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Messages - Citradia

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SoCal2Warm, sorry for my long previous comments/ explanation. I looked up 47 degrees latitude and that is near Pacific Northwest which is where I think youíre sometimes referencing for citrus trials. It also includes parts of Europe where some of our forum members successfully grow citrus fruits outside. From what Iíve learned, the Pacific Northwest stays cool year round which is not where citrus would thrive naturally in the wild. Citrus like warm weather. If citrus in Oregon survive winter unprotected, they have received enough chill hours to bloom the next spring provided they receive enough heat to grow. Camellias also like to grow and bloom in the south eastern USA and bloom in fall, winter, and spring depending on variety. I can tell you that camellias are more cold hardy than citrus by a whole lot; they grow outside at my house (zone 6b) unprotected and will bloom in fall or spring unless deer or rats eat the plants.

SoCal2warm, I think I can shed some light on Milletís point about citrus forming flower buds over winter: we learned at one of the south east citrus expos that citrus need some chill hours in winter to bloom in spring, similar to peaches or apples; however, unlike peaches or apples that may need 200 to 400+ chill hours below 45 degrees, a citrus tree only needs a few hours below 45 degrees to bloom. That made me think of the climate of south central FL where I grew up, which is where citrus thrive without care, before greening came around that is. Citrus might be able to survive and grow at a high latitude with winter protection, but that doesnít mean that citrus is happy or will be fruitful at high latitudes. For those of us in cold winter climates, If we can create a climate for the citrus that resembles their native or natural environment, they will perform better than if we subject them to prolonged cold temperatures. If youíre at such a high latitude that citrus outside stops all growth or goes so dormant that it has no hope of blooming in the spring, itís probably going to die anyway like it would in Siberia. For example: a satsuma planted outside without protection where I live in western NC might as well be planted outside in Siberia without protection; the tree wonít make flower buds for spring because itís gonna freeze to death.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: January 12, 2019, 07:38:52 AM »
911311, in my opinion, cold hardy citrus do go dormant or asleep over winter and where I live, they drop their leaves every winter if not protected from freezing temps all winter. However, they are quicker to wake up and start putting out spring growth before the apples and peaches when we start having highs in the 60ís F for a few weeks in February and March. If the apples or plums or apricots are blooming in March and then we get a freeze in the teens, which happens almost every year here, the bloom of plum and apricot are destroyed but the apples and crabapple bloom survive and peach blossom survive if only gets into low twenties; however, if the citranges start putting out growth/ break dormancy, during a hard spring freeze, they die down from 10 feet tall to two feet tall or die to the roots or die completely. Citrus do not like freezing temps. Deciduous fruit trees like apples need cold temps in winter to live and thrive as part of their nature. Just because literature says citranges are hardy to 5 degrees doesnít mean your rusk citrange will grow to 20 feet high and be strong and healthy and fruitful in a climate zone that sees 5 degrees every winter. At 5 degrees over night and below freezing for days, the citranges die to ground even though ďdormant ďbut may ďsurvive ď by coming back from the roots sometime in May or June.


Iíve been experimenting. Those are satsumas on flying dragon under plastic with heaters inside.

911311, your seedlings saw barely below freezing temps for a few hours each night so yes they were lucky to survive. Iím guessing the pots were on the ground getting some heat from ground that has not frozen yet. Sometimes wind at night helps prevent frost from settling on plants and sometimes high freezing winds will damage citrus more than if protected from wind. If youíre potted seedlings are allowed to be outside for many hours in sub freezing temps especially if the soil and roots in pot freeze, they will die. Weíve been relatively mild winter this season so far here other than a heavy snow storm in mid December, and have not seen freezing temps here for three weeks now. However, itís supposed to get into the low twenties mid week, so I plan on bringing my potted hardy citrus indoors. Iíve lost a lot of young ďhardyĒ varieties to freezing temps over the years. Your seedlings will not get tall enough to bloom in 5-10 years if they keep loosing height to freeze damage every winter. Real lemons are among the least cold hardy citrus. In Atlanta itís too cold to grow lemons outside without protection. If you want fruit off a tree growing in the ground in Atlanta, Iíd suggest getting a grafted satsuma, Meyer lemon, Ichang lemon, Changsha mandarin, sour orange, grafted on flying dragon rootstock so you can keep them dwarfed enough to cover them and heat them with space heaters when temps get below freezing. Citrus fruits during late fall and winter (November/December) and north GA can freeze in those months meaning your fruit still ripening in trees will be damaged if prolonged freeze, so need to be covered anyway. Folks in south GA and the coastal southeast can get away with protection via microsprinklers or just planting a tree on south side of house, but in our more continental climate, the fruit takes longer to ripen, shorter growing season, and prolonged freezing temps sometimes below freezing for days, we must fully cover citrus to have success with fruit production. There are no commercial citrus groves in Atlanta for a reason; too cold. You might get fruit off of citrumelo or ichangensis or maybe Thomasville or other citranges in Atlanta without more than protection from northern winds, if you harvest in November.

911311, I was born and raised in Manatee county, FL, surrounded by citrus that grew like weeds without a bit of care. I moved to NC to grow something different like apples, peaches, pears, apricot, cherries, plums, crabapple, Rowan, raspberries, blueberries, paw paw, nearly all of which I was told growing up I couldnít grow in FL because ďit doesnít get cold enough.Ē  I figured Iíd have to give up citrus when I moved to the mountains. Then I discovered a poncirus trifoliata at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, and then found McKenzie Farms, SC online, and the rest is cold-hardy citrus history.

Thanks, Millet. I am after all a ďcitruholicĒ! Iíve made some excellent satsuma marmalade this winter for the first time!  Iíve found those two satsuma trees I have and protect to the gills produce so much fruit every year, I really donít need more trees than that, but Itís hard for me to let the other unproductive ďfrom-seedĒ trees freeze to death. I feel sorry for them.

A full-blooded kumquat is going to die deader than a door nail at 0 degrees F if not protected from the zero degrees F. My Thomasville citrangequat dies down to the ground at 7 degrees F. Of course it depends on how long your tree is exposed to temps below 32 degrees F. If itís below freezing for days at a time, you will see severe die back of your trees possibly loosing the entire tree. Even with wind breaks and wrapping the tree in cloth and burying it 6 feet deep in leaves, Iíve lost citranges 8 feet high to zero degrees during ďthe polar vortexes ď we had several years ago. Iíve seen 10 ft tall citranges cut in half or to the ground after a warm February followed by a 14 degree night in March after the trees started to put out just a centimeter of new growth, and these were trees protected in a high tunnel with water barrels next to each tree. Unprotected kumquat in zone 7 in the southeast USA gonna die.

The only citrus that goes dormant in winter is poncirus from what Iíve learned on the forum. Kumquat and their hybrids will go somewhat dormant and are the last to wake up in spring once they have prolonged period of warm weather, which makes them less susceptible to spring freeze damage to new growth. Other than poncirus, all other citrus including poncirus hybrids are very susceptible to prolonged freezing temps that we see in zones 7 and above. Even though my unprotected 15 feet tall dunstan citrumelo with a 6 inch diameter trunk was ďdormant ď with most of the leaves off of it, the trunk still split, actually exploded outward, when I had a low of 7 degrees F and it didnít get above freezing for an entire week last January. My poncirus actually wake up and try to bloom before my hybrids and usually loose their flower buds to freezing weather in spring; however, spring freezes donít cause die back of branches or split trunks on poncirus like they do on poncirus hybrids.

My Thomasville is one of my oldest citrus trees, planted 6 or seven years ago. It has reached 10 feet tall once and Iíve tried different methods of passive protection to help it and other poncirus hybrids survive winters. It has lost wood and height by half and twice has died down to the ground but has come back from the roots. Although it it currently two feet tall, alongside a citradia, it has outlasted every other ďhardy ď citrus Iíve tried to grow outside here without enclosing it in a plastic tent with a space heater. Iíve replaced Swingle, Dunstan, citradia, rusk, mortan, nansho dai dai, many Ichang lemons, Changsha, twice and all have died completely, but this one Thomasville keeps coming back. Last winter I finally took down the high tunnel I had built over my line of citranges/hybrids and just let the few I had left succumbe to winter; all died but the Thomasville and my last citradia came back from the roots. Iím now foolishly protecting them like I do my fruiting grafted satsumas with small space heaters on thermo cubes under plastic domes when freezing temps arrive. I know now they will never get tall enough to bloom unless I build a 15-20 ft tall frame around them, but I respect their resilience and want to preserve the citradia since I canít obtain another specimen from anywhere. Woodlanders no longer carries them.

They will be hardy or hardier if roots in ground but not as hardy in a pot. Maybe better chance in pot in north GA depending on elevation, than where I am in western NC. My main point was that citrangequat or a poncirus hybrid yearling will not be hardy in a pot in zone 7 over winter outside.

Almost all citrus as well as other fruit tree species will be very thorny as seedlings as a means of protection from wildlife. When the tree reaches maturity in 5 to 10 years, it will produce fewer or no thorns and leaf size and shape can change and then that mature growth higher in tree can also produce flowers. Also, if you leave oneóyear old seedling poncirus hybrids outside through the winter in pots in north GA, they will probably all freeze to death. It would be best to keep potted seedlings indoors or protected from freezing for a few years before trying them outdoors planted in ground in spring after last frost. Poncirus hybrids are not hardy like a crabapple or plum seedling; they are very susceptible to freezing temps and will die. Iíve lost flying dragon seedlings left out in pots over winter.

My thomasville and citradia and dunstan survived last winter unprotected but mortan, rusk, nansho dai dai, Ichang lemon all died unprotected.

Sorry, canít find pic of Anniston citrangequat. It got deleted fro my photos. But, anyway, the one in Anniston looked like it had been through the war; tall and not well branched, scraggly with a few fruit on it, alive but not impressive ornamentally. If someone in Atlanta wants a citrus nicer than trifoliata, maybe try Dunstan or Swingle citrumelo. I saw some at the arboretum in Raleigh, NC this fall, and they were beautiful with lovely fruit. I do have pics of them:


These are pics of Thomasville citrangequat in Savanna, GA. Very healthy and tall tree. Iíll try to find a picI took of one in Anniston, AL which is due west of Atlanta, GA.

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Wanted: citradia seeds.
« on: December 30, 2018, 06:45:56 PM »
Yes, cross of trifoliate and aurantium. Not easy to get hybrids from seed/ breeding though.

There was and probably still is a lot of fruit on those trees at the arboretum.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 14, 2018, 07:10:18 PM »
What variety is it? Usually my Kimbrough is like that, bigger than owari and not as sweet , but this year my owari is bigger and sweeter and ripened quicker than kimbrough. My kimbrough also gets more shade than my owari. Different factors, different weather in different years, different varieties, etc.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Carport Cover
« on: December 14, 2018, 07:03:57 PM »
Sounds good. I have Harbor Freight store near me but never been there; Ill check it out.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 13, 2018, 08:19:52 PM »
As you know, satsumas are ripe and ready to harvest when still a little green. I think your fruit looks normal. I have been harvesting mine with some green areas still in peel/skin and itís good. HLB infected fruit mature from the calyx button down instead of from bottom up; if HLB, the top half of fruit will be yellow/orange with the bottom part of fruit is green.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 13, 2018, 08:10:03 PM »
With greening disease the fruit will develop lopsided smaller on one side of the fruit like one half of the piece of fruit didnít mature well. The leaf with greening will have irregular yellow patterns with one side of leaf having different pattern of yellowing than the other side of the midline vein of leaf. Green spots on satsuma fruit doesnít mean HLB; deformed fruit might. Look online for photos of greening leaves and fruit.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Carport Cover
« on: December 13, 2018, 07:47:19 PM »
Thatís great. I wonder how it would hold up under 20 inches of snow. My metal frame foldable canapy that I used to cover my portable generator this weekend collapsed under weight of snow.

Thanks guys. So far so good.

I had to pull snow off of roof to prevent collapse. Some other pics:

Cold Hardy Citrus / Citrus cold frames held up under 20 inch snow storm.
« on: December 10, 2018, 08:43:17 PM »
The space heaters inside helped melt heavy snow off tops of covers. My boxier frame with flatter roof held snow but I think the thermo cube for that heater malfunctioned so I went to Tractor Supply today after the roads were cleared and got another one; supposed to get down to 24 degrees tonight.

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