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Earliest ripening citrus

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What is the earliest ripening cold hardy citrus that has a good taste to it?  I know this is subjective but I live in zone 7 and trying to grow a few citrus that ripen early.

Mike Adams

Look up early satsumas. Xie Shan is one, takes a few years to produce very good quality fruits. Not for zone 7 though. Prague is the best bet for non-hybrid cold hardy citrus (it's a chimera). Fruit ripens Nov-Dec. Mine have survived 1 winter unprotected with some damage, zone 7a.

I am going to guess tha Prague ripens later than first frost.  Changsha satsuma on Flying dragon might have a chance.  I will need a cover below 10F

I agree with vnomonee suggestion of Xie Shan.  Xie Shan is early maturing October.  Excellent tasting.  Was first place winner in the Southeastern citrus growers best tasting contest.

jim VH:
  Here's my experience in the short growing season of the Pacific Northwest.
  First, you have to divide the citrus into a group that requires winter protection, and one that doesn't.
  No Satsuma has ever survived an extended freeze at my location at temperatures below 18F. By extended, I mean temperatures that drop down to 20F or below and stay below freezing for two days or more. 𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘧 exposures at lower temperatures can be survived; a couple hours or less. Thus, they need winter protection in shelters that can be heated when such extended freezes occur.

  Here's the ripening order for such Satsumas as I currently grow. All require winter protection:
LA Early and Early St. Anne: Late October onward. They are a bit insipid, but as good as many store fruit.
Miho: Early-mid November onwards. Also a bit bland, but quite sweet.
Okitsus: Mid-late November onward. Excellent taste
Xie Shan: Early-mid December onward. Excellent flavor, a bit acid.

Citrus that don't require protection in extended freezes down to 8F, although damage to some varieties 𝘤𝘢𝘯 occur at temperatures in the high teens or low twenties, if the freezes last long enough. That occurred last winter here when I had three weeks of such temperatures, damaging, but not killing, Thomasville Citrangequat and Changsha:
  Flying Dragon: mid-October. Most people can't stand the flavor but mine seems to have better flavor than most, according to some, myself included. I use it for flavoring of drinks and certain fruit sauces.
  Changsha tangerine in sheltered location: Late October onward. rather insipid, quite seedy, rather small, But hey! It's a sweet citrus that doesn't require protection. Best flavor is earliest, when its acid level is highest.
  Thomasville Citrangequat picked green as a lime: Late October onward. I like the flavor, some don't.
  Sudachi picked green as a lime: Late October onward. Bright spritely flavor.
  Yuzu: Peel turns yellow in mid-November. Seedy and low juice content, but the peel has an outstanding flavor; I use it for marmalade. The juice is OK by my standards, though some don't like it.
  Kabosu: Peel turns yellow in mid-November. It's almost a sweet lemon, can be eaten out of hand if you like sour. Low seed count, lots of juice with an excellent flavor.
  Morton Citrange: Falls off the tree in mid-December. Sweet, low seed, lotsa juice. Has an aftertaste I can't stand, but other people gobble it up.
 Taste is subjective of course. Also, if an early hard freeze threatens, the fruit should either be harvested and allowed to ripen indoors, or the trees protected with sheets or something. I always pick the fruit, since it's close to ripe by the time of the earliest hard freezes around here, typically in mid November.



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