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Messages - jim VH

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citsuma Prague
« on: May 16, 2020, 11:02:35 AM »
Socal, if you read what I said, I was referring to long arctic blasts, not the warm winters like the past two.  Those long arctic blasts with temperatures of 10-12F or below come along every three to five years.  The last one was January 2017 in the Portland area, an east wind Columbia gorge event when it hit 8F (-13.3C) in Vancouver and the temperature never rose above freezing for a two week period.  Every citrus on own roots  or rootstocks other than PT or FD died in that event, with the exception of a Citrangequat which had the equivalent of a foot of mulch.  The Puget Sound area  was warmer during that event, as I recall

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citsuma Prague
« on: May 15, 2020, 11:25:18 AM »

That was a good catch.  I hadn't really paid much attention to the petiolesbefore, but this morning I went took a gander at them.  There appears to be a mixture of narrower and wider petioles:

Whether that mixture has always been true, or is just this years fashion statement is indeterminate.  This year, for some reason, most of the leaves fell off; such few older leaves that remain seem to have narrower petioles.  It was a mild winter.

I suspect that the ichandrinlike appearance is a bit of an illusion.  My flying dragon also has relatively wide petioles:

combine that with the fact that  this year the Prague Citsuma has decided to sport long narrow willow-like primary lobes gives it an Ichang-like appearance.

The Prague Citsuma is just plain weird- every year an adventure.  For instance, for many years it had long wicked thorns.  Then last year it apparently decided that thorns were out of style and all new growth was thornless.  This year it appears that thorns are trendy again, along with willowlike leaves.

Millet, I have a rooted cutting than I stuck in the ground to see if survives our long Arctic blasts on it's own roots.  Most citrus don't survive such events on their own roots when the ground freezes solid to a depth of 15 inches after two weeks when the temperature never rises above freezing.  Only Poncirus Trifoliata and its twisted sister Flying Dragon survive without a foot of mulch.   I'll post the outcome after the next Artic Outbreak.  It has easily survived our long wet winters without apparent root rot.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citsuma Prague
« on: May 11, 2020, 11:31:07 AM »
My Prague Citsuma is a couple weeks into  it's bloom; the second heavy bloom in a row.  Last years bloom set; hopefully this year's will as well.

An interesting mixture of partially formed incomplete blooms and fully formed complete blooms.

A couple minor clarifications to what SoCal posted

The Kabosu fruit is about the size and color of the fruit of the  Yuzu, which in turn is yellow and roughly Satsuma size .  The flavor is much better, and has far fewer seeds than the Yuzu.  It's sweetness is roughly the level of a grapefruit, which means you can eat it out of hand if you're sufficiently demented, though, like a grapefruit, a bit of sugar helps.

I replaced the Early St Anne -which was on a citrange rootstock-with one I grafted onto a Flying Dragon rootstock, mainly because it was outgrowing it's shelter; it was getting quite large.  I will continue to protect it- the fruit is quite good.  The FD rootstock also has the advantage of earlier ripening, so probably more sweetness.
The old one would almost certainly have bloomed- the winter low was only 25F (-3.9C) and it showed no damage.  I've exposed Satsumas to even lower temperatures for short periods with no effect on blooming.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 16, 2020, 11:35:36 AM »
Temperature is very microclimate dependent.  Many times Olympia is colder than Portland, and vice versa, depending on how the arctic air sets up.  The Columbia River gorge has a huge local influence, and can allow cold dry continental air into the Portland area at a time when the rest of the west of the Cascades remains more influenced by the Pacific. The Frasier river gorge has a similar influence in Vancouver B. C.

That was a good suggestion you made, leaving till spring before I replaced it with a dwarfed version.  t showed no damage 'cept to a couple late growth flushes.  It also showed no yellowing at all, apart from the old inner leaves, which always turn various shades of yellow prior to spring drop.  This is something I've noticed over the last 13 years, most unprotected citrus show various degrees of yellowing during the winter, except well-fertilized Satsumas and Mandarins.   Protected citrus with overhead shelter show little or no yellowing.  I'm not sure Whether or not it's because overhead protection wards off cold, sunlight, or just keeps the roots dry .

The yellowest citrus I have are, in order: the large Thomasville Citrangequat on FD rootstock, the small Yuzu on FD rootstock I recently grafted from a seedling, the small Sudachi on FD rootstock,  and a Thomasville Citrangequat seedling on it's own roots. 

The greenest unprotected Citrus from greenest to least green:  Early St. Anne on Citrange rootstock, Changshaa tangerine on FD rootstock, Dunstan Citrumelo on FD rootstock and Kabosu on PT rootstock.

There are  a few other citruses Intermediate between the above.  They'll all green up again with the return of warmer drier weather.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 14, 2020, 02:05:19 PM »
Meanwhile, in Vancouver Wa.

About an inch and a half of snow on the Yuzu and all the other citrus as well.  I took down all the protection in mid-February.  I doubt it will hurt anything; It will be all melted by early afternoon.  It was the second warmest winter on record.  The lowest temperature was 25F (-3.9C) just before Halloween; ironically tying the record low temperature for the month of October.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: What is flowering now for you?
« on: March 12, 2020, 10:56:42 AM »
Zero zip nada.

The Flying Dragon might bloom in a week or so.  The Prague Citsuma maybe in late April.  The rest, not until May.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Poncirus fruit comparison
« on: February 20, 2020, 11:08:02 AM »
Hi Ilya,

The small shrub to the left of the FD is a Myrtus Ugni, AKA Ugni Molina, AKA Chilean Guava. 
I suspect you meant the large shrub to the right.  It is a Louis Edmund Manzanita.  Species name is Arctostaphylos.

Off topic horticultural note: Manzanitas are native to western North America, ranging from Southern British Columbia south down the coast to California, then east to Texas.  Very drought tolerant, with many cultivars.  Related to the much larger Madrone tree- species name Arbutis- a native of the coast of British Columbia , Washington, Oregon and northern California.  Both species have smooth colorful bark and evergreen leaves.

Bomand, I hear you, but my plant is more like an espalier, severely pruned to a narrow shape in the front and back, but allowed to grow on the sides.  Plenty of blooms,fruit of all sizes and seedinesses.  There is something in what you say, however.  I've noticed fruit size appears to be stratified in size from top to bottom, with the largest fruit on the top and the smallest on the bottom.  Fruit size also appears to be getting larger year over year as the tree grows.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Poncirus fruit comparison
« on: February 19, 2020, 11:07:37 AM »

My informal observation while cutting 'em up for juice is that fruit size and seed count are correlated.  The more seeds, the larger the fruit, which kinda makes sense.  The fruit from mine range from about 3 to 4 cm and very seedy to perhaps 1.5 cm and few or no seeds.  Next fall I'll arrange a few along a ruler to display the range, then cut them open to show the seed content, as in the photos from the posters above.

Cold springs tend to keep the pollinators at home, which may explain the fewer seeds.  The flowers are not very attractive to bees- I've never seen a honeybee on them, unlike the other citrus.  I'm not sure what pollinates; Possibly ants, which seem to collect nectar from the blooms.

I suspect part of the reason mine is so upright is because I prune it severely to keep it confined to the narrow space between the house and the walkway in front.  Elsewise I'd be gored by the thorns when I go by.  That probably forces it upwards.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Poncirus fruit comparison
« on: February 18, 2020, 12:32:20 PM »
Actually, the original Flying Dragon seedling came from One Green World nursery in Oregon; the seedlings I gave SoCal were grown from the fruit of this tree, just to the left of the small window.

Planted in 2007, it's about 8-9 feet tall.   Interestingly-or not- the top third of the tree has become thornless, while the bottom 2/3 is wicked curved thorns.

Taste is subjective. I tend to describe mine as tasting like Vicks medicated lemon cough drops, but pine is probably close enough to menthol as to be interchangeable.  Either way, the powerful lemon flavor is by far the dominant one.   As Socal reports, I detect no bitterness, unlike my Dunstan citrumelo, which is just plain nasty.  It's quite sour.

 I actually enjoy the flavor, though I wouldn't eat a lot straight from the plant , unless you need to wake up in the morning.  It does have it's uses, however.  My nephews make a killer mixed drink from the juice, and I find that adding the strained juice of a dozen  or so fruits per gallon of my apple-quince sauce enhances the flavor in a good way.

Given all I've read about how awful trifoliate flavor was, I was wondering if it was special, but after reading the above posts, it doesn't seem to be unique in any way.  It appears that there is a vast continuum of edibility between seedlings; mine possibly lies towards the upper end of the edibility range.

There's quite a range of fruit sizes; the larger ones are full of seeds but some of the smallest ones are seedless, or nearly so.  Next fall crop I can do a sediment test like some of the above posters and see how the juice compares.  I can also measure Brix and acid levels and post them.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citsuma Prague
« on: January 17, 2020, 11:04:25 AM »
Hi Florian

It's bloomed for a couple years, but this is the first year it's set fruit.  Unlike earlier blooms, this year was a very heavy bloom, and it took place over a very long time; Starting on May 5th and ending on June 30th- nearly two months.  All my other citrus typically bloom within a 2-3 week period in mid-May or so, save the Flying Dragon, which blooms in March.  The extended bloom time probably accounts for at least part of the wide variation in size, and also sourness.

Also, the Brix numbers for the Prague Citsuma:

Brix= 11.8  Tartaric Acid= 2.8% and the sugar to acid ratio is 4.2.  This is rather on the sour side, thoug individual fruit are much sweeteer.  This is an average over a number of fruit- some are much sweeter and some are sourer.

For comparison, the Satsumas have sugar to acid ratios of 7.3 and 9.0

This was a rather cool summer; Warmer summers may produce sweeter fruit

Brix and acid readings taken January 15th 2020 from a few citrus grown in-ground at my location in the Portland Oregon metropolitan area:

Prague Citsuma    Brix=11.8     acid=2.8%     sugar to acid ratio S/A=4.2

LA Early Satsuma  Brix=10.3    acid=1.4%       S/A=7.3

Miho Satsuma       Brix=13.5    acid=1.5%       S/A=9.0

The LA Early number is lower than the one I got two years ago, but it was also the coolest summer in a decade, with a delayed bloom season, and a cool September.  It's still a good fruit, with a few more sour ones.

The Prague Citsuma is sour, but has good flavor, and some of the fruit are sweetish

The Miho is fantastic, very richly flavored, and is the best Satsuma I've tried to date for the cool climate of the  American Pacific Northwest. 

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citsuma Prague
« on: January 15, 2020, 03:53:49 PM »
Thank you Socal, for posting that image of my tree. 
I harvested the fruit on that in mid-November.  About 6 lbs.  They range in size from sub-ping-pong ball to medium size Satsuma.  The flavor is good, but rather sour.  Ripeness varies considerably.  The ripest ones have 'squishy' peels and peel rather easily, though not so easily as Satsumas.  Since snow flurries are occurring, I think I'll stay indoors and use the time to do a Brix and Acid level reading this afternoon, using the smaller ones.

I apologize for the blurriness of the image, but I ain't no photographer.  The fruit above the ruler are some of the Citsumas; I've eaten the largest few, and juiced a few others for a Chinese dish.  The three fruit on the bottom of the image are typical LA Early Satsumas, to provide scale, along with the blurry ruler.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: some pictures from Jim's place in Vancouver, WA
« on: October 16, 2019, 11:38:37 AM »
I actually haven't tested the Citsuma in my area yet, though the result of other posters suggest it should be quite hardy.

The ones I've tested that survived 8F (-13.3C) and two solid weeks where the temperature never rose above freezing are: Yuzu, Sudachi, Thomasville Citrangequat, Citrumelo and Changsha Tangerine.  All were on Flying Dragon or Poncirus Trifoliate rootstock.  No other rootstock, nor any citrus on it's own roots has survived the ground freezing solid to a depth of 15 inches during the two week freeze.

Satsuma's are only hardy to about 20F in this climate.   I do grow some of the earlier ripening varieties- ones that actually get sweet in our cool summers- but they need winter protection.

A couple comments on the pictures that SoCal has so generously posted,

That is  indeed a Thomasville Citrangequat.

The bark damage is on the Citrangequat, not the Yuzu-the Yuzu is much tougher.

I think that's a Dunstan Citrumelo, based on the shape of the fruit, but it would be nice if some of the more knowledgeable people on this board would confirm (or deny) that thought.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Japan acid citruses
« on: September 06, 2019, 01:22:12 PM »
My nephew brought me back a Yuzu from Japan which might be a Kito Yuzu.  It was very large-though not as large as the one in the above picture- as well as much juicier with far fewer seeds than the one  I got from One Green World.  It also has the very aromatic and delicious (to my taste buds) peel.

Only one of the half dozen seeds I actually planted germinated.  It's in the ground now, along with a graft of it on a FD rootstock.  Time will tell if the size, juiciness and relative seedlessness are inherited.  Also if it's as cold hardy as my One Green World Yuzu, which survived 8F (-13.3C) on a FD rootstock relatively undamaged. 

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: keraji mandarin
« on: August 25, 2019, 04:00:52 PM »
Oh, the bulk of the tree is about 8 feet tall and six-seven feet across, though there is one errant shoot reaching for the stars at about ten foot.  This is after 12 years in the ground.

Like you, mine took about 5 years to bear it's first fruit.  Since then the yield has slowly increased on average, but there are wild swings the last few years, probably because I don't prune the thing; thus it has become biennial, or even triennial.  With thorns like that, I only dare approach it during harvest time wearing thick leather gloves and coat, and four foot pruning shears to get at the fruit, and even then I get a few stabs right through the leather.

The Sudachi has nice lemon lime flavor, though it is not uniquely aromatic the way Yuzu is. To me, the best flavor occurs when picked green, just before the peel starts to change color.  Typically late September at my location.   I use it mainly for the juice, adding it to my apple-quince sauce, or to flavor fish.  But, if allowed to ripen, the peel turns a very nice deep orange colot, and I add it to my Yuzu marmalade during years when the Yuzu crop is on the light side.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: I Have My Changsha
« on: July 15, 2019, 11:42:52 AM »
It both is and isn't true.  Having cleared that up, I'll elaborate a bit.

Changsha has been reported to have survived 4F during a very short freeze followed by a rapid warmup- I believe that was in Texas, though memory may fail me.

During prolonged freezes, like 140 consecutive hours below freezing, Changsha' will normally be killed around 12F, even on Flying Dragon (FD) rootstocks.  This is what I've observed here in the Portland Oregon area.

However, there is certain variance in the cold hardiness of the seedlings, and some can survive lower temperatures.  I have one such seedling- the sole survivor of a 140 consecutive hours below freezing with lows around 11F.  Later I grafted it onto a FD rootstock and the graft subsequently survived 200+ consecutive hours below freezing  with lows of 8F in Jaunuary 2017, even as the original seedling died when it's roots froze.

So, greater hardiness is possible, and is enhanced with grafting on certain rootstocks.

Also, Changsha's in the south, SE , Texas, etc, will be unlikely to see the long extended freezes such as occur in the PNW, so will be much more likely to survive very low Temperatures.

A couple things chew on my citrus leaves.  One thing is/are night-feeding caterpillars.  Usually- but not always- Cut Worms.  Take a flashlight and go out shortly after sunset to find them- sometimes you see their beady little eyes glinting back at you in the light.

The other thing is the Western Katydid-also known as the Mormon Cricket.  Much harder to see and kill due to camouflage and their jumping prowess, though it can be done in daylight.  Where's a flock of seagulls when you need one?  Too busy singing Space-age Love Song, I s'pose.

Hi Socal

My Citrangequat hasn't put out blooms until this year-7 years after sprouting- and neither of them looks like setting.

However, my nephews plant started blooming 4 years ago.  He says the fruit is just as good as the Mackenzie farms plant, or even better.  I actually haven't tried one of his- I have a sufficient number of  Quats from my own large tree.  I'll make a point of getting one of his fruits this coming October to compare.

I did notice my seedling is becoming increasingly mono-foliate as it ages.  This years flush is almost exclusively mono-foliate.

I planted some seeds from my Stan Mackenzie monofoliate grafted tree.  All  ten of the resultant viable seedlings showed a mixture of mono, bi and trifoliate leaves.  There was also a variability in hardiness.  Of the ten, only two survived a one night 10F event in December 2013.  These were later planted out, one at my house, one at my nephews.  Both of these survived the January 2017 8F extended freeze on their own roots with somewhat less damage than the much larger 'Stan the Man' tree. 

Interestingly- or not- these trees are the only citrus I've tried which have survived on their own roots, or any rootstock other than trifoliate, although there was snow on the ground, which may have protected the roots.
I later grafted a monofoliate bud from this tree to a Flying Dragon rootstock- the resultant growth is also almost exclusively monofoliate.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Sudachi flavor and cold hardiness?
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:33:06 AM »
I just went out and tasted a leaf.  I didn't find the flavor to be particularly strong or noteworthy, but maybe my taste-buds are stunted.

I think hardiness will depend to some extent on dormancy.  My fully dormant Sudachi on Flying Dragon rootstock easily survived an 8F (-13.3C) freeze  and 113 consecutive hours below freezing in January 2017 with relatively little damage in the Portland Oregon Metro area with relatively little damage.  It appears comparable in hardiness to the Yuzu, which also survived that freeze relatively undamaged.  Perhaps Laaz's plant in South Carolina had seen enough of a warm spell prior to the freeze to break dormancy?  Unlike the Pacific Northwest, such winter warm spells are relatively common in the Southeast of the USA

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Talking to G the other day...
« on: May 06, 2019, 11:33:14 AM »
Hi Laaz

How advanced do the seedlings have to be before you know whether or not you have a variegated one?  That is, do they start out green and only develop variegation later, or are they funky right at the start?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Talking to G the other day...
« on: May 05, 2019, 04:01:11 PM »
That's a very pretty tree.   Did you grow it yourself from seed? 

Not that I have one, but are you still looking for a variegated Yuzu?   If so, maybe I'll get motivated enough to try planting the fazillions of Yuzu seeds I get from my tree every year.  Or not.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: April 19, 2019, 11:14:22 AM »
Well, that new angle does make it look considerably worse than the earlier one, which seemed to show a green strip down to the graft.    Still, I've seen some just as bad come back.  I've also seen things that look better abruptly die.  I'll be interested to hear what finally happens.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: April 18, 2019, 11:43:45 AM »
To me, the bottom half of the Bloomsweet still looks viable.  Don't hold me to it though.  If the roots died, all bets are off, of course.

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