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Messages - jim VH

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 31, 2019, 03:40:59 PM »
Ilya11, you're quite right it is late.  It doesn't really ripen, but it does turn a sort of orangish green in January or so in the normally unheated and open enclosure it was in. (The enclosure is closed and heated during killing cold) As such, it is rather sourish, about on par to that of a grapefruit- just barely sweet enough to eat with some pucker factor.  Importantly,  the flavor is quite good- much better than a grapefruit and without the bitter- and the fruit are relatively large, small orange in size., which is why I said it 'almost' makes the cut.  Eatable, but not choice.

I bought it on an impulse at the Portland Nursery, partly because it was marked down and partly because it had a couple fruit on it.  The ripe fruit were excellent- as they should be at $5 per fruit.

Eventually I sacrificed it to the Frost Gods in order to make room for a couple more early ripening Satsumas.  It appears to be modestly hardy- low-mid twenties Fahrenheit- though I couldn't give you an exact number.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 30, 2019, 03:51:08 PM »
Socal, you're comments on the cool Mediterranean climate are generally spot on, though you could argue that Bremerton and maybe Sequim- in the rain shadow of the Olympics- may also qualify, even though they are further north than Olympia.  Certainly, my grandparents had no problems growing figs at the Byrmryna  Fig orchard on Vashon island- located halfway between Seattle and Tacoma- during the 1930's, 40's and 50's, before the arrival of Starlings on the west coast wiped it out.

Your comments on coolness effecting development is also spot on.  In my experience with 24 different types of citrus in Southwest Washington-- just across the Columbia River from Portland-- only lemons, limes and the earliest ripening Satsumas produce quality fruit before the weather turns cold in late October.  Yuzus, Sudachis and Kabosus  fully ripen in early November, just before the onset of the first hard freezes, although Sudachis actually have their best flavor picked green and used as limes just before they start to color, usually in late September-early October.  Meyer's lemons ripen a couple-three weeks later, and need protection.   Thomasville Citrangequats don't really ripen fully at all, though they do color up a bit, but again- like Sudachis- can be picked green and used as limes.

Of the Satsumas I've tried, only Early St Anne, LA early, Miho and Xie Shan have produced what I consider commercial or  'better than commercial' quality fruit, though the Xie Shan was a bit acid on a PT rootstock.  Regrafting it to a Flying Dragon seems to have enhanced its sweetness, however.  The standards like Owari or Brown's Select tended to be small sourish and mealy.  I'm currently trying  Okitsu and China S-6, but don't have enough info to make a judgment.  Seto and Miyagawa should also do well.

Oranges don't do well, although surprisingly-or maybe not-, Kiyomi Tangor almost makes the cut.

Because the Puget Sound area has about 30% fewer growing degree days than SW Washington and the Williamette Valley, ripening in the Olympia area may not be quite so robust, except perhaps in sheltered microclimate, without artificial enhancement. 

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 18, 2019, 11:17:03 AM »
FWIW, my grafted Yuzu from One Green World took six years before it bore fruit.  It's possible their mother tree is immature, maybe grown from seed.  No other tree I've purchased from them showed any significant delay in fruiting, however.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 12, 2019, 10:44:32 AM »

I'm in inner SE Portland. About 7 miles south of the airport. This past week my low was 29F, when the airport was 26F. But my greenhouse on the southern side of my house only got down to 33. The only tree that has lost leaves this winter is a Buddha Hand. Just about everything is flowering now.

Wow!  That greenhouse makes quite a bit of difference on the bloom time.  All my citrus are outdoors in the ground with no supplemental heat.  Except for the Flying Dragon, they usually don't bloom until sometime in May.  Despite this lateness, the sourer fruit- Yuzus, Sudachis, etc. are ripe -or ripe enough anyway- before the first hard freezes of Autumn.   

I don't protect the hardier citruses, but I do put up up temporary shelters with thermostat contolled Christmas tree lights for heat for the Satsumas ,which are more tender and whose fruit ripen later.  These shelters are normally left open  on the south to provide air circulation.  I only close them up and turn on the lights if either there are fruit on the tree and the temperature drops below 30F, or else if there are no fruit but the temperature looks to drop below 20F for an extended time.

I've already taken the shelters down for the year, but perhaps next year I should try leaving one up and let the sun heat it  to see if there is a signifigantly earlier bloom time.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: March 11, 2019, 11:38:58 AM »
The temperatures in the Portland Metro area are quite location specific, depending upon proximity to the Columbia River Gorge, location in a cold air pocket such as a valley or bowl, and proximity to the urban heat island that is downtown Portland.
     At my location in Vancouver Wa., across the Columbia River from Portland, the winter low was 20F (-6.7C)just a week ago.  The Portland airport was 26F that same day.  Outlying areas like Battleground saw upper teens.  Olympia can be colder than most of Puget Sound because it is in a bit cold pocket bowl.

As far as Satsumas- My experience is that they can survive very brief exposures to mid-upper teens, as long as the temperature rises rapidly to above freezing a few hours later.  Prolonged exposures- ten hours or more- and daytime temperatures that stay below freezing for 48 hours or more will kill all Satsumas at temperatures below 20F, maybe even a bit above.  The Brown Select was the hardiest of those Satsumas I chose to sacrifice to the frost gods.  It almost survived 18F(-7.8C) during a 48 hour period were the temperature never rose above freezing, putting out one green shoot before it withered and died completely.  The least hardy was a Kishu Mandarin, which succumbed to  8 hours close to 23F(-5c).

I should add that all of these were on Flying Dragon rootstock, so it was not a case of rootstock death

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: February 09, 2019, 10:44:06 AM »
My brother tells me it's predicted to get down to 12F (-11.1C) at his place in Tacoma overnight Saturday, much colder than Portland.  If you do get down to 12F tonight at your location,the Yuzu and maybe the Citrumelo will probably defoliate.  Mine did when they were that young.  But-at least if they are on a flying Dragon or PT rootstock- they should survive.  I've found that other rootstocks are a bit more problematical in the extended Freezes in the PNW.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: February 08, 2019, 11:19:44 AM »
Yes, so far I've only seen 21F(-6C) at my location in the Portland area.  This won't damage the hardier citrus, but I did close up the Satsuma shelters.  Saturday night it may hit 18F(-7.8C), and colder temperatures may be possible if cold continental air starts pouring through the Columbia river Gorge accompanied by any overnight clearing that may occur.  That's cold enough to damage-or even kill- Satsumas, so In that case I'll run the Christmas tree lights in the Satsuma shelters.
All leaves on the unprotected Citrus look good, except the Ichang Lemon (Shangyuan variety)   Given this, I suspect it may not be as hardy as the 5-10F sometimes claimed for it, though I doubt it will die in the present event.

Early St Anne Satsuma readings taken January3rd 2019

Brix: 11.1
Titratable acid: 1.5%

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Sudachi cold hardiness
« on: January 03, 2019, 11:14:37 AM »
I'll enhance Socal's reposting above by adding that my Thomasville Citrangequat on FD rootstock also survived 8F (-13.3C)in Vancouver Wa. during the same winter.  It, however, was 70% defoliated and showed more small twig damage than either the Yuzu or the Sudachi.

My Thomasville-obtained from Mackenzie farms- has a nice flavor with little or no bitterness.  I add the juice to my apple-quince sauce.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« on: August 02, 2018, 11:41:44 AM »

Thanks for copying that stuff over from the Cloudforest forum.  Since it went defunct I've been unable to post the results from the 14 day  arctic blast of January 2017 during which the temperature never rose above freezing, except for one day where it rose to 34F.   One low was 8F (-13.3C) and a couple in the low teens.   A number of citrus survived, a couple died.  At the moment I'm swamped, it's the harvest season and I'm busy picking and preserving stuff, but when I have time I'll consult my records and give a detailed update.

Briefly though, survivors were Yuzu, Citrumelo, the Thomasville citrangequat from Mackenzie farms, Sudachi  and the sole-survivor Changsha discussed above.  All on flying dragon rootstock.  Also surviving was the Thomasville seedling on it s own roots growing out of a patch of Lingonberries, which seem to protect the roots.

Dead were Kabosu on unknown rootstock, and the Changsho from Mackenzie farms that I later grafted onto a FD rootstock.

The Kabosu actually looked fairly good, so I suspect the rootstock, which was quite dead.  I'd already grafted it onto an FD rootstock, so will retest it whenever the next artic blast comes, along with Ichang lemon (Shangwaun) on PT rootstock and Prague Citsuma, among others.

Hi fyliu,

It wasn't a complete sacrifice.  I only titrate 15 ml of the 90ml juice I used for Brix measurements.  I drank the rest  :)
One advantage of using multi-fruit juice is that it averages out inhomogenieties  in the distribution of sugar in a single fruit, and provides a good average reading of the tree as a whole.  The UCR citrus collection does that for the brix and acid levels reported on it's website.

The wine kit came with solutions pre-mixed; They keep forever if tightly sealed.  I'll run out of Sodium Hydroxide soon, though, but you can buy more either on-line, or at the local beer and winemaking store (Portland is big on microbrews, so such stores abound locally).
Or, you can simply buy some Roebic Crystal Drain opener -which is nearly 100% NaOh-and mix up your own  0.2N NaOh solution, if you're confident of your measuring skills and basic Chemistry.  You need a good scale.

Simon, yes you can use a Ph meter to determine the acid level, with some kind of calibration or conversion factor which I don't remember.  I found how to do so somewhere on-line when I was considering purchasing one, but am now too lazy to look again.  I eventually decided to stick with what I've got- it works.

Perhaps a new kind of sourness App can be developed using the camera on your cell-phone to measure the shape of your mouth and the number of wrinkles around it as a kind of 'Puckerometer'  ;).

Hi Simon

Yes, I do an actual titration.  Last year I found my dad's old wine making kit while going through his effects and decided to try it on the citrus.  Brix is determined with a hygrometer, using juice squeezed from about six fruit to supply the necessary 90 ml volume.

Titration uses 15 ml of that juice, with three drops of Phenolphthalein.  Then 0.2N NaOh solution is added until the color changes.  Acid is determined from the volume of the Sodium Hydroxide solution- each ml = 0.1% acid.  Because the juice is orange , it's a bit of an art form to detect when that color change occurs, requiring careful observation and a lot of swirling.  I screwed up the first couple tries by adding too much NaOh until I got the hang of it; I found it  helps a lot to keep an untitrated juice sample to compare color against. 

Just For grinnies, I  also took brix and acid levels for some Yuzu juice I had in the freezer from my crop harvested in mid-November 2016


Brix    12.2%
Acid     6.2%

I was rather surprised how high the Brix was

Hi Millet!

Yes, they're usually sweeter than the 'Wonderful Halos' in the store, though not as sweet as some of the other types of store bought Satsumas.  They're also sweeter in mid-winter than they are when they first turn fully orange in early-mid November.    The same measurements on January first were :  Brix=11.1%    Acid=1.8%, so the sugar level must rise for some reason even during cool weather-at the expense of the acid?

The flavor is also quite good and rather different (and often better) than the store bought ones-possibly our cool mediterranean  climate?  It's been in the ground since 2008 and the flavor gets better every year.

LA Early Satsuma in Vancouver Wa. -near Portland Ore.

Brix level 12.1%
Titratable  acid level 1.6%

taken February 4th 2018

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: keraji mandarin
« on: March 22, 2018, 10:58:37 AM »

I know Sudachi is pretty cold hardy (maybe not quite as hardy as Yuzu). I read on another site someone was managing to grow it outside near Portland, OR.

Yes, My Sudachi and Yuzu easily survived 8F (-13.3C) in January 2017 in Vancouver Wa., just across the Columbia river from Portland Or., with only minor small twig damage and about 20% defoliation on each.  The Sudachi appeared to have a higher percentage of small twig damage than the Yuzu.  On the other hand, the Yuzu is a much larger tree, and size does matter.

My Kishu -in Vancouver Wa.- died at 22F, but it was small, and that temperature occurred during a prolonged cold spell with two days where the temperature never rose above  freezing.

Hi SoCal,

I'm not so sure that  the OGW Citrumelo  is Swingle;   That's why I mentioned the spherical shape.  I may be misremembering, but as I recall, the Swingle is elliptical or pear shaped, not unlike a hand grenade, which may be their best use.  The ones on my tree, on the other hand, were perfectly round.

As for taste, well, that is a subjective thing.  They weren't  **completely** awful, just unpleasant.  They had an aftertaste with Sort of  the culinary equivalent of fingernails on the blackboard, an analogy for those of us old enough to remember what a blackboard is.  Also, I personally find grapefruits in general to be rather distasteful;  I actually find the taste of Flying Dragon fruit to be better than grapefruit.

One Green World nursery in Oregon sells a Citrumelo grafted onto a Flying Dragon rootstock.  The one I have has survived 8F (-13.3C) with no damage.  I'm not entirely sure which variety it is, but it has spherically shaped fruit.  It tastes awful.


Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Citsuma Prague
« on: May 01, 2017, 11:33:28 AM »

Stan McKenzie sometimes has grafted Prague Citsumas available.  The one I got grafted -he thinks- on Poncirus rootstock had one small fruit last winter.  It was very good, sweet with a mandarin flavor and no poncirus aftertaste.

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