Author Topic: To Buy a Kumquat Tree in Florida.( to bring back to Ohio, to be container plant)  (Read 1009 times)

LazarusLong714

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Hi everyone.     Hey, If I were going to buy a kumquat tree in Florida, where would be the best place to look?   And when would the best TIME of the year be, to look?   And what should I reasonably expect to spend on one?

   I ask this because I have family in both Dunedin and St. Petersburg.  I used to go down there every year, but not so much lately, but I can make the trip if I need to or want to.    I think I was down there 2 years ago and went to a lot of garden centers looking for a live MIRACLE FRUIT plant and couldn't find one, and was tangentally looking for a kumquat tree, also without success.  Went to local Garden centers and "big box stores", primarily in the Dunedin/Clearwater area without success. 

     Any suggestions from people that live there?  I could even have one of my family members pick one up for me, and keep it safe until I drive down to visit, depending on the time of year.

      Any other thoughts on the topic of obtaining Kumquats, besides ordering them, sight unseen ?

Thanks.    Lazarus.

brian

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I am not in a citrus growing region but I regularly find citrus trees including kumquats sold at walmart, home depot, lowes. 

I have brought back treea as baggage from FL, but mail order probably makes more sense.  There are a number of good cifrus sellers, MadisonCitrus is commonly recommended here, but Fourwindsgrowers, harris citrus, and logees have good trees.

For miracle berry check Etsy

LazarusLong714

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Brian,

     I am over being interested in the miracle fruit.  While it is an interesting concept, it is a one-trick-pony and I am not chasing it any more.
 
    Interesting about Lowe's and Home Depot, though.   I tried one of them a few weeks ago, I can't recall which, but I found one in their online store, but couldn't tell if my local store had it, so I called.  Of course my local store did not have it, but they were not able to do a blanket inventory search to find a store in Ohio that DID have a kumquat tree.  They looked up the three closest stores, one at a time and looked individually, then told me "good luck, probably not in ohio".  Either a really old program, a really disinterested employee, or simply inept.       I guess I will have to attempt that again.      I know a lot of things are seasonal, specifically up here where the seasons are so different.    Any suggestions as to the best time of year to look up here for those?

    Thanks for the answers and conversation.   I am going to have a LOT of questions, and I thank you for being responsive.

Lazarus.

Galatians522

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I would do mail order as Brian suggested. Once a tree leaves the screened nursery where it was grown it quickly becomes infected with the citrus greening disease (HLB). Often symptoms will not show for months even though the tree is infected. So, there is a high probability that you would just bring a diseased plant back with you. If you decide to get a mail order tree, I prefer the Meiwa to Nagami for fresh eating. Nagami is better for cooking and baking.

poncirsguy

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Once your tree leaves the store It can't pass out of Florida.  Mail order it at the store to your home.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2023, 10:12:28 PM by poncirsguy »

brian

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oh, yeah, don't bring Citrus out of Florida, because of HLB disease.  I've only brought non-citrus :)

LazarusLong714

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Thanks for that info, guys.   I would NOT have thought of that any time soon.   Makes perfect sense though!  Not that it would be a danger to any other citrus but mine, that would still be far too bad.

Galatians, another example of me seeing/reading conflicting information.  I have seen pictures/videos of Meiwa fruit pretty decently sized, and then I watched a video where the whole tree/bush was covered in fruit that were all about as small as a marble.   And I have heard that Meiwa can be difficult for a newbie.   Any thoughts or corrections there, based on your own experience?

And just to confirm...   Mail order it will be, if I can't find one locally.

Lazarus.

brian

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Fukushu/changshou is an excellent tasting type and can make egg sized fruits (though usually smaller),  and in my experience can be totally seedless if kept away from pollinating insects.

Galatians522

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The Meiwas we grew in the ground in Florida were just as big as Nagami. Put another way, they were a little larger than a Ranier cherry. I never saw one that was marble size. I have no experience with the Fukushu. So, I will defer to Brian on that.

LazarusLong714

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Thanks for that info.     Gotta say, I am really impressed with the wide variety of choices even in this small-category of citrus.   Prior to finding this forum and all of you, I had no idea what was out there.   Well, I guess my wife is just going to have to learn to accept this new facet of my world.   She's usually pretty tolerant and rolls with my interests pretty well, but this is going to test that, I think!  Now I want Meiwa, Fukushu and Nagami.    AND enough young seedlings to graft all of those onto.   AND a dedicated CITRUS space...  Yep.   I can see from here that I have fallen down the Rabbit Hole.   

At least I am in good company.

Lazarus

Millet

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Go to Madison Nursery web site.  Madison Nursery has a great selection and quality trees.  They can ship direct to you.

caladri

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Go to Madison Nursery web site.  Madison Nursery has a great selection and quality trees.  They can ship direct to you.

Yes, this! And look at their 'quat' section, it'll blow your mind compared to the few you're thinking about maybe getting :)

greg_D

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Thanks for that info, guys.   I would NOT have thought of that any time soon.   Makes perfect sense though!  Not that it would be a danger to any other citrus but mine, that would still be far too bad.

Galatians, another example of me seeing/reading conflicting information.  I have seen pictures/videos of Meiwa fruit pretty decently sized, and then I watched a video where the whole tree/bush was covered in fruit that were all about as small as a marble.   And I have heard that Meiwa can be difficult for a newbie.   Any thoughts or corrections there, based on your own experience?

And just to confirm...   Mail order it will be, if I can't find one locally.

Lazarus.

The botanic garden I volunteer at has a bunch of Meiwa in containers. The fruit are the size and shape of a standard seedless green grape at the supermarket. The fruit are delicious and can be eaten whole, especially if you don't mind a seed or two. The experience of trying a few of them fresh motivated me to order a tree. I got mine from Four Winds Growers, a mail order nursery.

LazarusLong714

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Greg_D, thanks for that info. First hand experience is priceless!   Doing my research and diligence.    I am sure I am going to end up with multiple varieties of Kumquats... they just seem like the perfect little fruit!  Eat the whole thing, wrapper and all.   My wife is not nearly as excited about this as I am.

   Hope you had a great Labor Day.

Lazarus.

greg_D

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Greg_D, thanks for that info. First hand experience is priceless!   Doing my research and diligence.    I am sure I am going to end up with multiple varieties of Kumquats... they just seem like the perfect little fruit!  Eat the whole thing, wrapper and all.   My wife is not nearly as excited about this as I am.

   Hope you had a great Labor Day.

Lazarus.

Sure thing! One thing to watch out for when it comes to trees from that nursery: they use a rootstock that is susceptible to an insect-transmitted disease called tristeza. I'm not sure if that would be a concern where you live; I imagine there aren't any outdoor citrus trees in your area from which you could get the disease transmitted, and in theory the plant will be shipped from the nursery to your door free of any health issues.

bussone

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Greg_D, thanks for that info. First hand experience is priceless!   Doing my research and diligence.    I am sure I am going to end up with multiple varieties of Kumquats... they just seem like the perfect little fruit!  Eat the whole thing, wrapper and all.   My wife is not nearly as excited about this as I am.

   Hope you had a great Labor Day.

Lazarus.

Sure thing! One thing to watch out for when it comes to trees from that nursery: they use a rootstock that is susceptible to an insect-transmitted disease called tristeza. I'm not sure if that would be a concern where you live; I imagine there aren't any outdoor citrus trees in your area from which you could get the disease transmitted, and in theory the plant will be shipped from the nursery to your door free of any health issues.

It's theoretically possible to get it from a nearby poncirus stand, but it's pretty unlikely.

So far as I know, zanthoxylum doesn't get it, and it's about the only other citrus relative found that far north.

JCorte

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Once you get a tree, you can order clean budwood of other varieties to graft from the Citrus Clonal Protection Program.  Their prices have gone up but they have harder to find varieties like the seedless Nagami.

https://ccpp.ucr.edu/onlineOrdersV2/

Janet

brian

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Normann Seedless Nagami was common last I checked, which I admit was some years ago. 

Edit - fourwindsgrowers has grafted ones in stock if you are looking for it, they are in CA and so should ship within CA
« Last Edit: September 06, 2023, 07:36:38 PM by brian »

a_Vivaldi

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to buy a Kumquat Tree in Florida... to bring back to Ohio

Please, please, please do not do this.

I don't know if you've played Elden Ring, but Florida is citrus Caelid.

If your plant has HLB, or one of the numerous other disease and pests afflicting citrus in Florida, there is a very real possibility of it spreading, even in Ohio (there are plenty of native relatives of citrus, not to mention other people growing citrus, and plenty of insects who could prove to be chance vectors). There are a lot of ways of getting really nice kumquats without breaking state and federal law and endangering people's livelihoods and, even worse, hobbies. I second the suggestion of Madison Citrus Nursery--they're amazing, have reasonable prices, and great plants.

LazarusLong714

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Thanks for that info, Brian.   

and Janet!   You are trying to send me down another rabbit hole, aren't you?        I did find that resource already, but without having spare rootstock, or a mature citrus to graft onto, the budwood is just going to taunt me, even if I don't buy any (yet). 

     I am looking at my plan of attack already.  It looks like I need 50-100 year-old rootstock seedlings and THEN a double handful of budwood.   Since I don't have that and my pockets aren't deep enough to just go buy all I want, I am starting with essentially free "grocery store lemon" seeds/seedlings and when they are big enough to graft onto, I will graft my seedlings from the "grocery store kumquat" seeds (that I germinated and are growing) onto the lemon rootstocks.    It's all very generic, since I don't know the ACTUAL variety of either the lemons OR the kumquats, but for just a few dollars, I have right around 25 seedlings from each source.   That will get me an opportunity to try my hand at some grafting, and hopefully end up with at least a few unidentified kumquat plants.

   I do plan, in the meantime, to buy a couple citrus plants that are either fruiting or close to fruiting.     I have a simple grow light right now, 18" double tube LED.   I will be investing in a few more grow lights, to be able to cover the square footage I will need soon, with the seedlings that I now have, as this is OHIO and we won't be leaving our plants outside once it starts getting cold.

   Anyway, now you know my initial game plan, but since I am still squarely in the NOVICE stage, all of my plans are subject to change as I learn more.  To wait for these seedings to grow will be even more painful than watching paint dry.  Like paint that doesn't dry for 1, or 2 or even 4 years!   I wish I was a decade or two younger as I get into this hobby/obsession.

   Ok.   Well, that was a long answer.  I may or may not be on the right track, but this is where I am starting from.  Thanks for making me think.

a_ Vivldi:  I have already made the decision to NOT buy one in person in Florida and bring back to OHIO with me.   In the 10 days since I joined this Forum and posed that opening question, I have learned quite a bit and you are not the first person to point out what a bad choice that would be.  I am slightly less ignorant today than I was 10 days ago.    10 days ago, I did not understand about HLB.   I don't want to be "that guy" or to break any laws.    I am a veteran and I work in healthcare.  Not necessarily stupid, just not always knowledgable.   THANK YOU, for being willing to stand up for what is right, proper, and legal.  I can appreciate that.

Lazarus