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Messages - SoCal2warm

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Ive lost almost all poncirus hybrids when temps reached 5 degrees F and below over several years. Also lost 10 ft tall dunstan and swingle citrumelos when temps never got above freezing, hovering at or just below 32 degrees F for a week. I lost hybrids when they just started putting out new growth in March, when we got a low of 14 degrees, and these were protected in a high tunnel with water barrels next to each tree.
From what I have observed, the amount of cold tolerance can go down if the citrus is covered in such a way that creates a greenhouse effect. The very warm daytime temperatures inside the covering then brings the citrus out of dormancy and can make even cold hardy citrus vulnerable to modest cold temperatures.
So I think it is important to describe the conditions of the covering, if that may have been creating a greenhouse effect.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: hardy citrus fried
« on: April 15, 2021, 05:19:32 PM »
From the coloration now, it looks like it's died down to an inch above the soil line.

Well, in the video it says it "failed the flavor test" and was nasty.

I have tasted Poncirus trifoliata fruit from an apparently unordinary tree that I could manage to eat and had a flavor less worse than Poncirus hybrids I've tasted.
I do wonder what the results would be if these crosses were remade using a less bad tasting type of Poncirus.

I was told the tree was just sold as an ordinary Flying Dragon from One Green World. They must have grown it from a seedling. Everything about it appears to be just like a Flying Dragon, pretty sure no chance it could be a hybrid.
I'm now growing several seedlings from it.

A question: Shouldn't this have been posted in Cold Hardy Citrus?

Cold Hardy Citrus / hardy citrus fried
« on: April 12, 2021, 06:02:00 PM »
This seedling from an N1tri (poncirus x ichang papeda) hybrid was planted out in late September last year.
It's now April, and you can see that it is fried.

This is very surprising because many of my other hardy citrus look good, kept their leaves and the leaves still look green now. Varieties that should have been less hardy than this one.

This was also planted right up against the side of the house, so that should have helped too.

What I think the explanation is, this was growing under artificial light indoors before I transferred it out. The leaves had not experienced cold yet and were not adapted to it. Even though the plant had several weeks time of cold before any freeze came.

What I think this demonstrates is that plant tissues adapt to cold as they are growing. If a plant's tissues have not experienced any cold yet, those tissues will be vulnerable to cold. Even cold that never goes below freezing. And even if it is a hardy variety of citrus that otherwise should have a very high cold tolerance. Hardy citrus require a long period of time to adapt themselves to colder temperatures.

Suddenly transferring the plants from warm growing areas to outside colder areas can be problematic.

It is of course also possible that these particular seedling did not get very good genes for hardiness, since there is some randomness when one grows from a seed, but it's hard to imagine that being the case here.

zone 8a, Pacific Northwest, relatively mild winter in terms of how low temperatures dropped, maybe 22 to 24 F (-4 to -5 C ) was the lowest point.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: kumquat seedlings cold hardyness
« on: April 09, 2021, 03:43:28 PM »
I heard people putting them in a basement before, I assume the air is more humid there, unfortunately our basement has no window with direct light, as as dark as hell there (perfect to grow mushrooms though xD) so I don't know if they'd survive 3 months in total darkness.
That's not important. Plants don't need light to overwinter in the garage, so long as the temperatures do not get warm enough for them to grow (typically if the temperatures do not get much above 45 F or 7 C for citrus)

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Wild orange in Texas (Brazos Bend)
« on: April 08, 2021, 08:11:23 PM »
If all it shows is defoliation and twig loss that would be huge.  With temps in the low teens and 20's for 3 days straight, if it survived at all, I would be amazed.  I'm about 40 miles north of this tree, but in Houston, and I lost all my grapefruits, lemons, satsumas, oranges and 1 kumquat. Only survivor in my yard was a 25 year old meiwa kumquat that looks dead, but there are little shoots coming out of the bark on the main scaffolding branches. Virtually all the dooryard citrus around here look deceased.
If all your citrus died in Houston, the cold front must have been really bad. You say even your Satsumas were killed. I did not realize the freeze had got that bad in Texas, all the way down south to Houston.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: kumquat seedlings cold hardyness
« on: April 08, 2021, 09:43:58 AM »
Seattle moved from 8a to 8b when USDA put out their 2012 growing zone map, but the heat units are the lowest of basically any 8b in the world, so citrus is tough.
Well, that may be true compared to the US Southeast, but that is a little bit of an exaggeration to say the world.

There are some islands between Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver (the Gulf Islands in the Salish Sea) that have lower heat units.
Even Whidbey Island, just a little north of Seattle has notoriously low heat units, definitely worse than Seattle. People there complain they need cold frames to be able to grow many types of vegetables.
The west coast of Scotland has some very low heat units, in zone 9. There are some parts of Iceland on the peninsulas that are surrounded by sea that are zone 8a with heat units that are so low it is nearly impossible to even grow an apple tree out in the open.

I'm about an hour south of Seattle, and the summers here actually get as hot as they do in coastal southern California, it's just that the time period of that heat is much shorter, maybe only lasts for a month and a half, and it's a much shorter growing season for citrus, maybe only a little more than a third of the year with temperatures high enough that the citrus can put on any significant growth, and I would say nearly half the year with the citrus in a state of complete dormancy.

To my understanding, much of the increased cold tollerence in mature trees comes from their larger mass. A larger tree simply holds more heat and has thicker bark than a small one.
That is what I've seen here (or actually closer to the Portland area, to be more precise) on a large Yuzu tree that looked like a hedge. The outer layer of leaves were almost fried, but the inner ones looked like they had not been affected as much.

I would guess that the outer leaves help block the movement of air. And also the water content in the outer leaves might release some heat energy as they freeze, helping to protect the inner part of the canopy.

That is why, to try to mimic that protective process, I cover a few of my more vulnerable varieties with a paper bag covering and put bottles of water inside, up against the plant. As little protection as this actually provides, I think it provides at least some, maybe 2 or 3 degrees of temperature difference.

Wind actually does make a significant difference. Citrus will freeze much faster in wind than with no wind. Plants usually maintain a temperature that is just a little bit warmer than the air surrounding them.

Even on the coldest nights here, most of the night is only slightly below the freezing point, but then it just dips down for three or four hours, and it will not dip below 15 F for more than about half an hour (really rough approximation just for example). So I think protection from wind can be crucial.
The leaves of hardy citrus are not going to literally freeze if the air temperature is only just a little bit below the freezing point.

I don't know if this is specifically true of kumquat, however.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: kumquat seedlings cold hardyness
« on: April 07, 2021, 03:24:28 PM »
Well, this is not specifically about kumquat, but I experimented with planting an Ichangquat (kumquat x Ichang papeda) seedling growing on its own roots, in the US Pacific Northwest, climate zone 8a. Probably about the same latitude as France and a comparable climate.
It has not done so well. Technically it is still alive, the stems are still green, but it did not manage to put out any new leaves last year, for the entire year.
I would expect this seedling has to be at least as hardy as kumquat. (I know growing seedlings from hybrids though can yield unpredictable results)

I also read about an attempt at growing a kumquat near Atlanta, Georgia (which is in the South of the US), climate zone 7b. Even though it was covered by frost cloth, it did not end up able to survive.
I think normally kumquat can grow in the US South down to zone 8a, but probably not in zone 8a in parts of the world further north.
I also read one person report that they had a kumquat surviving in Seattle (supposedly zone 8a) but in a very optimal location on a warm south-facing slope, and that is in the middle of a big city.

I'll agree with the Minneola tangelos, I've had really good ones and ones that weren't so great. It probably has to do with freshness, perhaps a little bit to do with growing conditions and maturity of the tree.

This has been a cold winter, a relatively long winter too (although that's typical for this region), although this has been a relatively mild winter in terms of how far the temperature has dropped. I think it only went down to around 22 F (-5 or -6 C).

What it has felt like, this entire "winter" season has really been more like a cold spring (springtime season), with the exception of a week in the middle of February beginning the 11th or 12th. I mean one could find a few camellia and rhododendron bushes with some fresh flower blooms on them throughout the winter, except during that single time interval when there was snow. But that is not atypical for this area.

There were a few light frosts before then and after then, of course, but those temperatures were barely just below freezing. Certain types of plant species were able to continue putting out some flower blooms despite those frosts.
But it was still a cold winter in the sense that we did not have any warm spells, and the temperatures were pretty much constantly and consistently cold.

Two years ago it did get down to 12 F (between -11 and -10 C), again in the early half of February. The Dunstan citrumelo and Yuzu shown in the pictures were in the ground then and survived that. The Bloomsweet was in the ground too then but had a covering over it, although with a vented fabric top, although since it was covered with a deep layer of snow that probably insulated it when the coldest temperatures came. It suffered some fairly severe bark damage at the base of the trunk but was later able to recover, even though I wasn't sure it would. The Yuzu suffered some moderate bark damage at the base of its trunk too. That was the same time when the tiny Keraji seedling was killed down to a half inch above the ground, although as you can see in the most recent picture it was able to partially recover.


This one is growing in the back up against a fence, far away from the house.

tiny little Keraji seedling in the ground, on its own roots

It is still alive, and has now gone through three winters so far, but has not grown too much. It's only a little over 2 inches high.
I am hoping maybe if it is able to put on a little more growth, it might be able to start growing faster. I do realize that trying to grow Keraji here on its own roots is probably very marginal. It was an experiment.

Ichang lemon, in a container on the deck

The leaves look a pale green color. This was left outside all winter.

This I believe is a "MIC", in a container

supposed to be a ((Temple orange/tangor x trifoliata) x Ichang papeda) x Minneola tangelo hybrid , although there is not much information about it
So far it does not seem to be proving very cold hardy. I had another one of these planted against the fence far away from the house and it was killed after an unusually cold winter 2 years ago.
The leaves look like a pale kind of yellowish shade of green. Those leaves are probably not going to be able to recover, although it will grow out new leaves.

I am hoping this might have potential for further breeding.

Ichangquat seedling, on its own roots

grew this from a seedling. This has been its second winter in the ground, unprotected.
I'm not sure it got the best luck of the draw when it came to cold hardy genetics. Most of seeds appeared to be zygotic. When it was originally first planted it looked very healthy and vigorous. Last year it wasn't able to grow a single new leaf. All those leaves that you see on the plant have been there for two years. I think the leaves may still technically be alive, but probably not very functional. The leaves look a very pale yellowish color. The thin little trunks of the plant still look green though, a moderately healthy color. It might manage to put out a little leaf growth later.

There's also another Ichangquat seedling (not pictured here) with leaves that look a great dark green color right now. I suspect that one might have been pollinated by citrumelo, however, so its hardiness might not be representative of Ichangquat.
Indeed, due to Ichangquat seeds being very zygotic, it could be the case that the seedlings would be expected to show a range of different cold tolerances.
(not a subject I want to get too much into here)

picture taken April 1, 2021

put a bag in the background for contrast, so you can better see the leaves

Ichang papeda

another Ichang papeda

This one came from a rooted cutting.

The leaves on both Ichang papeda plants have turned a very pale yellowish color.
They did this after the last winter too, but were later able to start putting out some new leaf growth at the start of June.

Dunstan citrumelo

Looks moderately okay. Leaves are still green but a little bit of a yellowish hue. The leaves will probably start to green up more later into the year.
I notice the trunk has gotten thicker than it was last year, so it is getting bigger.


This one is on rootstock.

Changsha mandarin

Leaves look a yellowish hue of green. This one is in a very protected location, so I'm surprised the leaves don't look more of a healthy color.

Keraji mandarin


Both the Keraji and Bloomsweet were covered with a paper grocery bag, with a one gallon water container up against them inside, just during the several coldest days of winter in mid February. They are also planted in an optimal location, not too far from the house, on the south-facing side.
You will notice the leaves on both look a surprising dark green color, a good sign because normally the leaves turn yellowish from the cold.

All pictures taken April 1, 2021
Olympia, WA, climate zone 8a

The plants are not too big, most of them I would say are around a foot and half tall, some more or less.

This might help give some of you a better idea of how these different varieties do in the Pacific Northwest climate.

The outer peel and inner white pith of a citron is much more tender and less bitter than lemon, so much so that one can reasonably eat them. The peel is not entirely without bitterness but just has a much higher degree of edibility than a lemon peel.
The inner pith doesn't have any bitterness and is even very slightly sweet (though bland), which is a good thing because citrons tend to have a very thick layer of pith. This is in contrast to something like a grapefruit where the bitterness is concentrated in the pith and one generally wants to make sure they don't eat it, and makes extra effort to pull away the pith from all the segments.
I still don't think most people would enjoy eating a citron out of hand like an apple, but it is not impossible to do so, if one enjoys sour things.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Wild orange in Texas (Brazos Bend)
« on: March 20, 2021, 04:26:09 AM »
What zone was this area anyway, Im guessing something like an 8b?
It's just a little south of Houston, so zone 9a.

(I looked on two different climate zone maps. In the newer most up to date interactive climate zone map, it is still in 9a but not far away from 8b)

However, Texas did just have much colder temperatures than usual, so this tree probably experienced temperatures that were typical for a zone 8 winter.
I wouldn't be surprised if it has experienced a little bit of branch die-back and leaf defoliation.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Long term cold hardy citrus breeding project
« on: March 18, 2021, 03:41:22 PM »
I had thought them safe in the basement.  But un-adapted citrus, actively growing, aren't so hardy as citrus that gradually get used to the cold. 
I have learned this as well. I have some citrus in the garage, to be stored through the winter dormant. It remains cold in there, but never goes below freezing.
If you have citrus, even hardy citrus, in warm active growing conditions, they will not handle sudden cold very well. Even on hardy citrus and even temperatures that never actually go to freezing, it can still cause branch die-back in this situation.
It actually makes it much more difficult to transfer citrus that is under warm active growing conditions inside to growing outside than it is to transfer dormant citrus from the garage to outside. The dormant citrus in the cold garage can be transferred outside much earlier in the year than the active growing citrus in indoor warm conditions.
So there are some advantages and disadvantages to growing citrus indoors with warmth and light over the winter.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Orange Pollen: is it sterile ?
« on: March 16, 2021, 07:57:28 PM »
Pollen from triploid varieties does have reduced fertility, yes, but it can still pollinate things. A fraction of the pollen from triploid varieties will still turn out to be normal haploid pollen, just like from any other normal variety. Of course, if you're only concerned with pollination for fruit set, this doesn't matter as much. We have discussed this in other threads.
There are other genetic causes to sterile pollen besides chromosome number. (And not all seedless varieties of citrus are triploid)

From what I know, orange pollen is generally not sterile.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: New Jersey Yuzu Growers
« on: March 12, 2021, 04:00:53 PM »
From the video, it looks like they don't keep their trees outside during the winter, but rather take them inside into the greenhouse.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Recommendations on a mandarin tree
« on: March 12, 2021, 03:56:55 PM »
A lot of this depends on personal taste preferences.

I think you really need to taste a wide selection of different mandarin varieties, and give your opinions on them, before someone else can really help you decide which variety you will like.

Do you like the sweeter varieties, or the more sour and aromatic ones?

There are already a huge number of threads on different mandarin varieties, and the "best" mandarin varieties, in this Citrus General Discussion subforum, so it might be best for you to go try to find those.

update March 12, 2021

Surprisingly the leaves on the seedling are still looking a dark green and fairly healthy color.

It was buried under 15 inches of snow for  4 or 5 days which fell in the middle of February, although the temperature only went down to about 22 or 24 F.

This was not covered and is in a colder shadier spot in the yard, which at this season of year only gets morning sun. It's further out in the yard away from the house.

The fact that the leaves are still this dark shade of green and have not turned yellowish from the cold is I think a very promising sign. The leaves look significantly better than on all my other hardy citrus plants.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Yuzu seedling growing in Washington state
« on: March 11, 2021, 08:25:11 PM »

And what do you find so funny?

You do realize that it's more challenging growing hardy citrus in the Pacific Northwest climate zone 8a than it is in the Southeast zone 8a?
This is the farthest north I am aware of Yuzu growing outside in the ground, uncovered, in North America.
With the possible exception of Vancouver island, but that's a really unique location there because of being surrounded by water, and even then they have to resort to certain special strategies.
The winters in Olympia typically get just a little colder than they do in Seattle or Vancouver, BC.

All the more notable because this is surviving growing on its own roots, not grafted to trifoliata.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Yuzu seedling growing in Washington state
« on: March 11, 2021, 05:17:10 PM »
Yuzu seedling in Olympia, WA, in Yashiro Japanese garden.

The seedling is growing on its own roots, and is not covered during winter. The plant is a little over two and a half feet high. Still has its leaves, which don't look too bad.

The city is in climate zone 8a but the garden is in the downtown area, so it might get a little less cold.

picture taken March 11, 2021
47 degrees latitude north

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Changsha mandarin opinions
« on: January 16, 2021, 06:54:28 PM »
I took a picture of Jim VH's Changsha tree.

I believe these pictures were taken at the end of November, sorry I cannot remember and did not keep track.

It doesn't matter where you cut & paste from, I have been grafting citrus for over 15 years and this is false.
Okay, well, I will not argue with your personal experience and observations. Maybe your citrus grafted on Flying Dragon are just growing extremely slow and so that is the reason.

The point was that comparing trees which have reached equal size, the one on more dwarfing rootstock will produce fruit earlier, it will not have to grow as big in size to begin producing.

That's not only true for rootstock. Varieties which reach a smaller final size growing on their own roots will generally begin producing fruit much earlier, while at a smaller tree size, like kumquats.

It is certainly true for other fruit trees (like apple, cherry). For citrus, it might be less true. Maybe there would only be a difference in the very earliest years.

quote from another site:

"Another benefit of growing mini citrus trees and dwarf cultivars is that they mature faster. A young dwarf citrus tree produces fruit a few years earlier than regular fruit trees."

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