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Topics - Isaac-1

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Citrus General Discussion / Thorn Proof Gloves?
« on: April 17, 2019, 03:24:31 PM »
Has anyone had any luck with finding Thorn Proof Gloves for picking citrus that actually work, I am particularly interested in thinner gloves made from modern high tech fibbers vs thick leather?


Citrus General Discussion / Another grafting / topworking question
« on: March 17, 2019, 12:00:44 AM »
I am currently growing about a dozen citrus trees on the 8b / 9a line in Louisiana, most of which are some variety of Satsuma.  Three of the trees are over 20 years old, the rest have been planted over the last 5 years.

One of my 20+ year old trees is in poor condition, it is planted in a more exposed location than the others, was well as in a spot where the soil stays a bit wetter.  I cover my citrus trees and provide them with heat lamps during unusually cold winter weather, and during one of these freeze events a couple of years ago the cover blew off of this one tree during a night where the low temperatures reached about 15F.  This resulted in considerable die back, it lost all its leaves and did not start having any signs of life until the following August with eventual loss of about 1/3 of the tree (the entire northern side).  Since then fruit production on this tree has been light (I would estimate under 100 Satsumas this last season) and growth has been sparse and scraggly, perhaps due to freeze damaged wood.

This leads to consider cutting back at least one of the main trunks and possibly grafting in stems of scion wood from my Miho Satsuma tree which is reportedly one of the most cold hardy varieties.

Any advice you can give on the subject is most welcome, as I have little experience grafting, and no experience grafting citrus.  Also my limited reading suggests that top working is best done on trees under 20 years of age, but I have found no details on this age limit.


Citrus General Discussion / Citrus picking, shears, etc?
« on: December 28, 2018, 05:31:35 PM »
Well it is that time of year, harvesting citrus here in Louisiana (Mostly Satsumas).  This year I have been using a set of anvil style pruning shears like these to snip the fruit from the tree.  Overall I find they are handy, and do an ok job when blindly reaching to cut the stems through the leaves on the Satsuma Trees.  I have one unknown variety of mature Satsuma tree that tends to grow the fruit in bunches father in from the edge of the tree than my other varieties, on this tree these clippers don't work as well as there is less room to reach in between the cluster of fruit to snip the individual stems, so I often end up clipping the whole bunch of 5 or 6 fruit then separating out the individuals from there.   In a good year I may have 2,500 - 3,000 Satsumas to harvest over a 3-8 week time period, so having the right tool for the job helps, probably more as the years go by and my younger lightly producing trees get into their prime, 10 citrus  trees total, though 7 of these are still immature and have been planted over the last 3-4 years and have yielded less than 50 fruit total to date) .

What type do you use, and what do you like / dislike about them?

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus Greening concern?
« on: December 13, 2018, 05:33:02 PM »
Does this look like signs of citrus greening on Satsumas?    The majority of the  fruit on this tree this year has these small green specks, even after several cooler nights with temperatures around or just below freezing the last 2-3 weeks.      There are also the occasional smaller all green somewhat deformed fruit though this accounts for only a small fraction of the  fruit on the tree, maybe 1%

Citrus General Discussion / ACP/HLB quarintine imports?
« on: September 23, 2018, 05:54:24 PM »
I am writing to ask if anyone knows what is going on with importing citrus between ACP/HLB quarantine states?

I ask because what I am observing in Louisiana does not match with the limited details I can find posted online.  Louisiana is an ACP/HLB quarantine state, though both have only been detected in the eastern part of the state mostly east of or on the Mississippi river.  Louisiana has only 2 major citrus nurseries, both located in the active quarantine zone, so citrus selection of varieties is limited, particularly since the offerings from these two are nearly identical, with only a little variation in available root stock (one offers flying dragon on limited basis, one does not).

It appears that Louisiana is now allowing importing of citrus, from outside the state, specifically many garden centers in western Louisiana are now stocking trees marked as grown by Saxon Becnels nursery in Orange Texas (Orange is on the state line just across the Sabine river into Texas for those that don't know).  From the little I have been able to find this policy change may be related to the growing nursery being certified to a certain level by the USDA, using isolated greenhouses, positive pressure ventilation, etc.  Something that Saxon Becnel mentioned being the first nursery in Texas to be compliant about in a press release a couple of years ago.  It should be noted that Saxon Becnel also is one of the two nursery operations in the state with its nursery outside of New Orleans in Belle Chase.

Is anyone aware of such things going on with other quarantine states, and may this be a sign of things changing allowing for more open trade of citrus grown under certified controlled conditions between states?

Citrus General Discussion / Rooting Root Stock?
« on: September 07, 2018, 05:46:09 PM »
I have as hoot of trifoliate root stock (Carrizo?)  shooting up on one of my citrus trees, and I was wondering if anyone has had any luck taking root cuttings from such a shoot?  It was about a foot long when I looked at it a few days  ago, may be more now.

thanks Ike

Citrus General Discussion / Try to save or throw in the towel?
« on: July 05, 2018, 06:15:04 PM »
One of my 3 mature in ground Satsuma trees is not doing so well (I also have  6 more younger 1-3 year  in ground citrus trees, mostly  Satsuma varieties) on th3e 8b/9a line in Louisiana.  This particular tree was planted about 20 years ago and is located about 200  feet from the nearest other citrus, in a more exposed wetter part of the yard.      It has never done as well as its contemporary aged Satsumas, reaching only about 8 ft in height and maybe 10 ft in width. This tree was hit hard with freeze damage 3 years ago and lost the northern third of the tree as well as some limb damage all around, then was hit again with freeze damage this last January even though it was covered and had a heat lamp during our 40 year low with 13F  two nights in a row, this time with only minimal additional dieback but it did loose about 80% of its leaves. In general this tree is looking scraggly, it has leaves and fruit on it, but the foliage is not as dense as it should be, with only about 70% of the leaf density of my other large Satsumas, and maybe 1/3 of the fruit set.

Which brings us to the big question, what should I do, leave it as is, cut it down, prune it back considerably, etc?

Citrus General Discussion / Pruning in ground citrus?
« on: June 18, 2018, 10:57:54 PM »
Within the next year I will need to trim / prune a couple of my larger in ground citrus (Satsuma) trees, I live on the 8b/9a line in western Louisiana and have to cover them to protect from occasional hard freezes every couple of years.  We had a 14F freeze 2 nights in a row last January at which point I realized just how much my largest citrus trees had grown since the last time I had to cover them 2-3 years ago.  The largest one is now about 16-18 ft tall, and about 20 feet wide at its widest, making it difficult to cover.  I would like to prune it back to about  12 ft tall and about 15 feet wide as it is now growing into neighboring non-citrus trees.

My question is how and when should I do this, should I wait until after this years fruit are harvested, or winter, spring,  do it in one step or in stages, etc.?

Citrus General Discussion / When and how much to irrigate?
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:27:00 AM »
It looks like we may be facing a dry summer here, with no significant rain in the last month.  I have 6 relatively young citrus trees that have been in the ground for less than 3 years (1 planted only a couple of months ago), along with 3 mature Satsuma trees.  Given the little rain we have received lately, and the lack of any significant rain in the forecast, I am starting to think about the need to water the backyard citrus, so wanted your advice on the subject, as everything I have read talks about optimal commercial production.

So far I have been using the grass as an indicator that watering is not yet necessary for the citrus, as it is still green, though in the last couple of days it is starting to show signs of drying out.  Though out of caution I have watered the 1 first year tree a bit.

Citrus General Discussion / Please help read yellowing citrus leaves
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:39:23 PM »
The attached photo is of leaves collected from one of my in ground young Satsuma trees in Louisiana.      The yellow leaf issue started about 6-8 months ago, and may be getting worse.  The vast majority of the leaves are still like the green one shown in the photo, however there are some solid yellow leaves, and  several of the blotchy ones.      The yellow leaves easily detach from the tree.   I have CLM on all of my 9 in ground citrus trees, though it tends to be worse later in the year, I also just discovered Cottony Scale on another of my young Satsumas which is planted about 50 feet away from the one where I collected these leaves.  The other trees appear healthy other than some CLM  damaged leaves.

thanks for your help

Citrus General Discussion / Meyers Lemon, pale leaves?
« on: March 21, 2018, 11:54:04 PM »
Over the last 2-3 years I have planted six new citrus trees to replace ones that I have lost to freezes over the years, and to augment the variety of citrus I am growing.  Most of these are Satsumas, all are growing in ground on the 8b/9a line in Louisiana, I also have 3 large mature Satsuma trees.  However no matter what I do the leaves on my Meyers lemon are always more pale than any of my other citrus.  I try giving it more fast acting nitrogen, and it greens up some, I try adding epsom salts (soil test show deficiency of Mg, along with just about everything else N,P,K, Cu, only Iron is in normal range in sandy loam soil), I have also tried just feeding it extra 18-9-11 fruit tree fertilizer blend with micros.  Each has made it look somewhat better, with the 18-9-11 fertilizer seeming to overall help the most, though it is still a bit more pale than my other citrus, and it requires frequent (monthly) feeding to keep it this way.  It has grown since being planted, but not nearly as fast as some of the other citrus that were planted at roughly the same time, some of which have went from 2 ft tall to nearly 7 ft tall in under 3 years.

So is this Meyer's just living up to its reputation of being picky and wanting more Nitrogen than other citrus, is there something else I can do, ...?


Cold Hardy Citrus / Accuracy of cold hardiness temperatures?
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:13:02 PM »
Over the last few weeks thanks to google  I have been reading scans of a variety of older 20th century scholarly works regarding growing citrus, and one of the things I noticed was a significant difference in reports of cold hardiness for various common citrus cultivars.  Not so much the absolute temperature values, but instead their relatively sequence  from most to least cold hardy.    One in particular that I noted, several of these mid 20th century works list Meyer's lemon as being almost as cold hardy as Owari Satsuma, which matches my observation of many people near where I live on the 8b/9a line having mature inground Meyers lemons growing in their yards that get no formal freeze protection yet continue to survive.

All of which leads me to ask, does anyone know of any modern detailed studies on cold hardiness of common citrus cultivars, I know there are many guides published by universities that list the often repeated numbers, but I have to wonder if that is all they really are, since based on comments on this and other web forums there seems to be a dependency in real world observations on cold tolerance of certain types of citrus, particularly Meyers lemons, and certain types of Grapefruit.

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 / 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 / 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

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?

Cold Hardy Citrus / Insanity on Hardiness tags
« on: September 21, 2016, 05:51:53 PM »
I just dropped by a local retail nursery and was horrified by the hardiness signs they had hanging on their citrus, these were big letter size laser printed signs with the name, price, and hardiness scale at the bottom.  Unfortunately the manager was not in, and I did not think it would do any good to tell the teenager behind the sales counter.

A few examples:

Owari Satsuma zone 10 only

Brown Select Satsuma zone 9 & 10

Blood Oranges zone 6 -10

Hamlin Oranges 7-10

Meyers Lemon 6-10

At first I thought they were simply backwards, but there were a few oddballs thrown in

Note this nursery is along the 9a / 8b line (within a mile or two)

Citrus General Discussion / Louisiana Satsuma / Citrus?
« on: September 02, 2016, 10:34:13 AM »
Does anyone know of a legal Louisiana source for any of the newer interesting Satsuma or other cold hardy citrus varieties?  The only varieties that have been released in the last 20 years that I can find here are St Ann's and Louisiana Early.


Citrus General Discussion / Leaf color on in ground citrus?
« on: May 02, 2016, 09:45:16 PM »
I planted 5 new citrus trees this year in Louisiana on the zone 8b/9a line, to replace and augment a few that have been lost in harsh winters the last several years.  I have 3 mature Owari Satsumas all over 9-10 ft tall and at least that wide.  The new trees are a Meyers Lemon, along with a Cara Cara Orange, and 3 new early Satsuma varieties, Armstrong Early, St. Ann's and La Early.  Things are going mostly well with them I have been fertilizing all the Satsuma's the same with quality citrus fertilizer, and giving the Meyers lemon extra Nitrogen, the Meyers did take a hit from a late season freeze though and lost all its leaves a few weeks after being planted in Feb.  but has bounced back now.  My issue is with one of the Satsumas  (it is either the La Early of the St. Ann, the tags got confused so I am not sure which of those two is which, but think it is the St Ann).  The leaves on this one tree are uniformly lighter green than the any of the other trees, adding rapid absorbing nitrogen like blood meal does not change this.  There are not splotches, or yellowing, they just are not as dark of green as my other young citrus, or my mature Satsuma trees.  All trees are in similar soil in reasonably close proximity to each other, in fact the pale one is in the middle of the row with darker green ones on 3 sides.

So my question is, is there something else I should do, or is this a common trait of either of these varieties?


p.s. On a side note the Cara Cara seems to be much more sensitive to conditions than the Satsumas, it is the first to show signs of needing watering, or getting too much water (I have only watered them 2 or 3 times this spring as we have been getting fairly regular rainfall rarely going over 4 or 5 days without rain).

Cold Hardy Citrus / New citrus for 8b/9a
« on: April 25, 2016, 05:41:38 PM »
I live in west central Louisiana along the 8b/9a zone line, and I am looking to expand my citrus varieties, in fact I have already started.  I have 3 mature Owari Satsuma trees, only  2 are good producers though, in addition I have added a myers lemon (near an electrical service so I can keep it warm with Christmas lights during freezes), along with  3 more early season Satsumas (La Early, St Ann, and Armstrong Early, the Armstrong was the first one planted out of the set)       Most recently I added a Cara Cara Orange which I also suspect will need some protection in the colder months.      Ideally I would like to add something to expand my citrus harvest season into the spring, but I just don't know what to try, Perhaps Tahoe Gold or Shasta Gold, there seems to be some mixed information out there on their cold tolerance though, then of course there is  finding a supplier that will ship to Louisiana.       If anyone has any suggestion I would love to hear them, as it seems most discussion on cold hardy citrus is about pushing the boundaries of edible citrus as far north as possible, not about more moderate varieties in traditional fringe areas like where I live about 100 miles inland from the coast.

thanks Ike

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