Citrus > Cold Hardy Citrus

Atlanta Winter Citrus Damage


Ok. Got outside to look at the Damage. Most of it happened on the 22nd to 24th on the runup to Christmas. Many houses and buildings had water damage from burst pipes and water tanks. I checked the weather history, and it went from 50 degrees F on the 23rd to 9 degrees F on the 24th. The damage was harsh because I was actually stuck out of State and was not able to protect any of my plants. Every Citrus plant is defoliated except one.

The Citrangequat is the clear winner. It is mostly defoliated, but most of the growth is still green with only a little tip burn. I pruned it anyway because it was getting way too tall and bushy. Come spring, I will take out some of the stems to try and keep it to 3 trunks. These winters make me too nervous to try and turn it into a tree. So it'll get the fig/ pomegranate treatment of a few trunks so that hopefully at least one will make it every winter. This one is unprotected fully out in the open.

The UGA Changsha is defoliated with maybe 30% damage. It is on the South Side of the house next to a Meyer lemon. I'll prune once growth starts in the spring.

The Meyer lemon is mostly dead with green on 2 large trunks up against the south wall. So it will probably come back, but will need serious pruning. Not sure what form will be left here. If it finally dies or comes back as sprouts, I'll pull it out and pot it as it only gives fruit every other year with these weather issues.

The potted citrus:

Miho satsuma: some green at the base, so cautiously optimistic to see if the graft survived.

Sudachi: Looks dead as a doornail, but will wait before tossing:

Bloomsweet: Some green at the base, will wait to see if graft survives.

UGA Ichang: Most of the stems are green, will wait to see how much of the form will come back. This one was bought from me by a close family friend, so sorry now that I gave it away, but will see if I can get some budwood before giving it away.

Yuzuquat: Looks dead as a doornail. All brown. This one was never really that hardy for me. I think the warm winters just don't agree with it.

Moral of the story: The Japanese varieties just aren't cut out for the Southeast. Yuzu, Yuzuquat, Sudachi should be able to take the lows, but it stays way too warm in the winter for them to harden up. I think it's back to the Kumquat hybrids for me. Thomasville is the KIng, and now Hershel has a Sinton that I will get in the Spring. That kumquat dormancy seems like an essential quality down here as opposed to California with its cooler winters.
The Ichang looks good but the fruit is way too large for me to use. A neighbor has the original non-irradiated one, and whenever they give me some, all I can do is freeze it in trays. Putting some in a cup of tea is ridiculous as one eighth of  a fruit would be enough. I would just waste the rest.

I'll update it in the Spring with my final results.


I look forward to read about your update.
The Sinton citrangequat originated from Texas, I believe.
 Btw, I sure wish those UGA varieties were available in Texas.. Y'all are lucky.

So the Sweet Frost is budding out from the grafting wood, so that's a success.

The Miho Satsuma is showing trifoliate leaves, so the graft is gone.
The Grand Frost Ichang is also showing trifoliate leaves with brown budwood so look's like a goner.
The sudachi and bloomsweet are still sitting, but the trifoliate rootstock is green and the graft wood is brown so doesn't look like they made it either.

Shocker of shockers, my meyer lemon shows green on a few trunks. We'll see if it comes back.
I will be disappointed in the UGA ichang if it doesn't return. I went back and looked at the patent application and Dr. Hanna did say that it didn't survive -11C in 2014. That would be 12F, so much less hardy than the 10C that it's touted as.

A neighbor of mine has an OG seeded IChang so I'll check to see how that one did....

Sorry for your loss.

Yep..A lot of Citrus trees lost between GA, TX, SC, etc..

My neighbor has the original changsha and Ichang lemon. Her tree are more on the Northeast side so that part stays cooler, which probably helps with dormancy. Her changsha is mostly green, in better shape than my citrangequat honestly. The Grand frost Ichang was definitely crispy, but the trunk is green under the bark, so we'll see if it comes back.

So in both cases, the Changsha is much more hardy. I rate the Ichang up to Stan Mckenzie's mark of 20F...
Think I'm pulling away from the unproven Citrus varieties after this. If I'm going to protect, might as well get an Italian lemon or something..


[0] Message Index

Go to full version