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Messages - Tom

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Do I remember correctly that pecan is one of the few things that do not do well in air pruning type containers ? Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Marathon Mandarin
« on: June 28, 2020, 05:23:33 PM »
Sounds very good ! Thanks for the information. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Dead Wood In The Tree Canopy
« on: September 25, 2019, 05:18:35 PM »
Great Ďhow to ideaí to destroy diseased wood. The bird bath In your grove must be huge ! The whole state of Alabama is under a no burn order and they just increased the danger level. We have been without rain for a long time this summer. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« on: September 25, 2019, 05:07:49 PM »
greenday, how does your Meyer look now? I agree about Meyer grown from cuttings, they seem to be most common and itís because the cuttings have fruit much quicker. The cutting can grow to be huge in ground but a pot can help keep it small. Keeping it small can be a problem by getting root bound pretty quickly. Iíve gone way down the road discussing Meyer lemon grown from cuttings ! My in ground Meyer from a cutting has been very fruitful for several years. Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Remember GreggN from the old forum?
« on: June 08, 2019, 05:34:33 PM »
The article mentions "a special breathable tarp" that he uses for winter protection. Does anyone know what it is?

That must be ĎFrost Cloth Ď. It can be purchased in different sizes and weighs. A few home and garden stores around here usually carry it. You can buy small bags made of frost cloth that will fit over a small pot. Sometimes they have a draw string at the bottom. It can come in rolls 35í wide and maybe 100 feet long. Itís not cheap but with a little care can last several years.

Itís lets limited amounts of light and water and air pass through. With the old fashioned Christmas lights or incandescent light bulbs it retains a lot of heat. A plastic covered greenhouse gets much hotter during day light hours but would very hot during the day without adequate ventilation or a cooling system.

The frost cloth works much better than plastic for some situations.

I hope this helps.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: A lot of you probably remember...
« on: May 16, 2019, 03:52:11 PM »
Beautiful pictures !

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Meyer lemon, why?
« on: May 10, 2019, 09:38:19 PM »
Rubino Clementino comes true or very close to true from seed.

The best use I have found for the heavy bearing meyer is you have plenty of ammo to throw at your neighbors...

Great idea ! Or let the neighbors pick their own. The thorns slice me badly and they hurt !


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Meyer lemon, why?
« on: May 09, 2019, 10:31:23 PM »
I havenít found any blooms that smell better or more numerous than a Meyer. Nothing I have has produced as much fruit as the Meyer I have. I think Meyer is easier and quicker to propagate by rooting their cuttings. Itís the number one home grown citrus for some reason !

No way to compare a Meyer lemon with kishu, Xie Shan or a really good Brown Select. A Rubino Clementino that Iíve got was grown from seed. Bought it from a member here before I knew the seed arenít true to their parent. Maybe it belongs in Laazís big compost pile. Iím watching it a little longer to see if itís worth a hoot. Worse buy ? Probably. Buyer beware.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Strange Red Clementine Seedling
« on: April 02, 2019, 09:43:40 AM »
I bought three very small seedlings from Laaz late 2013 that he said were red clementine seeds he had sprouted. I gave two away and one of those died. Both remaining bushes decided to bloom a little for the first time this year. The one I kept is in a large concrete planter, or pot, and the tree is 6 feet tall and very thorny.

My specimen is very dense and vertical. Itís still blooming a little bit but the earlier blooms donít seem to have stuck. They were all very small blooms.

I can attest that seeds are not my favorite way to propagate, thatís way too slow for a soon to be 67 year old ! Iím also afraid that clementine seed are not true to the fruit they came from. Hopefully the fruit will be interesting if I ever have any.

I hope to get my red clementine out of its pot and into the ground this summer. Maybe it will have lots more blooms next year. I might have some fruit but I canít see any possibilities from the blooms this year.  The  fruit can be very hard to spot when they are the same color green as the leaves and stem.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Foliar spray
« on: September 23, 2018, 07:15:34 PM »
I think youíd be making a huge mistake to fertilize this late in Canada or anywhere youíd have frost in the northern hemisphere this late in the year.

Can you please put all your citrus knowledge in a book?  That way, I can carry it out to my greenhouse, and not have to drag my iPad out there and search for the correct topic on the Forum.
I have a good digital SLR camera - I would volunteer to shoot the pictures for the book, in exchange for a first edition copy... :) :) :)


Daintree, I couldnít agree with you more ! Great idea ! Several of us think Millet is a national treasure !!!

Excellent work Lory, sounds very promising. Green house growers in high risk situations should be especially encouraged. Thank you for all the time spent and for keeping us in the loop ! Tom

Citrus General Discussion / Re: When and how much to irrigate?
« on: May 21, 2018, 11:19:39 PM »
How sandy is your soil ?

I think your citrus will need more water than your grass. Itís said many citrus are watered too much and even to death. I think thatís called loving them to death. You can also not water enough especially this time of year when the temps get really up there ! Try to keep grass away from your inground trees or the grass will get too much of the fertilizer and water. Commercially speaking, any time a crop is noticeably stressed by too little water then damage has already been done hurting yield. I would take that as an encouragement to be proactive and get ahead of the curve.

Iíd think it would not be good to have standing water or saturated ( soggy) soil for long periods of time. I hope this helps. We been getting some much needed rain the last 2 days. Itís coming from a Ďback door Ď front meaning from the opposite direction from where we get most of our weather.

Variability meaning consistency should be considered too. There is unexplained variability in most foods to some extent and often a lot of it ! Weather temps, water, fertilizer,  timing of all variables and so forth makes each year different ! I have found blind taste very interesting. Very seldom have I seen repeatable taste winners that dominate from year to year. Tom

Either a tax is to raise money for the public good or its to punish adults in a free world. Yes, to make the people do what the government thinks is best for all. Probably a little bit of both I guess. I donít like the punitive idea for a free republic.

Iíd agree that moderation is best in all things but I donít like the government looking over my shoulder telling me what to do.

Since income taxes started there is way too much intervention in our private lives that was never intended by our forefathers. We are on a long slippery slope it seems to me.

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

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