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Author Topic: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest  (Read 20103 times)

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #75 on: February 10, 2019, 01:25:34 AM »
The forecast is still on for it to hit 12 degrees at about 6:30 am in the morning.
It's still 27 degrees right now at 10:20 pm. I'm going to go out there with some hot water containers very early in a couple of hours.

Looks like this will be the only really low point this week, according to the forecast.

The good news is the snow is deep enough to mostly cover the small plants, which should provide some degree of insulation as the temperature suddenly dips.

There wasn't snow on the ground at all in December or January.

Update: 1:00 am, 20 degrees, just checked on the gallon water containers outside and they are still liquid, cold but not even any ice in them. They were on the ground under the covering, insulated by a thick layer of snow. Going to warm them up right now.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 04:00:16 AM by SoCal2warm »

TooFarNorth

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #76 on: February 10, 2019, 07:06:41 AM »
Good luck with your trees.  Hopefully the snow will provide a lot of protection for them and the hot water also.  Thankfully, this winter, so far we have only had to deal with the mid 20's.  Best of luck.

TFN

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #77 on: February 10, 2019, 03:49:54 PM »
When I went out there last night I noticed the smaller uncovered plants were all bent down into the snow. Apparently the snow kept accumulating on the leaves and stuck there and froze, weighing the plant down. I hope this didn't permanently bend or break any branches. The leaves on the citrumelo and ten degree, which were weighed down in ice do not look very good, Yuzu doesn't look too terrible, but that's probably because it was more bushy and the snow just formed a ball around it.
I don't know how low the temperature actually dropped in the yard, but I measured 24 °F right outside the doorstep at 3:00 (very early morning).

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #78 on: February 10, 2019, 05:50:28 PM »
Newspaper article:
Quote
The South Sound is digging out from the biggest snowstorm in a decade Saturday morning. Now, it’s going to get cold.
The mercury is predicted to drop to 17 degrees on Sunday in Olympia, according to the National Weather Service.
At least 10 inches of snow fell overnight in Olympia, according to the Weather Service.

A winter storm warning is in effect through Saturday afternoon in Puget Sound. Winds are forecast to reach 16 miles per hour Saturday with gusts as high as 28 miles per hour in central Thurston County.

Puget Sound Energy was reporting more than 400 customers without power as of 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Mother Nature will not be cooperating in snow removal. Temperatures will stay below freezing all weekend, the Weather Service said Saturday.

If snow should melt during the day, it will undoubtedly turn to ice over night. Temperatures are forecast to get just a handful of degrees above freezing all week. Friday should be the warmest day of the week with a high of 39 degrees.
After Sunday’s dip into the teens, lows will be will be in the 20s all week.
Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass is open to vehicles with traction tires or chains.
However, I-90 was closed in both directions from six miles east of Ellensburg to Vantage as of 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Tractor-trailer spin-outs are blocking the roadway and drifting snow is causing poor visibility. WSDOT could not provide an estimated time to reopen the highway.

Flights into and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are affected by the storm. Alaska Airlines is allowing passengers to change their travel plans through Sunday. Passengers should check with individual airlines for the latest flight information.

Officials from nearly every public safety agency are warning about the dangers of the current weather. Deep snow, slick roads, winds and extreme cold can make for a deadly combination. They urge citizens to travel only if necessary.

The low temperatures also make for dangerous conditions for the region’s homeless population as well as anyone who might lose power during the prolonged cold period.

Heavy snow is weighing down tree limbs which can snap off without warning. Trees have been falling during the night around the region.

https://www.theolympian.com/latest-news/article226039915.html#storylink=cpy

kumin

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #79 on: February 10, 2019, 05:56:03 PM »
Thanks for the post. Providing the weight of the snow doesn't cause damage, snow per se.is usually protective against low air temperatures. Growth above snow on the other hand can be very vulnerable, depending on atmospheric conditions. This event should be informative, after there's a chance to evaluate the outcome and subsequent recovery. Wind is a mixed bag, it contributes to desiccation on one hand, but also contributes to temperature uniformity helping to prevent super-cold air accumulation in low lying areas.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #80 on: February 11, 2019, 05:16:24 PM »
It's essentially a snowstorm. About 13 or 14 inches piled up so far. Difficult for anyone to go anywhere. There hasn't been this much snow in a decade. Like a ski resort. The temperatures aren't really that extremely low though and the forecast says the lowest it will dip down to in the next ten days is 24, but mostly the nights will be in the low 30s.

I'm going to build a big snowman.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #81 on: February 16, 2019, 05:33:11 PM »
Here's a picture of the Yuzu. It was completely covered in snow, but the temperatures did not go too low. The layer of snow on the ground was 16 inches deep at one point, but it has now been rapidly melting, in part because there has been some light drizzling of rain. It still has its leaves and doesn't look too terrible.


« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 05:34:47 PM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2019, 06:00:41 AM »
Large lemon tree growing, and fruiting, with protection, in Eugene, Oregon

Jan Spencer may have the most unique pet around. It’s a lemon tree.
This relationship isn’t the usual gardener/plant thing. No, he really has an affinity for this tree. In turn, the tree provides Spencer with a huge bounty of delicious lemons every year from Christmas to spring.
“I don’t get into the supernatural realm too much,” Spencer says, “but I think the lemon tree likes it here.”
Here in early February, the ripening lemons on the bushy tree are a sight to behold. Neighbors are welcome to pick fruit, and Spencer bikes around his River Road neighborhood in west Eugene stashing lemons in the lending library boxes neighbors have in their front yards.
These days, along with books, kids might find fresh lemons, the likes of which they won’t see in grocery stores. Spencer’s lemons also are occasionally sold at farmers’ markets.
His lemon tree wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in Southern California. But in Eugene?
And it’s not the tiny, indoor mini-pot kind of citrus. The tree stands 7 feet high and 25 feet in circumference. Can this really happen so far north?

Spencer is a local champion of suburban permaculture.
Cold weather protection
Here’s how the story began.
“The tree started life in Santa Clara (in Eugene), planted by a good friend’s dad,” he explains. “I always noticed that tree when I visited and marveled at it.”

The tree’s original planter, Phil Damron, was getting into his late 80s, and his wife, Jane, didn’t like how he had to go out so much in cold weather to put protection around it.
That led to Spencer “adopting” the tree eight years ago.
“For years we thought it was a Meyer lemon, but apparently it’s not,” he says. Whatever the variety, he’s delighted by its results.
“I replanted it out by the driveway in front of a south-facing wall, where I can gaze at it from the house,” he says. “But here’s the deal,” he continues. “It really is too cold for a lemon tree here. If you want one you need to protect it from the cold.”
Would that all pets get treated this well. “I watch the thermometer all the time during winter,” Spencer says. “Mid-20s is not kind to a lemon tree.”
He constructed a PVC pipe frame around the tree, over which he can throw blankets, sleeping bags, rugs and any other convenient protective cover.
He also puts a bubble pack around the tree up to 4 feet thick. The blankets drape down over the sides so no cold air can get in.

At times he’ll use an electric space heater, especially on nights temperatures dip into the low 20s. It takes up to 45 minutes of hard labor on those cold nights to sling all the protecting covers over the plastic pipe framework.
On warmer days, Spencer partially removes the tree’s protective layers for maximum sunlight exposure.
But typically, the tree needs covering only a few days a week during winter.
The over-arching lesson here is that you can grow anything anywhere if you have the resolve, passion and commitment to do it.

The Register-Guard, 2018
https://www.registerguard.com/lifestyle/20180215/eugene-lemon-tree-gone-bananas

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2019, 12:25:29 PM »
Here's the MIC



And here's the little Keraji seedling:



The Keraji had a plastic container cover over it, and both were completely covered with snow. The snow only recently melted off of both of them (though you can still see a little bit of snow left behind in the pictures).

The leaves look pretty yellowish-green, and it looks like some light damage, a little wilty, but they should recover.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #84 on: February 21, 2019, 06:00:14 PM »
Yuzu seedling, it wasn't covered, although it probably did get covered in a thick layer of snow


leaves are wilted bending downward but still green

The other Keraji seedling, which was covered:


Here's a view with the cover off:


Citradia

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #85 on: February 21, 2019, 07:25:28 PM »
Are trunks ok? No splits in bark near the ground?

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #86 on: February 21, 2019, 07:54:21 PM »
It looks like they'll definitely survive, though they'll be set back.

I think the Arctic Frost died though.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2019, 12:19:03 PM »
Ten Degree Tangerine

The leaves are all dead, and it looks a very sickly yellow-green color, but I think it is still probably alive.

The snow has mostly melted, but it is just now beginning to lightly snow again.

The small in-ground cork oak seedling still has all its leaves on it and looks good (that species is only supposed to survive zone 8 ), and the cold-hardy gardenias all look like they're still alive and still have their leaves.

kumin

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #88 on: February 22, 2019, 01:24:24 PM »
How long until new growth can be expected? Cold exposure is energy reserve depleting, by contrast new growth will begin to restore energy reserves. Other than tissue being killed outright due to low temperatures, late winter - early spring survival can come down to a battle of retaining sufficient reserves to restart the growing process in spring.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #89 on: February 22, 2019, 01:47:01 PM »
How long until new growth can be expected?
Well, from what I observed last year, temperatures didn't really begin consistently warming up until late April to the middle of May. Really the citrus does not start taking off until the beginning of June.

There can be periods of warmth from late February to March, but they might only last 5 days at the most, not really enough for citrus to start putting out growth. The nights can still be pretty cool, so if the daytime temperatures are warm, the nighttime temperatures tell the citrus plants not to wake up.

Even though temperatures have a very late start warming up in the year, they remain warm surprisingly late into the year.
Normal citrus plants, in containers, can continue growing until about the middle of October and don't have to be brought in until late October or the start of November. Really the temperatures in early November aren't bad at all, there are still people in T-shirts, at least during the day. In some unusual years there can be some snow fall in the middle of November, usually pretty light with the temperature not going that low.

It depends on the year, sometimes there can be wet years with intense rains starting about the end of October to the middle of November. During these intense rains the temperature does not go that low, and it helps prevent the nights from being too cold.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #90 on: February 22, 2019, 10:59:24 PM »
The citrumelo is looking really good.


Almost looks like it could start growing now.
Leaves don't appear to be damaged and still a pretty decent hue of green.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #91 on: February 25, 2019, 04:04:22 PM »
Satsuma covered 2 weeks ago, you can see a little snow still left.


Here's how the Satsuma looks, after being covered in plastic, and completely covered in snow for a week. There were three water containers inside there to try to prevent the temperature from going below freezing.


Still has its leaves. The leaves looked like they almost would have been able to make it, but I suspect they will be replaced. Many of them easily fall off with the slightest tug.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #92 on: February 26, 2019, 04:37:39 PM »
MIC doesn't look so well, picture is after it was buried under snow unprotected:


Keraji seedling suffered fairly serious damage:

(It was covered)

kumin

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #93 on: February 26, 2019, 05:52:10 PM »
In the past I had tried a number of Stan McKenzie's trees and got results similar to these by December. I hope your weather eases up enough to give your plants a break. I assume this winter has been colder than usual in your area?

I'm watching our long range weather forecasts very closely, hoping there are no serious relapses.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 05:53:58 PM by kumin »

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #94 on: February 26, 2019, 10:35:03 PM »
I assume this winter has been colder than usual in your area?
I would say this Winter has been a slightly colder one than usual.
The plants were all doing perfectly fine until February when it started heavily snowing.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #95 on: February 27, 2019, 03:22:13 PM »
The Yuzu is not looking as well now, guess it took some time for the damage to fully manifest. The leaves look dead and wilty, like they had survived okay throughout the Winter but the temperatures in February killed them.


Peak inside the cover containing the Bloomsweet:

The leaves look okay but the main trunk looks like it's suffered heavy damage (maybe a freeze split) on one side.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #96 on: March 07, 2019, 05:13:30 PM »
Yuzu, not looking too bad

Some of those leaves look like they might still be viable.

Dunstan citrumelo

This is right now in early March.
Look at those leaves! They look green like they could start growing!

Both these two are a few feet away from the South facing side of the house.


Satsuma not looking too bad. It was covered, but some of the branches that were up right against the covering, leaves on those branches are now withered up and brown, but leaves on the top look okay.


MIC, not protected at all, suffered heavy damage, leaves completely fried, but some of the inner branches still look green, so it might be able to grow back.


Small Keraji seedling.
The little trunk still appears to be green and alive, but these took a beating. Not sure if they are going to have the energy to continue growing out long-term.



Ten Degree Tangerine (Clementine x Yuzu)
It looks like it may be able to come back. If it does die it will be a slow death from having its energy depleted. Leaves don't look too brown but I can see none of the leaves are going to survive.
Areas along the narrow trunk show strips of black/grey, but overall the trunk is still green.


Don't see any signs of life from the Arctic Frost. The branch that grew out in the Spring is now dead and has obvious splits in it.

Dogjamboree

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #97 on: March 07, 2019, 10:37:28 PM »
Hi, this is my first post and as you can see I don't have profile info filled in yet. In explanation, I am unable to use computers / phones without software that reads everything to me so it's extremely hard to get anything done. My wife signed me up to this forum after I read this entire thread and wanted to chime in and ask some questions. By the way, I'm able to see just fine, but for neurological reasons cannot use screens (and being a former software engineer this has been a hard past 5 years!).

Anyway, I live in Portland, which is supposedly zone 9a, but my little microclimate near Laurelhurst Park in SE Portlandalways seems to be at least 5 degrees warmer than what Google or other weather sources report and I think my thermometer is accurate and well-placed. So when we just experienced a handful of days in the mid 20's or thereabouts, my thermometer read around 29-33.

Even so, I'm obviously concerned about temperature and want to experiment with pushing the limits like you guys have been doing and want to grow citrus outside that's not yuzu. I currently have a couple of Meyer lemons, a kaffir lime, Persian lime, and Australian lime in pots in a grow tent, and all of these go outside in the summer obviously. I have a space in my front yard (south facing) where I'm seriously contemplating trying an owari Satsuma. I don't mind spending a little money upfront if it saves me some heartache later so I was considering buying a 6-7' tree from fast growing trees. I've ordered from them before and found them relatively cheap and of good quality, and I think this tree would only be just over $100.

My real question is around methods of mitigating cold snaps and maximizing production, etc. I'm not a real DIY guy (although I have a shop full of tools and can use them) so I'd like to know if there are any products out there which are semi plug-and-play. I've heard people talk about using incandescent Christmas tree lights as makeshift heaters but I cannot imagine those can even be purchased anymore and would think something like heat tape or a similar product must exist for this purpose (?). And then what about creating a single-tree mini greenhouse enclosure? Are there products that can be purchased which achieve this purpose? And would there be issues with potential city code violations, being this would be in my front yard? I've seen cold frames in front yards but never a 10' high enclosure around a tree. Also, if a product does exist (or even if one were improvised, wouldn't wind be a problem?

The tree would be about 5 feet from a power outlet so plugging something in wouldn't be an issue.

Thoughts, or is this not feasible? Thanks, and I hope to get some help completing my profile soon!

Frank

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #98 on: March 07, 2019, 11:34:24 PM »
Thoughts, or is this not feasible?
Yes, it is feasible, but the frame is going to have to be pretty sturdy to be able to handle winds.

I'm pretty sure that eventually, if you get it to grow big enough, maybe 3 feet, the Satsuma will be able to do fine over the Winter with just a plastic covering and nothing else, in the Portland area. I'd leave the covering on until early March.
Maybe design it so that the top can be extensively vented off on warm days and leave it covered until the first few days of April. While it may not grow during that time, I've found that it seems to prime the tree to start getting ready to grow.

I leave a few containers of water inside at the base of the tree for passive protection, since water releases heat as it freezes.

Even so, I'm obviously concerned about temperature and want to experiment with pushing the limits like you guys have been doing and want to grow citrus outside that's not yuzu.
Yuzu isn't bad though. It's sour like a lemon and full of seeds, but the flavor is not bad, nothing like trifoliate.
Yuzu has many culinary uses that don't involve out of hand eating, so it's up to you to reasearch that and discover what they are.

Out of the different categories of citrus, limes are the most vulnerable to cold, so I wouldn't try those outside over the Winter.
(Regular lemons are the second most vulnerable group, not including Meyer lemon)

SoCal2warm

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Re: Citrus in the Pacific Northwest
« Reply #99 on: March 09, 2019, 05:10:41 PM »
From what I've seen over this Winter, I can make this statement: anything less hardy than Yuzu is not going to be able to survive outside here unprotected, not long-term. However, there are some mild Winters where even Meyer lemon could survive outside unprotected, which probably doesn't mean much because that's not going to be consistent.
Other more borderline varieties of hardy citrus may be able to survive if they're just covered. The Satsuma survived, though it still remains to be seen whether it will have enough energy to pull through.

Throughout the Winter, despite being covered in deep snow, the gallon water containers under the cover never froze.

 

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