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Messages - Isaac-1

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Citrus General Discussion / Citrus picking, shears, etc?
« on: December 28, 2018, 05:31:35 PM »
Well it is that time of year, harvesting citrus here in Louisiana (Mostly Satsumas).  This year I have been using a set of anvil style pruning shears like these to snip the fruit from the tree.  Overall I find they are handy, and do an ok job when blindly reaching to cut the stems through the leaves on the Satsuma Trees.  I have one unknown variety of mature Satsuma tree that tends to grow the fruit in bunches father in from the edge of the tree than my other varieties, on this tree these clippers don't work as well as there is less room to reach in between the cluster of fruit to snip the individual stems, so I often end up clipping the whole bunch of 5 or 6 fruit then separating out the individuals from there.   In a good year I may have 2,500 - 3,000 Satsumas to harvest over a 3-8 week time period, so having the right tool for the job helps, probably more as the years go by and my younger lightly producing trees get into their prime, 10 citrus  trees total, though 7 of these are still immature and have been planted over the last 3-4 years and have yielded less than 50 fruit total to date) .

What type do you use, and what do you like / dislike about them?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What citrus would you plant?
« on: December 19, 2018, 06:35:55 PM »
It looks like the area around Perth is the equivalent to US growing zones 9b or 10a, I would therefore assume that varieties like Satsumas that require some cool weather to fully sweeten and do best in 9a or even 8b in the US are probably not a good choice.  I also assume that there is relatively low risk of freezing weather there, so you would not be limited to early season fruiting varieties.

Given the above to be accurate, I would likely pick varieties that allowed for prolonged harvest season, for lemon I would probably pick Meyers due to their ability to continuously produce fruit throughout the year, as well as their ability to hold it on the tree for prolonged periods.  For eating oranges, hands down my favorite is Cara Cara, so it must be on the list, for juicing I would probably go with Valencia, on limes I am partial to Key Lime, but this really depends on how you are using them,...

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 15, 2018, 10:10:58 PM »
I believe this one is Brown Select, I also have 2 mature Owari's as well as young Armstrong Early, Louisiana Early, St Ann's, and a Miho.  The one in the photos matures about a week before my Owari, and has much looser skin.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 13, 2018, 09:36:10 PM »
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I have looked at the information out there online and in many case evidence of greening does not seem to be clearly defined in the online guides, and there is great variation in the example photos that show greening on fruit.

In my reading on HLB I had missed the tendency of them to turn orange on the top half first, some of my fruit on this one tree are bit green blotchy but tend to favor green on the top half.  My concern was primarily based on this only occurring on the one tree, and not any of my other Satsumas, though each one is a different variety, this one has thicker more pebbly skin and often more pear shaped fruit, it is also usually the least flavorful of my trees, though the one with the largest fruit.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 13, 2018, 05:35:21 PM »
Here is representative photo of some harvested fruit

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 13, 2018, 05:33:02 PM »
Does this look like signs of citrus greening on Satsumas?    The majority of the  fruit on this tree this year has these small green specks, even after several cooler nights with temperatures around or just below freezing the last 2-3 weeks.      There are also the occasional smaller all green somewhat deformed fruit though this accounts for only a small fraction of the  fruit on the tree, maybe 1%

This is a very biased and one sided article

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Louisiana Citrus - Video
« on: November 16, 2018, 02:26:50 AM »
Thanks for posting, I am also in Louisiana,  but on the other side of the state, and my Satsumas are also much smaller than normal this year.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: September 30, 2018, 09:49:13 PM »
I have read that optimal citrus growth occurs at around 86F

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Orange Turns Purple
« on: September 30, 2018, 09:45:37 PM »
So we have questions, but no answers

Citrus General Discussion / ACP/HLB quarintine imports?
« on: September 23, 2018, 05:54:24 PM »
I am writing to ask if anyone knows what is going on with importing citrus between ACP/HLB quarantine states?

I ask because what I am observing in Louisiana does not match with the limited details I can find posted online.  Louisiana is an ACP/HLB quarantine state, though both have only been detected in the eastern part of the state mostly east of or on the Mississippi river.  Louisiana has only 2 major citrus nurseries, both located in the active quarantine zone, so citrus selection of varieties is limited, particularly since the offerings from these two are nearly identical, with only a little variation in available root stock (one offers flying dragon on limited basis, one does not).

It appears that Louisiana is now allowing importing of citrus, from outside the state, specifically many garden centers in western Louisiana are now stocking trees marked as grown by Saxon Becnels nursery in Orange Texas (Orange is on the state line just across the Sabine river into Texas for those that don't know).  From the little I have been able to find this policy change may be related to the growing nursery being certified to a certain level by the USDA, using isolated greenhouses, positive pressure ventilation, etc.  Something that Saxon Becnel mentioned being the first nursery in Texas to be compliant about in a press release a couple of years ago.  It should be noted that Saxon Becnel also is one of the two nursery operations in the state with its nursery outside of New Orleans in Belle Chase.

Is anyone aware of such things going on with other quarantine states, and may this be a sign of things changing allowing for more open trade of citrus grown under certified controlled conditions between states?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Big Jump Forward In Greening Cure?
« on: September 20, 2018, 12:18:24 AM »
While we are talking about HLB, has anyone else read this one

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Nitrogen deficiency?
« on: September 18, 2018, 02:46:34 AM »
Do you know your soil pH, it may be an uptake issue

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Rooting Root Stock?
« on: September 12, 2018, 03:54:25 PM »
TooFarNorth, I agree you probably have low humidity there, at least compared to here in south Louisiana, though compared to Kansas your humidity probably seems like a tropical rainforest.

My goal here is to grow root stock (potentially to get seeds to grow) to potentially propagate more citrus trees for my own use given that I live in an HLB/ACP quarantine zone, though I live 150 miles from the nearest documented cases.      With luck it may never get here given the relatively sparse planting of citrus here on the h8b/9a line, mostly backyard citrus, though there are a few small commercial / u-pick operations 25-30 miles south of here.

Citrus General Discussion / Rooting Root Stock?
« on: September 07, 2018, 05:46:09 PM »
I have as hoot of trifoliate root stock (Carrizo?)  shooting up on one of my citrus trees, and I was wondering if anyone has had any luck taking root cuttings from such a shoot?  It was about a foot long when I looked at it a few days  ago, may be more now.

thanks Ike

Citrus General Discussion / Try to save or throw in the towel?
« on: July 05, 2018, 06:15:04 PM »
One of my 3 mature in ground Satsuma trees is not doing so well (I also have  6 more younger 1-3 year  in ground citrus trees, mostly  Satsuma varieties) on th3e 8b/9a line in Louisiana.  This particular tree was planted about 20 years ago and is located about 200  feet from the nearest other citrus, in a more exposed wetter part of the yard.      It has never done as well as its contemporary aged Satsumas, reaching only about 8 ft in height and maybe 10 ft in width. This tree was hit hard with freeze damage 3 years ago and lost the northern third of the tree as well as some limb damage all around, then was hit again with freeze damage this last January even though it was covered and had a heat lamp during our 40 year low with 13F  two nights in a row, this time with only minimal additional dieback but it did loose about 80% of its leaves. In general this tree is looking scraggly, it has leaves and fruit on it, but the foliage is not as dense as it should be, with only about 70% of the leaf density of my other large Satsumas, and maybe 1/3 of the fruit set.

Which brings us to the big question, what should I do, leave it as is, cut it down, prune it back considerably, etc?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Pruning in ground citrus?
« on: June 19, 2018, 02:44:32 PM »
Thanks, I will keep that in mind when I do trim these trees back, though even in an off year these trees produce far more fruit than I can use, or give away.  My main concern is to prune them back at a time that will do the least harm.     I don't want to do anything that will increase the chances of damage from freezes, etc.

p.s. matt, I just finished skimming over that link, and their does seem to be some good information there, though given the source a lot of it seems to relate to the California growing environment with much more concern about sun damage than cold damage to trees.

Citrus General Discussion / Pruning in ground citrus?
« on: June 18, 2018, 10:57:54 PM »
Within the next year I will need to trim / prune a couple of my larger in ground citrus (Satsuma) trees, I live on the 8b/9a line in western Louisiana and have to cover them to protect from occasional hard freezes every couple of years.  We had a 14F freeze 2 nights in a row last January at which point I realized just how much my largest citrus trees had grown since the last time I had to cover them 2-3 years ago.  The largest one is now about 16-18 ft tall, and about 20 feet wide at its widest, making it difficult to cover.  I would like to prune it back to about  12 ft tall and about 15 feet wide as it is now growing into neighboring non-citrus trees.

My question is how and when should I do this, should I wait until after this years fruit are harvested, or winter, spring,  do it in one step or in stages, etc.?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: what deficiency please?
« on: May 31, 2018, 05:34:48 PM »
As a person that is also dealing with magnesium deficient soil it is important to keep in mind that the correct Ca, Mg, K ratios as they effect the plants  Magnesium absorption see for an introduction into the concept.     To put it another  way simply adding Mg to soil that is also deficient in Ca and K will not solve the Mg deficiency shown in the leaves as the Mg will not be properly absorbed by the plant.

Also see

Citrus General Discussion / When and how much to irrigate?
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:27:00 AM »
It looks like we may be facing a dry summer here, with no significant rain in the last month.  I have 6 relatively young citrus trees that have been in the ground for less than 3 years (1 planted only a couple of months ago), along with 3 mature Satsuma trees.  Given the little rain we have received lately, and the lack of any significant rain in the forecast, I am starting to think about the need to water the backyard citrus, so wanted your advice on the subject, as everything I have read talks about optimal commercial production.

So far I have been using the grass as an indicator that watering is not yet necessary for the citrus, as it is still green, though in the last couple of days it is starting to show signs of drying out.  Though out of caution I have watered the 1 first year tree a bit.

The last year or so I was using Epsoma Citrus Tone to fertilize all my in ground citrus, feeding generally Feb - Aug every 6 weeks or so.  This spring I switched to a locally blended commercial fruit tree mix 18-9-11, which is much cheaper than the Epsoma Citrus Tone.  Also last year I did scatter some Azomite around all my fruit trees for the micro nutrients, and last year I added Epsom Salts around all my citrus, as my soil generally is extremely deficient in Magnesium, again same amount around the other younger citrus.  Soil testing this spring from the citrus area, still shows levels of Magnesium on the low side.   I have my citrus trees planted on a 25-30 foot spacing, arcing outward from my older mature citrus / fig tree, so root competition should not be a factor, also I have 3 other citrus trees planted about the same time on this arc (the one with the issue is 2nd from the end of the arc).

Someone must have some thoughts

Can you clarify what is Vegan Fertilizer? For an Organic option Epsoma Citrus Tone 5-2-6 is fairly good at least for in ground use, though like most Organics it is relatively weak so requires about 3 times more fertilizer per tree than commercial fertilizer.  It is made primarily from processed Chicken Litter (chicken manure, feather mill, etc.).  For a pure Vegan fertilizer mix with no direct animal products in it, you might consider Down to Earth brand Vegan mix with a 3-2-2 NPK ratio as a start.  Though at 3-2-2 you will need about twice as many pounds of fertilizer per tree as Citrus Tone, or about 6 times as much as the commercial bend I use. 

From an economic cost of fertilizer difference, using online Amazon prices for Citrus Tone and Down to Earth Vegan fertilizer adjusted for effective strength per pound vs 1 pound of the commercial mix I use.

I get 69 units of Nitrogen per dollar in the 18-9-11 commercial fruit and nut tree mix I buy locally ($12.90 for 50#)

For Epsoma Citrus Tone 5-2-6 using the most economic $34  per 18 pound bag from Amazon, I get 2.64 units of Nitrogen per dollar

And using Down to Earth Vegan 3-2-2 from Amazon at $12.99 per 6 pound bag we get a cost of 1.39 units of Nitrogen per Dollar.

Or in other words using Down To Earth Vegan mix will cost roughly 50 times more than what I pay for a commercial fertilizer and twice as much as an organic Citrus mix.

Now sure both the Organic and the Vegan mix probably has a better assortment of micro nutrients than my commercial blend, but one can afford a lot of miro supplements for the cost difference and in the end we are looking at many of the same Elemental minerals from different points in the organic decay chain.

With a citrus tree (or any fruit tree) you get what you sew.

I agree, however in the case of the typical home grower one may reach the point of diminishing returns rather easily.

Citrus General Discussion / Please help read yellowing citrus leaves
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:39:23 PM »
The attached photo is of leaves collected from one of my in ground young Satsuma trees in Louisiana.      The yellow leaf issue started about 6-8 months ago, and may be getting worse.  The vast majority of the leaves are still like the green one shown in the photo, however there are some solid yellow leaves, and  several of the blotchy ones.      The yellow leaves easily detach from the tree.   I have CLM on all of my 9 in ground citrus trees, though it tends to be worse later in the year, I also just discovered Cottony Scale on another of my young Satsumas which is planted about 50 feet away from the one where I collected these leaves.  The other trees appear healthy other than some CLM  damaged leaves.

thanks for your help

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