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Messages - Walt

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Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: April 09, 2018, 05:04:24 PM »
Welcome Ethane.
I'm in the process of re-writing my goal and method because of the responses I got here.  I now have much higher expectations.
I'm now wanting to combine low poncirin and precocious with high percent  monozygotic seeds.
In the meantime, producing 3/4 P. trifoliata 1/4 citrus seedlings to see how much segregation there is for cold tolerance.  Of course that means finding a replicatible way to measure cold tolerance.
We are both in zone 6.  That doesn't mean what works for one of us will necessarily work for the other.  There are so many other factors not covered by a single number.  But more people working on this can only improve our chances.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 14, 2018, 12:37:42 PM »
Ilya.  How many of the citrumelo 5* x  Flying Dragon hybrid seedlings do you have?  I ask because I plan backcrosses of various 3/4 P.t. 1/4 citrus, and I'd like to know how much segregation for cold tolerance there is in the backcross 1 generation.  I will be following your results with great interest.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 13, 2018, 02:01:22 PM »
Thank you for the information.  "almost edible" is not my goal, but it is a step along the way.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 11, 2018, 04:31:57 PM »
I am thinking that all the citrange, citandarin, citquat, etc., should be remade using the better tasting P.t.  Also with the more zygotic P.t., and with precocious P.t.  I know that is a lot of work and will take a lot of space.  But I am retired and I have no desire to sit around waiting to die.  And I thought my origonal plan, which I still plan to do, was pretty ambitious.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 10, 2018, 12:56:09 PM »
Also 2 other question.
Do you know of other 3/4 P. t., 1/4 citrus?
Did you use a P.t. with their usual flavor or one of the mutants with better flavor?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 10, 2018, 12:53:00 PM »
This is the first 3/4 P. trifoliata, 1/4 citrus I've heard of.  Any idea of how hardy it will be?  I know, or believe, that the citromelo, being a hybrid will be segregating, so there could be great variation in such hybrids.  I'm willing to go to 7/8 P. trifoliata, 1/8 citrus, but I hope I don't have to.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 09, 2018, 04:40:44 PM »
Does citrus pollen store well and ship well?
I ask because I am impatient to get some crosses made and hybrid seeds started.  Breeding trees takes patience, and I'd be OK with that if I had no other options. 
But I know there are people here who have mature plants of some I've been growing on, and might make some pollinations if they had pollen.  and there may be people with mature plants who might donate pollen.  Yes?
When I started this thread, I was thinking in long term plans.  But since there are mature plants of non-disgusting P. trifoliata, and US 852, for example, such a cross might be made this spring and we'd be that much closer to having something edible and more hardy than now exists.
But first step is to see if it is possible.
I realize that P. trifoliata blooms earlier than citranges or citanderins, etc.  So it might not work making the cross in the direction I'd like, unless the P. trifoliata is much further north than the US 852.  Perhaps a  US 852 x citrange?
Anyone have information or ideas?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Citrus Growers Forum
« on: February 24, 2018, 01:20:23 PM »
I have read books and many journal papers on citrus, but much of what I have learned of citrus is from that website.  Thanks for making it available again.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Accuracy of cold hardiness temperatures?
« on: February 23, 2018, 05:30:06 PM »
Useful information.  Thanks for posting the links.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Swamp Lemon Adventure!
« on: February 13, 2018, 01:21:57 PM »
What about the palmtrees? Sabal minor? Or Rhapidophyllum hystrix? Swamp lemon looks like a common Poncirus -am I right? But it seems to be much less cold hardy, I suppose.

The place on the internet where I read about it showed pure P. trifoliata, Swamp Lemon, and citrange leaves.  The Swamp Lemon leaves were intermediate between the pure trifoliate and the citrange leaves.  Not proof, but suggests to me that it isn't pure trifoliate.  Either way, I want it.  Assuming it exists.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Accuracy of cold hardiness temperatures?
« on: January 23, 2018, 01:49:48 PM »
Thanks for the comments.
I live in winter wheat country.  Winter wheat that grows here is known for its drought tolerence.  Yet last year the wheat was damaged by drought over the winter.  So I think the combination of drought stress and cold was right.  Also the fact that I'd never had much winter die-back before.
As for microclimate, when I was hoeing up dikes around each plant to hold the water, some areas were moist and some were completely dry.  This within 2 m of each other. 
One winter old seedlings were more than 100 m from the 4 winter old seedlings.  Differences between locations include tree root competition, wind breaks, amount of sun, soil type, mulch vs. no mulch.  So it isn't fair to compare them at all. 
I had never seen leaves on P,t during the winter before, except in the greenhouse of course.  But I haven't really checked them before.  But last year was the first time I have seen winter damage.  From now on I'll be checking them all winter.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Accuracy of cold hardiness temperatures?
« on: January 21, 2018, 03:12:55 PM »
Last winter many of pure P. trifolata seedlings died to the ground over the winter.  These seedlings had been planted in pots as seeds as soon as the fruit were ripe.  They were grown in a greenhouse over the first winter, then planted in the ground as soon as last frost date.
I had treated seedlings the same every year for 4 years, building up a supply of rootstocks, for 4 years with no problems so I blamed drought stress, not cold.  But since they had survived underground and came back up, I decided it was cold and drought stress combined, not one or the other.  Such little things can affect winter hardiness I think.
All seeds were from the tree and I think they are all geneticly identical.

So this year I am irrigating over the winter.  And yesterday I was out carrying water to the seedlings, since the summer automatic irrigation is shut off for the winter.  I noticed 3 out of 94 seedlings still had green, healthy leaves.  I have had over a week below freezing, dropping to -15C during 2 nights.  And green leaves still on my P.t?  The cold had broken and the last 5 days have been quite warm, dropping below freezing most nights but just barely freezing.  Freeze damage should have been seen by now if it had happened.
So I looked at my 3 and 4 years seedlings.  14 of 25 4 year old seedlings still have green healthy leaves.  Nothing I have been told or read prepared me for this.
I think that any report of trees living or dieing at a given temperature is of very limited value in another place,  I don't say it is of no value, because we often have no better information.  But there are many variables other than temperature and variety.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Accuracy of cold hardiness temperatures?
« on: January 12, 2018, 03:11:21 PM »
Ilya11 had a related post on another thread a week or two ago.  It got me to thinking, and I've spent hours studying research papers on cold hardiness of apples and plums.  Similar papers came up on pears, peaches, and apricots when I searched on google.
So there is an amazing amount of information that  might matter.  Much of it rather discouraging to me, as in breeding hardier citrus, I need to be able to sort out those in each generation that are a degree or two more hardy.
First the good news.  My idea of testing cold hardiness of scion wood works with apples.  Good.
Now the bad news.  For such a test to work, the trees the cuttings are taken from must be from the same location.  And we all know that microclimates can vary even in small areas.  Fertility must be good in the ground where every tree was grown.  Rootstocks need to be the same.  If the cuttings were taken from own-root plants, then root differences may effect twig cuttings.
One study treated freeze damage and cold damage seperately.  Freeze damage is damage from sap freezing in the xylem.  Cold damage is damage done though the sap in the xylem hasn't frozen.  Spring and fall damage is often cold damage, not freeze damage.
I would like studies to be made of cuttings, scionwood-like cuttings, of different varieties and different species of citrus from different locations, tested different times during spring, winter, and fall.  I think the resulting data would be quite useful.  A little dorm-type refridgerater would be enough to test twigs of several trees at once.  I think a couple of days might be enough to test freeze damage at a given time and place.
Testing for tolerance to quick drops in temperature, then the temperature going right back up, like single overnight freezes, will be harder to sort out.

You dug a 6,5m square / 1,5m deep deep hole by hand?  Wow, you're seriously hardcore  ;)

Yes, I really wanted an earth-sheltered greenhouse and I had a break from my summer job, so I spent the winter keeping warm by scouping dirt.  But I only removed about 1 m. of dirt from the whole area,  Then I dug trenches leaving benches of dirt.
Winter was over by the time it was done.  Then I lived in it with my plants all summer.  Watching the night sky at night was great.  I wish I was still living there.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: keraji mandarin
« on: January 02, 2018, 02:18:29 PM »
While I am using citranges and citandarins in my breeding  Even they must be inside during my winters.  Having some mandarins inside to keep me company during the winter is not a problem.  None of my citranges are from modern breeding.  Having the most hardy mandarines in my breeding populations seems a good idea to me.
Crossing the most cold-hardy mandarins available with the rather new, new to me at least, better flavored P. trifoliata is worth doing.

OK, your greenhouse is already built, so this is for people who haven't built yet, or you if you ever want to rebuild.
I started building my greenhouse by digging a hole in the ground 20 feet square and 5 feet deep.  That about 6 1/2 meters square and 1 1/2 meters deep.  I put top of recycled glass on for a roof because it was free.  I couldn't have bought it on my budget.  A few years later when a meter of snow crushed it, I used plastic and it worked too.
The greenhouse was made mostly for starting spring vegetables, but I did try to overwinter some tropical plants.
WITHOUT suplimental heating, tomatoes survived winters inside.  So did a fig tree and a few tropical house plants.  I am in central Kansas, USA, zone 6, almost zone 5.  And while the tomatoes didn't grow between December and March, they did survive.  That means it didn't freeze.
Given the price of heating, I thought the in-ground greenhouse, AKA grow hole, was a bargin, even though I hand dug it.  Those with more money would want to hire a backhoe.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 29, 2017, 04:13:19 PM »
That's the one.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 28, 2017, 02:25:24 PM »
I want everyone to know that, while i have read read about citrus from many sources, most of what I know I learned from the now gone citrus forum, whose name I don't remember.  But I do see many names here that I recognize, people who I highly respect, from that forum.  It good to have such experts taking this project seriously.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: keraji mandarin
« on: December 21, 2017, 12:59:06 PM »
Looks like I'll be getting  keraji  too.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 21, 2017, 12:54:50 PM »
I think two new varieties Iwasaki and Nichinan are slightly earlier than Xie Shan.

Walt I can send you a cutting from my FD now if you think you can work with it but if not we can wait until later in spring.

Any chance we can get poncirus + into the US?

Thanks for the information about early ripening mandarins.  Ill be trying all three that have been recommended. 
About the FD cutting, my P. trifoliata that are big enough for me to graft are all outsice and dormant.  I do have 3 citranges that are inside and big enough to graft are just surviving due to not enough light.  I like to graft onto rapidly growing stocks so they heal fast, before the scion dries out.
I have grafted apples in late spring with dormant scions onto leafed out stocks.  I assume that would be best for citrus, right?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 21, 2017, 12:44:33 PM »
Walt, I looked up Livingston Creek in NC: it's crossing hwy 74 just west of Delco in Columbus county, on the south coast of NC just one county east of Wilmington. I've driven through there several times this year. I'd love to look for swamp lemons over there, but since that's 4.5 hours from where I live, don't know when I'll be able to go out there. My husband's father grew up in Whiteville in Columbus county, and he tells me he used to season fish they caught from local rivers with a small wild citrus that grew there, but he says he didn't call it a lemon.

Thank you.  Any lead is useful.  I'd certainly help with gas money.  I don't know about you, but I wouldn't recognize P. trifoliata during the winter.  So there is time for planning.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 21, 2017, 12:39:36 PM »
There was some talk about using early maturing citrus. The earliest maturing mandarin I know of is the Xie Shan satsuma (which can easily be purchased in the USA).  Xie Shan can mature as early as mid-September

Mid September would be very good here.  Most would have to ripen inside even if they were winter-hardy.  I have assumed that early ripening genes would come from P. trifoliata as they ripen here.  But they don't ripen sweet.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 20, 2017, 01:26:51 PM »
I didn't sleep much last night.  The 3 variations on P. trifoliata have me excited, thinking about how they could shorten my breeding plans.  Without the evil flavor of P. trifoliata F1 hybrids, citranges, citandarins, citanything, would be much better.  No substitute for the best southern grown citrus, but enough to thrill me.  Thanks to everyone!

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 20, 2017, 01:21:01 PM »
I googled poncirus+ and got nothing.  Thank you Ilya for the information you provided.
I googled Swamp Lemon.  I got only one hit, a blog at

I found no commercial source, but the blog does have a source.
 "only growing wild along the west side of Rte. 74 where it crosses the Livingston Creek. "
That's in North Carolina, USA.  Quite a drive from Kansas, but if no other source is available I might do it.
Who do I know who lives in North Carolina?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:16:58 PM »
I agree with you about those recessive genes, Walt.
Something I've been thinking of, you might try making crosses between hybrids that are 50% trifoliate and hybrids that are 25% trifoliate, hoping that some of the recessive genes were retained in the 25% hybrid. If you do crosses with enough different hybrids, you're bound to eventually get something that expresses the full (or closely so) trifoliate cold hardiness phenotype even though it's slightly less than 50% trifoliate in its ancestry.

That would be pop 4 in my first post.

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