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Messages - Isaac-1

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Freeze protection for in ground citrus?
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:37:54 PM »
For those of you that grow citrus in ground in marginal climate zones, at what forecast temperatures do you implement active freeze protection?

I live on the 9a/8b line and do the following, my more cold sensitive citrus (Meyer's and Cara Cara) get C7 Christmas lights and covering with a light sheet any time the forecast temperature drops below freezing,  which may be a bit conservative, but all it takes is the forecast to be significantly wrong once to loose them, already once this year we had a forecast calling for a low of 33F and had an actual low of 26F.  My young  more cold hardy Satsuma's get covered when the forecast calls for a low below 25-26, and my large mature Satsumas (12-15 ft tall 15-20 ft wide) only get covered and heat lamps when the forecast calls for temperatures below 20 degrees, which averages being once every 5 years or so.

The smaller trees all have C7 style Christmas lights on them throughout the winter which are plugged into thermo-cube switches that turn on at 35F and off at 45F, which without covering only adds minimal protection, but minimal is better than one.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: HLB Getting Worse in California
« on: December 21, 2017, 01:09:44 PM »
I too have my doubts about predators helping prevent your trees from becoming infected, though if implemented on a wide scale they may help reduce the spread of HLB.  The simple fact is by the time infected ACP show up on your property the chances of the predators getting all of them before any of them feed on your citrus trees is very low.  Think of it a bit like the old video game Missile Attack, it only takes one getting through.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Thorns on Cara Cara?
« on: December 20, 2017, 03:28:46 PM »
We finally had sunshine today, so I snapped a photo of the supposed Cara Cara leaves showing the small thorns.  Perhaps someone that is better at leaf identification can confirm what this is, to me it looks like the textbook example of Cara Cara, though personally I can't tell the difference in leaves between Cara Cara, Washington Navel, and Dancy Tangerine in online leaf photos.  I am starting to think this may be mismarked Dancy as the nursery this tree came from also sells Dancy Tangerines, which seem to have very similar leaves, and are noted as being somewhat thorny, though I can't seem to find an image showing leaves and thorns together.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: HLB Getting Worse in California
« on: December 20, 2017, 10:20:27 AM »
If anyone had a solution that did not involve a fine mesh screen and positive pressure ventilation they would make a fortune.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Thorns on Cara Cara?
« on: December 19, 2017, 10:50:38 PM »
I know with certainty that it is grafted on some type of trifoliata based on removal of growth below the graft line in the 2 years since I planted it.  Also based on email with the nursery that grew it, the exact root stock is claimed to be Carrizo, though the exact Citrange may be anyones guess.  The leaves on the tree look correct for a navel orange with winged petioles, though I am no expert at citrus identification by leaf shape, so since it has yet to produce any fruit, it is possible that it may be some other citrus with similar leaf shape that also commonly has thorns.  Though overall the thing that strikes me as odd is that the thorns are a new thing as they almost were certainly not there when I was covering it during freezes the last 2 years, either that or I got very lucky, since I stuck myself with them at least 3 or 4 times while covering and uncovering last week, which is probably the 5th or 6th time since planting it 2 years ago.


p.s. one note on the thorns they are much shorter than the thorns typically seen on Carrizo (which in my experience has nasty looking long thorns).

Citrus General Discussion / Thorns on Cara Cara?
« on: December 19, 2017, 07:24:37 PM »
I live in zone 8b in Louisiana and planted a Cara Cara orange tree a couple of years ago, and while I was outside covering it to protect it from the early season freeze we had last week I found that it has started growing thorns on all of its branches.  It has not reverted to root stock, leaves are still the same style as previously, overall size is now about 6 ft tall, which is on par with an Armstrong Satsuma that I planted nearby at about the same time.

My concern is that the entire tree may now be a sport as in my limited reading on the subject Cara Cara is somewhat prone to mutation / reverting to a plain navel variety, and there is a note in the CCPP file that Cara Cara budwood should only be supplied from trees that have fruited to prevent this issue.

Has anyone experienced this issue with Cara Cara or Navel Oranges in general?

Should I consider re-planting another Cara Cara?  I have limited sheltered space available to plant non-cold hardy citrus, maybe room for 2 more cold tender varieties close enough to the house to provide lights for heat, etc., and I was already thinking about planting a Chandler Pomelo in one of those spaces.

p.s. This is definitely not rootstock taking over, leaves are definitely citrus, root stock is a trifoliate hybrid (Carrizo)

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 18, 2017, 06:08:02 PM »
Thanks for posting this somewhat detailed plan, I hope you keep us updated as it  progresses.    My one suggestion is that you actively work to find someone in your region to collaborate with.   All too often these sorts of long term individual projects get side track by unexpected life events of the originator. 

Citrus General Discussion / Re: New Member, Central Texas
« on: December 17, 2017, 05:03:52 PM »
Welcome from Louisiana, I am about 250 miles east of you in western Louisiana,  I have 3 mature Satsuma trees, 3 younger Satsuma trees (3 different early varieties), a young Meyers and a young Cara Cara Orange.   The largest is about 15 ft tall and 15 ft wide, the smallest is about 4 ft tall and 2 ft wide.  This spring I plan to add a few more citrus trees, perhaps including a grapefruit.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: cold hardy Citrus for zone 7b?
« on: December 13, 2017, 05:41:51 PM »
If you are willing to provide some cold protection (covering, old style large bulb non-LED christmas lights, etc.) during hard freezes you may consider something like Arctic Frost Satsuma, a relatively recent Satsuma cross out of Texas.

The jury is still out on real world performance, though taste while perhaps less good than other Satsumas will still likely be superior to the others mentioned so far.  There are also a few varieties of citrus being planted commercially in southern Georgia see

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Arctic Frost / Orange Frost Satsuma?
« on: October 24, 2017, 09:23:41 AM »
It might be, but my big concern is being out of town during a particularly bad freeze as I often travel a good amount in the colder months.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Arctic Frost / Orange Frost Satsuma?
« on: October 23, 2017, 02:07:10 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, I think they will be going on my backup plan option then, I have plenty of room for my citrus, just not is well sheltered locations with easy access to electricity, etc.

Can anyone here imagine only eating 3 pounds of fresh oranges per year?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Dealing with Cold Damage
« on: October 15, 2017, 03:17:22 AM »
I am following this up for future references, the tree mentioned above appeared to have lost nearly half of its main limbs on the north side of the tree, throughout the entire summer they still appeared dead.  Due to the hot weather we had, and various other projects I had going on I kept putting off trimming back the "dead" branches, and so when I went out to check on it a few days ago in mid October (we are having a very warm October here with highs still around 90F most days) I found new growth just starting on over 80% of the limbs that looked dead all summer.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Anyone growing olives?
« on: October 15, 2017, 12:09:48 AM »
I too am in a similar situation and climate to you on the 8b/9a line in Louisiana and have been giving thoughts to olives, and can't wait to see if someone posts some useful comments.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Arctic Frost / Orange Frost Satsuma?
« on: October 13, 2017, 07:43:41 PM »
Can anyone comment on the flavor of Arctic Frost and Orange Frost Satsuma, and perhaps compare them to Miho Satsuma?

I live in west central Louisiana on the 8b/9a line, and am currently growing 6 varieties of Satsuma's (3 mature 20+ year old 12-15 ft tall trees in 2 varieties, and 3 early varieties (St Ann, Louisiana Early, and Armstrong Early)that have been in the ground for about 3 years, ) along with a meyer's lemon, and a CaraCara orange, that are also 2-3 years old.  Being  quarantine state I have limited selection of citrus available, generally being limited to the offerings from 2 citrus nurseries, one of which just introduced Arctic Frost and Orange frost to the state, the other is working on Miho's but they will not be ready for another year at least.  I would like to plant some more citrus, but as you might imagine I am running out of sheltered locations, as well as places close enough to the house to run electricity for christmas lights, etc.

Which leads to the current question, how is the taste of the above mentioned varieties, and are they worth growing as a backup in case of a once in 50 year super freeze?  I have ample space for more trees, just not in sheltered locations.

thanks Ike

I think you need to define this question a bit more, where I live in SW Louisiana most people that I know with in ground home citrus (mostly Satsumas, but also some others)  do nothing for their trees, no fertilizer or care of any kind, they just pick the fruit each year.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Can citrus be grown in Austin, TX?
« on: April 16, 2017, 11:29:35 PM »
Growing citrus in zone 8b can be done if the grower is willing to provide freeze protection (covering, old style large bulb christmas lights, etc.) during hard freezes.  The trick to being successful is to plant in a sheltered location by a south wall, cover and protect whenever there is a CHANCE of a hard freeze even if the forecast is calling for a low of 28-29,  too often the actual low is 8-10 degrees below the forecast temperature, and all it takes is to skip the covering one time, particularly in the first few years and you can loose the tree.  Combine this with a cold hardy citrus like Satsumas for the best results, but even less cold hardy varieties can survive if you are willing to stay on top of the freeze protection, which may include having a standby generator in case of winter storm power outages.

Citrus General Discussion / Surplus home citrus?
« on: April 11, 2017, 10:27:05 PM »
I have a growing citrus problem, namely what to do with the surplus of citrus each year?  I currently have 3 mature Satsuma trees (8-12 ft tall, an about 10-16 feet in diameter), I also have 5 more citrus trees that have been growing in ground for 1-2 years, specifically 3 more early Satsuma varieties, a Meyers Lemon and a Cara Cara Orange.  I added the 3 new Satsuma's to spread out the harvest season, not to get more fruit, and as it stands my 3 mature Satsuma trees produce more fruit than my family can possibly eat, and it is hard even give it away on you pick basis.   I also plan to add 2 or 3 more Satsuma trees in the next year or so, specifically some Miho Satsuma which are much more cold tolerant than the varieties have have currently planted to hedge my bets against those 50 to 100 year freezes that tend to wipe out all citrus in my area. (all time record low here is 13F, Miho is known to survive down to 14F)

What does everyone else do in this situation?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Dealing with Cold Damage
« on: March 29, 2017, 09:02:38 AM »
When addressing cold injury and dead wood, how long do you wait before pruning the dead limbs?  I think one of my mature Satsuma's took a hit from our unexpectedly hard freeze in January, it is in the most exposed location and lost  its leaves a few days after the freeze, has since put them back on for 3/4 of the tree, however a couple of main branches on the north side now appear dead with no new leaf growth.  (I am on the 8b / 9a line in Louisiana)

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Planting potted citrus in the ground
« on: March 08, 2017, 08:04:00 PM »
If it makes you feel better here is a picture of one of my 3 mature Satsumas, this picture was taken in December after about 2/3 of the fruit had been picked.  I am on the 9a / 8b line in Louisiana

Of course a week or so later it got hit by a 22 degree freeze and lost most of its leaves, but is bouncing back now.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Planting potted citrus in the ground
« on: March 02, 2017, 12:41:17 AM »
If you plant them outside, I would suggest planting in a sheltered location where you can offer freeze protection (covering, christmas lights, etc.)  I live along the 8b /9a line in Louisiana and here we can get the occasional freeze that is hard enough to wipe out nearly all varieties of unprotected citrus, for us this is a once in every 25-50 year event, but you never know when it will happen.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Merry Christmas
« on: December 25, 2016, 12:57:03 AM »
Merry Christmas everyone

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Whats turning color?
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:05:37 AM »
It is a strange year here, one of my 3 mature (10+ year old) Owari's is already starting to color up, I tried a fruit off it today and it tasted close to being ripe, certainly edible.  The tree is also loaded down with fruit although they are much smaller than what this tree has historically produced (less than half the size).  By comparison the fruit on my LA Early Satsuma which was planted last year is less ripe than this one Owari and the fruit on my other two Owari trees are still bright green and sour.  Of course to confuse matters even more it is mid October and the daily highs are still around 90 most days with only 1 night so far dropping into the upper 40's vs say 3 years ago this week  we had our first freeze of the year.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Cold tolerant lime
« on: September 28, 2016, 10:44:52 AM »
Why in this case limes are practically absent in commercial planting in Florida?

I suspect it is the same reason we have a lot of backyard citrus (mostly Satsuma) , but little to no commercial citrus here where I live in SW Louisiana along the 8b/9a line.  Risk aversion, you never know when that 50 year freeze will come along and wipe out 100% of your trees.  Also with backyard citrus there is a better chance of surviving that 30-50 year freeze through covering, christmas lights, etc.

I have read that most Satsumas require some cool weather to get their best flavor, therefore they tend to grow best along the upper gulf coast.

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