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Messages - Tom

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Happy Easter
« on: April 01, 2018, 10:24:53 PM »
He is risen indeed !

Citrus General Discussion / Re: new greenhouse planning
« on: March 18, 2018, 05:15:33 PM »
Brian, Everything looks fantastic ! Thanks for the update. Your dirty foot made me think of Adam Sandler in Mr. Deeds. Sandler had a black foot that had zero feeling and he played a prank on his butler. Also the butler was ridiculously quick and when asked about it he always replied Ďdo not underestimate my sneaky ness Ď. There were other ongoing gags and I guess itís my favorite Sandler movie ! Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Picture request
« on: March 16, 2018, 10:38:45 AM »
Flying dragon is the most dwarfing rootstock that I know of for citrus. I wish I had more of it because some of my other grafted trees are growing too much. Iím 65 years old and and I get on ladders as seldom as possible.

I think Flying Dragon might have a limiting life expectancy. I read about that long ago on the old citrus forum. I think if correct the life expectancy would still be at least 20 + years or probably more. The benefits would out weigh the negatives to me.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Xie Shan Q
« on: March 10, 2018, 11:07:27 PM »
Mine is grafted to an Omari.  Seems to have a weeping growth habit.

Do you mean an Owari satsuma ? Your Owari is grafted to some other root stock Iíd think. The Xie Shan could certainly be grafted or budded to an Owari satsuma. Owari is the satsuma grown more than any other or so Iíve always heard.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: When to Pick Moro Blood Orange?
« on: March 02, 2018, 12:58:00 AM »
You briefly mentioned Cara Cara. I have a very small tree and I was very impressed with the flavor for such a small fruit on a small tree. It was much better than most navels. I bought some huge Cara Cara at Samís and they were excellent too. Iíve been disappointed by regular navels for many years. They seem more dried out then when I was a child. The Cara Cara is much better to me.


Mrtexas, I can jump in and say I remember Darkman was probably going to lose at least one of his favorite citrus trees to Ambrosa beetles. It was an older tree not a small nursery tree as I remember. He didnít know how he got it or why he got it but it was bad as best I remember. I was afraid it was terminal. Cold or not banking soil didnít kill all those trees. He is probably hotter than me in summer but he does get down in the low teens some winters. Iím sure he knows about banking the soil around the trunk. He had a lot going on and hadnít quite retired. He had lots of citrus and was working really hard on them and lots of other fruit too. I think he hard a heart attack or had a close call and then I lost all contact. Iím glad heís back !


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Xie Shan Satsuma Trees
« on: March 02, 2018, 12:29:21 AM »
Hi Darkman ! Great to hear from you ! Itís been a while. I hope you are feeling better. Yes my hoop is hanging in there but you know I want something bigger and better !!

Mr. Texas I agree Satsumas do fine as low as 18* F. IF the sats are in a dormant state. Here and probably where you are it can be 80 degrees at Christmas and we can get hurt with a surge of cold air in less than 2 weeks. Also late freezes can be a real problem.

18 is about as cold as we get but Iíve had 14 degrees a few times and I can remember single digits twice in my life. Iím almost 66 years old and single digits are very rare here. 14 is not a common occurance every year at all but it happens way too much !

Darkman, Millet asked me for your number a while ago, maybe about  when you had a bad spell of health. I think maybe you had changed numbers or something. You might have felt so bad you didnít want to be reached ! I remember Millet was trying to get in touch but I couldnít help. I havenít heard from you for a while !

On a little different note, Iím thrilled we are finally in March ! When we had cattle the old saying was February shakes em but March takes em. March can still have some brutal cold days !


Citrus General Discussion / Re: What is your favorite tasting mandarin?
« on: February 28, 2018, 10:25:33 PM »
Xie Shan was the best Iíve had in several taste tests in central Alabama. Also in central Alabama, several years ago I had some Brown Select Satsumas right off the tree and they were really unbelievable !!! I believe the same tree won best in show many years ago at a SE citrus expo. It was grown and entered by John Henderson. A year ago, maybe longer the same tree had very ordinary tasting fruit. Too much fertilizer or too little fertilizer or too much rain at one time.....who knows ! Iím sure it will have excellent fruit again !

All that to say what taste the best in central Alabama is not necessarily what would taste the same somewhere else. Cool nights and warm days are suppose to help the flavor and warm nights hurt the flavor in warmer locales.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Xie Shan Satsuma Trees
« on: February 28, 2018, 10:07:24 PM »
I have 3 good sized Satsumas in the ground. Iíve lost track of the varieties and exact age. They are too big to be grafted on flying dragon but they are old enough that below their grafts are huge like an elephant foot. I have to trim them every year to keep them in the hoop house. This year I covered them with frost cloth for only two very cold periods. Once for 2 weeks of very cold weather and then about 3 days for cold weather. They have never had a really huge crop. Iím sure all the pruning hurts but it canít be helped. My fruit it very puffy most of the time.

Some years are definitely better than others and they are about 10 years old , maybe more but not much more. I probably need to pick earlier in the fall too. I wish Iíd put Satsumas in the ground that were grafted to flying dragon. Same with my nongrafted Meyer.

The Meyer is huge, often needs trimming but Iíve had over 300 lemons several times. Never had 300 Satsumas counting all three trees in one year. Iíve often trimmed to keep the citrus in the frame for winter but Iím not ever going to climb a citrus tree to pick fruit !

Bottom line, I think flying dragon rootstock would have been much better for me. Smaller trees, smaller fruit and better tasting fruit resulting from the flying dragon root stock !

All my Xie Shans are still in pots and I donít know what their rootstock were when I bought them. Most of my Xie Shan plants came from Four Winds Nursery in California. At least 2 Xie Shans died on me in pots. Tough summers, not great potting soil, and  too much water sometimes probably killed them but they were both on flying dragon. Flying dragon might be harder to keep alive in pots. Especially if you are loving them too much, meaning I probably watered them too much and the potting soil didnít drain fast enough.

Iíve been looking for where my Xie Shan trees came from. I donít see any Xie Shan on the 4 Winds web site. I know Iíve bought Xie Shan whenever I could find them. Petals from the Past doesnít list Xie Shan but they do have them sometimes in their store.

Thatís my thinking right now . I hope that makes sense and helps somebody !


The best Satsuma I ever ate was from a tree about 20 years old. 2 or 3 years later the same tree had fruit that had very little taste. Very bland and ordinary. Sometimes there are unknown factors affecting taste. Same problem with watermelons, cantaloupe, wine and even beef steak ! Can be very frustrating ! Tom

I'm intrigued by this xie Shan. The ucr collection calls it a satsuma.

I have a satsuma that was bought and planted about 6 years ago. It was purchased at a home Depot type store. Any chance it's the same fruit as the xie Shan? Here is the tag.

Probably not a Xie Shan but itís possible. Owari is the most common Satsuma planting in the US. One spring I saw lots of plants for sale at Costco. They were all tagged ďTomatoĒ. Thatís all, just Tomato ! Frankly thatís covering a lot of ground but thatís all it said. Cheap price and I like Costco but that was a shock !

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Name That Orange
« on: February 13, 2018, 10:27:18 PM »
Excellent. Thank you ! Tom

Vlad, yes. Iím sure environmental factors affect the flavor but Iím not sure we know what will or did affect flavor until itís too late of even beyond our control. Fruits and vegetables and other food stuffs can vary greatly from year to year. Many variables to numerous to list but here is just a start. Too much or too little : sun, heat, water, cold, insect damage, fertilizer and so forth ! It is not easy. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: When to Pick Moro Blood Orange?
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:50:39 PM »
I had three Cara Cara navel on a small potted plant that I just picked. They had great taste and lots of color. Not blood red but very red for a navel in central Alabama !

Iíve had some that were very green and seemed more like most lemons. I had some very yellow that were insipid. Iíd guess like limes they are best right before they start to yellow.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Green house / hoop house
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:43:27 PM »
The best way to prevent greening would be buy guaranteed disease free plants and put them in a screened enclosure that would keep all insects out. Thatís the only way I know of if you are in an area thatís susceptible to greening. The insect is very small. There are varieties unknown to me that are thought to be resistant to greening at this time. Good luck ! Tom

I had a few leaves turn brown but for the most part everything came through better than I hoped. I had 4 inground citrus covered with frost cloth and used 4 strings of c9 old fashioned incandescent Christmas tree lights up and down the row. I did not go around each tree individually. I checked on the lights several times during the extended cold spell. One day I realized at least one string of lights had blown a tiny fuse in the plug of the string. I was so upset I really donít remember if it affected 1 or 2 strings. The wind had caused the wire to twist at the plug and the tiny fuse popped. I got that fixed pretty easy and was replacing some burned out bulbs when I popped another fuse !

All that to set up my remarks for Isaac-1, how do you use the 250 watt bulbs ? I think each string of c9 bulbs is 175 watts and I like how the heat is spread around instead of being more isolated on one spot. Could some of your leaves been damaged by too much heat during the day ? Thatís assuming you left everything on during the day. I left everything on because it stayed mighty cold most days too !

I am so ready for this winter to be over. It has been tough and itís just now February. I was just reading that Valentineís Day is a great time to start fertilizer. They said even though still too cold the fertilizer will not work immediately in cold temps but it will be available when temps warm up. I get it but that scares
me !

Iím seriously considering the possibility of doing an imadacloripide , Merit or similar, drench about then to try killing citrus leaf miners and any other leaf eating or sucking insects.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: My plants in Perth western Australia
« on: February 02, 2018, 09:52:09 AM »
How often do you spray neem oil for citrus leaf miner and how do you keep from damaging your citrus in very hot temps ? Are you growing some citrus in pots in the ground ? If yes how is that going and how large are the buried pots ? Thanks. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: C35 rootstock tree size
« on: February 02, 2018, 09:45:09 AM »
I have called Four Winds and they have been very helpful. They are an older company and they try very hard to please the customer. The company history on their website is very interesting. They told me they use what they think is the best rootstock to allow the tree to live. Yes the rootstock is usually Cuban Shaddock.

Flying Dragon is a great rootstock and very dwarfing.

I have a huge Meyer that was grown from a cutting. It is huge and I wouldnít recommend a cutting propagated Meyer. It is too big for me and the thorns are nasty. It does make a huge amount of fruit ! Iíve since discovered that a majority of , not all , Meyers are grown from cuttings because itís cheaper and faster.

Since I took the Meyer out of the pot it has exploded in growth. Maybe somebody else can tell us what an ungrafted Meyer would do if you kept it in a large pot. You might be able to leave the pot in the ground.


Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: February 01, 2018, 12:09:14 PM »
The general explanation has been that the jet stream has been moving around in unusual patterns this year. Hard to believe but a dip in the artic jet stream caused central AL to be colder than parts of Canada at the same time. Yes it has been rough and the flu seems worse too. Tom

The lemon graft will still be a lemon, the orange will still be a orange and the kumquat will still be a kumquat. You would have started what Millet wrote about above when he mentioned his friend had 100 different citrus fruit on one tree. They are often called a fruit cocktail tree. As also mentioned above many people would rather keep their varieties separate as in keep the tangerine tree as is. Buy an orange tree if you want an orange and buy a kumquat tree if you want kumquats.

I also favor this way and think itís best. A multi fruit tree is a great conversation starter but I think the individual fruit trees grow more fruit and are easier to care for. In your example the kumquat would probably be a lot later blooming, setting fruit and ripen later. Different limbs on a fruit cocktail tree would often have different needs at different times.

The first blooms would be the first fruit. Then when another limb of another fruit starts blooming you might need to treat the limb with fruit different than the blooming limb and so forth all year long.

I donít like to spray poison on fruit ,or food, that I know I will be eating. I spray a horticulural oil several times a year to kill insects but spraying oil on blooms is a no no. Spraying oils on small fruit can also be a problem.

When using any chemicals always read the directions and warnings carefully. If you use horticultural oil when itís too hot you can hurt your leaves and the tree badly. You can usually spray at night and if you get too scared like me you can wash it off at daybreak ! No harm done and very possible usually on a small scale.

I hope this makes sense but if you want to practice grafting or budding and would enjoy a fruit cocktail tree by all means go for it. Itís your tree for you to enjoy !


Citrus General Discussion / Re: If You Live In California
« on: January 12, 2018, 11:25:23 AM »
I think I saw Vintage Sweets at Costco in Montgomery the other day. If not the same it was very similar branding because Iíd never noticed it before.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Georgia Freeze
« on: January 12, 2018, 10:15:20 AM »
South Georgia and Central Alabama had a blast a week ago and another blast is already on its way again. Predicted lows are not quite as low as last week and again temps will rise above freezing each day. With young trees like those pictured ice can be very destructive by breaking lots of limbs. You gotta do what you gotta do.

I really like the idea of wrapping a little more than 36Ē of small tubing wrapped around the tree trunk carrying water to a micro mister on the top of each tree. The water temp in the tube keeps the trunk from freezing and the micro mister helps the same way as always used. The added benefit it the long tube wrapped around the tree supplying water to the mister instead of the tube just going straight to the mister. The idea is the tube carries water from the ground thatís warmer than freezing and it is discharged quickly enough to prevent freezing in the tubing while insulating the trunk too.

I saw this in south Alabama and it has worked great for the guy that figured out the longer tubing. I think he used 44Ē and it really helped. These really unusual freezing events make growing citrus very difficult but there are innovations that can help. After Satsumas get older and larger they are more cold hardy than most edible citrus.

If it was easy everybody would be doing it.


Most of the video seemed to be shot from a drone to me ! I saw lots of small replants all through the grove.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 28, 2017, 10:10:01 PM »
I think the old forum was  it is long gone but there are efforts being made to resurrect it or at least try to make the archives accessible. It was owned and operated by Laaz and he had several administrative assistants [including Millet who started this site] but he called them something else. Seems that nobodyís heard from Laaz lately.

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