? It’s common for the lower branches to die off on citrus.

Top and bottom . It’s on one side of the tree but started to affect the other side too.

Thanks. The first thing that came to mind is physical damage - that looks like a lot of wire for brittle branches. The dieback you described, however, doesn’t sound like physical damage, more like the tree isn’t happy about something and it’s shedding branches.

Some form of root unhappiness is the next thing that comes to mind. Knowing how well citrus usually do in a variety of soils, I’d wonder if a portion of the rootball dried out and didn’t get wet again after subsequent waterings.

I don’t know of a pathogen that fits this description, but it might help if we could see the rest of the tree or at least the foliage as that might provide a clue.

The leaves don’t have any signs of damage or fungal infection. It falls off first then the branches start to die back. My suspicion is likely a root issue. Maybe not rot by could be like you said, roots drying out. I have been watering it thoroughly. One other note is that there have not been any new growth this season at all. I have wired this tree before without any issues so I don’t think it’s a wire issue but have removed the wires to relief the stress. I have decided to bag the tree for now.

Thanks for the pics. Based on how little foliage there is, it looks like the tree is really weak. Citrus don’t always do well with large wounds as this can lead to dieback along the trunk and in the roots. In general I don’t like working on citrus that aren’t really healthy, both in the roots and in the foliage. Once a tree is stressed, too much or too little water can can add to the problem, as can additional pruning or wiring.

Sometimes dieback can happen over time, so it could be that the current symptoms are after effects from the large cuts made in the past. For now, watch the watering carefully - the tree won’t need much without foliage - and let us know if the bag helps.

Thank you for the advice. The cuts were made of branches that were dead or dying. Was afraid if it was a fungus that it can affect the trunk. Thanks again.