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Author Topic: NYC Citrus  (Read 781 times)

Chris S

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NYC Citrus
« on: April 27, 2020, 02:23:06 PM »
Hi Everyone,

My name is Chris and I'm new to this forum, but I've been growing subtropical plants here in NYC for a few years and have become very interested in experimenting with cold hardy citrus in the ground. I already have Poncirus Trifoliata, but want to test some hybrids or other species. I'm located in Zone 7b, right near the coast with an average annual low just above 5F. We rarely hit 0 here, maybe once a decade or less.

Some of the potential candidates I'm considering are:
Morton Citrange
Rusk Citrange
Thomasville Citrangequat
US-852 Citrandarin
Ichang Papeda
Dunstan Citrumelo

I've reached out to Stan McKenzie, but unfortunately he's out of stock for most of these. However, I've found a source offering Morton Citrange and Ichang Papeda. My only concern is that they are on their own roots and this might affect hardiness, which in my climate, I'll need every bit of additional hardiness I can get. I don't believe Ichang Papeda is usually grafted onto PT, but I think Stan grafts most of his citrus to this rootstock. My question is, will this affect the hardiness enough that I should avoid buying the Morton Citrange? They also offer Troyer Citrange, but I couldn't find much information on this variety so any info is much appreciated.

Thank you all for your help!

SoCal2warm

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 02:57:27 PM »
The candidates that would have the best chance of doing well are, in this order:
US 852 and Tai-tri
possibly some sort of kumquat-trifoliate hybrid (but not citrangequat)
Citrumelo

Ichang papeda would be pretty borderline where you are. At the very least, I expect it would need a very optimal warm spot outside, protected from the winds, possibly up against a building. I am not sure if it could survive or do well there.

There's also a rare hybrid N1tri out there (supposedly a hybrid between trifoliate and ichang papeda, with fruit quality much closer to ichang papeda).
Some think it could actually be a hybrid between ichang papeda and citrumelo, because the fruit quality is unexpectedly good for such a direct hybrid. However, its level of hardiness is debatable, it might not be much hardier than ichang papeda.

Tai-tri (taiwanica x trifoliate) does not have very good fruit quality and is scarcely better than trifoliate (though the fruits are little bit bigger, and a tiny bit less seedy).

I cannot confirm this, but I've heard Taiwanica lemon is a real survivor as well. Its fruit quality is not good, but it seems to recover well from cold damage. There's a possibility that it might be able to survive if planted in the right spot where you are. (Though it may not be able to survive the every once in a decade cold winter) It might need at least some light covering protection and some bottles of water arranged at its base, to resist freezing.

I doubt Thomasville citrangequat would do well where you are. I've heard a report from zone 7b (although it might have been on the border of 8a/7b) South Carolina that a citrangequat did not do so well and had never fruited. (It did worse than a Taiwanica lemon that was planted next to it) Also a Thomasville citrangequat tree in Vancouver, WA, zone 8a suffered severe bark damage at the base one winter, and its leaves turn much more yellow over the winter than the leaves of a Yuzu that is planted right next to it.

I believe Stan grafts all his citrus onto Flying Dragon. I don't know if this helps, but I am pretty far north in the PNW, zone 8a, and I have two Ichang papedas, pretty small in size, growing on their own roots not grafted, and by the coloration of the leaves I can tell that they have not done really good this winter, not compared to other varieties that are less hardy that are grafted onto rootstock. I don't know if that is any indication.
From what I've seen here, I get the feeling they would not survive somewhere north like New York in zone 7b. But of course I don't know.
I have a Yuzu seedling growing on its own roots that has good looking green leaves this winter, but it was killed back to the ground last winter. Why the leaves on the Yuzu look much greener and healthier than the Ichang papeda this year, I don't know. (And this is me making the assumption that resistance to leaf turning yellow in coloration is an indication of level of hardiness, which may also not be completely right)


In climate zone 7b, and as far north as you are, you are most likely not going to be able to grow the "good" tasting hardy citrus.
It will mostly be for experimentation purposes and novelty, as well as being ornamental. Don't expect anything like an orange you buy at the supermarket.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 03:31:11 PM by SoCal2warm »

kumin

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2020, 04:13:18 PM »
In the NYC area Poncirus should be fine even in cold winters. In my experience Poncirus begins to show winter cold damage on previous the summer's late season growth at about -10 degrees F. At -24 degrees F. death can occur to snow or soil level.

There's a Poncirus selection discovered in Eastern Europe known as Poncirus+ that reportedly has fewer of the resinous, bitter off flavors found in Poncirus. This improvement is reportedly enhanced by hot, sunny summer weather.

Our winter effects on plants could be classified on a variable zone scale. The winter just ending was probably no worse than a zone 7b rating, despite my area being in zone 6b. Our lowest temperature was +10 degrees F. By contrast, the previous winter low temperature was near -12 degrees F.

Therefore, the plants that thrive most years may be severely challenged in subsequent years. Many plant enthusiasts are willing to risk occasional setbacks in order to enjoy the successful years between severe freezes.
I have a number of specimens in juvenile test stages. TaiTri, 5* citrumelo, Poncirus+ as well as a number of second generation citranges. Due to the mildness of the past winter, it's difficult to assess the relative cold hardiness of these various trees. 5* citrumelo appears to be more susceptible to botrytis when under frost cloth protection, perhaps caused by late season growth tip freeze-back. TaiTri didn't appear to have this issue.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 08:43:06 AM by kumin »

Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2020, 09:14:43 PM »
I have a bunch of Dunstan and Swingle citrumelo , flying dragon, poncirus trifoliata seedlings about 6 to 12 inches high, from seed planted in late 2018. I have one Dunstan that has survived unprotected here although it froze down to a sucker a few years ago and is nor 5 ft tall again. That the benefit of growing these on their own roots; they come back (sometimes) if frozen to ground. I have a citradia and a Thomasville that have come back from ground three or four times since 2012. Iíve lost Dunstan and Swingle completely, 10 ft tall trees, from temps below freezing for a week, and during the two years of polar vortex. Since then, my survivors noted above have survived although they all defoliate and loose the smaller younger late season growth, even this past warm winter. Iíve learned that if I want fruit, it has to be something grafted preferably on dragon to dwarf it so I can cover it and heat it to reduce damage/death and to preserve fruit which matures late in the cooler climate with fewer annual heat units. You are really far north, but if youíre really in 7b, you might get fruit from a Dunstan when it gets 10 ft tall or more. Thereís some Dunstan in Winston-Salem, NC and Charlotte and Raleigh, NC which are zoned 7 and 8. Iíve seen beautiful fruiting Dunstan and Swingle citrumelo at an arboretum in Raleigh NC.

Chris S

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2020, 10:27:48 PM »
Thanks everyone for the information. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm out of luck with Stan for the year. He says he had an unusually high number of people purchasing from him due to more people being at home on lockdown and taking an interest in gardening.

People are surprised to hear how mild our winters here are in NYC relative to the rest of the NE, but we have an urban heat island effect here coupled with being right on the coast that gives us a nice microclimate. In fact, if you visit certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn or the Bronx, you'll see many large fig trees growing unprotected that were brought by immigrants many years ago. We also actually lie only at 40 degrees latitude, which is further south than parts of NoCal and cities like Rome or Barcelona, though they have much warmer winters. Drive 45 mins out of the city though into rural parts of New Jersey and it's significantly colder during winter.

https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

From what you guys have suggested, I think a Dunstan Citrumelo and US-852 would be the best choices. Is there anywhere these are available to purchase or trade? I haven't been able to find a source for either.

Thanks again!

Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2020, 07:58:29 PM »
Try One Green World. I ordered a Yuzu and bergamot from them this fall and they are shipping them this week. They had citrumelo on their list and Iím pretty sure all their citrus is on flying dragon or poncirus rootstock. I have a sour orange from them that is potted and doing well. The photo of their citrumelo looked like Dunstan to me.

Chris S

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2020, 10:53:27 PM »
They are sold out too :( Yuzu is still in stock but I don't think it'll be hardy enough here.

Ilya11

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2020, 04:40:48 AM »
Citradia, are your Dunstan looks like this?


I am surprised how large are its flowers
It is  the second time flowering of the plant that was grown  for 10 years from US seeds.
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SoCal2warm

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2020, 05:01:14 PM »
I am surprised how large are its flowers
I find it surprising how those flowers are shaped like Poncirus trifoliata flowers, yet they are the big size of pomelo flowers.
It looks like even bigger because of the elongated shape of the petals.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 05:02:45 PM by SoCal2warm »

Ilya11

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2020, 05:29:06 PM »
Pomelo flowers are smaller.
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brian

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2020, 06:29:18 PM »
I suggest you build a greenhouse and then you can grow all citrus :)

Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2020, 09:50:40 PM »
Ilya11, my Dunstan has not bloomed. Iíve been growing seeds from other growersí fruits. Most of my poncirus hybrids have died back over the years, never reaching full maturity to bloom. I have one Changsha that is 12 feet tall and blooming a little this year, but it has a frame built around it to cover it in winter. I hope my oldest surviving Dunstan will bloom one year, but I canít build a house around all my seedling trees. My hybrids are experimental in this climate. Thanks for the picture of the flowers, Ilya11! They are beautiful. Here is my Dunstan that has come back from roots from several years ago.




Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2020, 09:53:20 PM »
Ilya11, do your Dunstan flowers have citrus fragrance?

SoCal2warm

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2020, 12:39:33 AM »
My Dunstan did not lose its leaves over the winter.
The winter before that, when it was very cold, the leaves fell off after suffering damage from the early February snowstorm (when it may have gotten down to 12 or 14 degrees, and stayed slightly below freezing for almost a whole day, even though I covered it during the coldest night) but strangely the winged petiole part of the leaves (at the base of the leaf) stayed on and did not drop off, and was still somewhat green when things finally began to warm up months later.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 12:41:13 AM by SoCal2warm »

Ilya11

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2020, 04:26:44 AM »
Ilya11, do your Dunstan flowers have citrus fragrance?

Yes, it is very fragrant, for me its smell is closer to pomelo  than that of grapefruit.
I posted recently on a French forum  a comparison of fruit taste of 5star and Dunstan.
Do you have a photo of the leaves of your Dunstan?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 04:34:52 AM by Ilya11 »
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Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2020, 07:17:34 AM »
Here are leaves from September of 2018 showing yellowing on main trunk of tree that had been damaged by freezing the winter before. The main trunk finally died and I was left with a sucker that is now my main trunk.






« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 07:20:57 AM by Citradia »

Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2020, 08:10:00 AM »
I took these pics this morning of my survivor Dunstan:






Ilya11

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2020, 09:13:45 AM »
Thank you, these leaves look exactly the same as those of my Dunstan. I was asking this question because it seems there exist several varieties with this name.
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Citradia

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Re: NYC Citrus
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2020, 08:17:40 PM »
Youíre welcome. I know this is Dunstan Because I planted the seeds from a fruit that I received from a reputable grower from Virginia Beach. The fruit was like a sour grapefruit and was decent quality.

 

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