Citrus > Cold Hardy Citrus

Trying to overwinter a ponderosa lemon started from seed

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If your low temp is 25 F, you only really need to go up a few degrees, and stop ice formation on the plant, to moderate or prevent frost damage. I am in a Citrus growing area, and we get occasional lows like that. Since it is not a tropical plant that you need to keep well above freezing, it looks like an economic strategy.
Have you thought of installing a stop start thermometer to monitor the overnight temp in the protection. You can probably get a phone App on an old phone to do the same ?
Since you are already using Christmass lights, and have real lemons on the way, don't forget to enter your tree in the Neighbourhood Xmas display competition, sounds like a winner.

I'm doing something similar to your experiment with feijoas. Since they are already hardy down to 5f before getting damaged, I am covering with frost cloth and incandescent lights on a thermocube.

In addition to what everyone is suggesting with temp controls you can graft a piece of your already mature ponderosa to trifoliata which will keep it smaller and easier to cover and thus less space to heat as well as avoid root issues stemming from cold and wet weather.

Just to clarify what vnomonee said, if you want dwarfing, you'll want to graft onto flying dragon specifically; Poncirus trifoliata in general is not dwarfing, producing a relatively full-sized tree with many (most? all?) scions. Of course, if you're getting dwarfing along with a reduction in vigour, that can be good in cold climates, but has its drawbacks, too.

Slower growth tends to be more resistant to weather

Ponderosa is not true from seeds.


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