no winter for an orange tree

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Lazar, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. Lazar

    Lazar Member

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    Hi everyone

    I have a ~5 years old orange tree (I live in NYC). I’ve planted it from a regular super-marker orange fruit. It had a rough life, several times almost died in April each year (reason - indoor radiator heat and dust during the winter seasons). For the last two years, I star keeping my orange tree next to the heated indoor swimming pool in my gym. Last year the tree was infected by spider mite, but Millet helped me. Thanks!

    This summer (as very other year) I had my tree outside at fire escape stairs until ~ September, then in October (before it drops below 50F) I brought it inside. Just a week later, tiny “future†leaves at the very tips of the top branches died, but the tree was generally OK. Star loosing “mature†leaves maybe 4-6 a day. So, after a month, I brought it next to pool - and just after a week or two the tree “explodedâ€. Dozens of new leaves, new brunches. New leaves are coming out, while the previous “line†of leaves below are still small, the branches are growing almost ½ an inch a day… It acts like it Spring already.

    The questions is:
    Is this healthy for the orange tree?
    Does it need a “winter sleep†/ hibernation / dormancy (?) which would last for a few months?

    Again – the tree was in “interior†lights just for a month, it slowed down, and then suddenly came to a nice, sunny, warm, humid environment and it’s responded to it like is spring.

    I heard that some tree NEED winter dormancy.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  3. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    This winter I am keeping the foliage of my 7 to 10 gallon citrus trees at 55F (13C) and the root zone (growth medium) at 70F. The lower foliage temperature to obtain enough stress for a good bloom, and a higher "soil" temperature in order to keep the roots system active. To keep the containers warm I wrapped them with Christmas lights and covered the lights with insulation. I will keep the air temperature low throughout December and January in order to accumulate 850 cool hours needed for a good bloom. I really cannot go any lower than 55F because I have bananas, pineapple and papaya in the same greenhouse. - Millet
     
  4. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Hi Lazar,
    At 5 yrs old, your seed grown orange is too young to fruit--maybe 2-3 more years, so cold chill hours are not important to you yet. Citrus trees do not require dormancy to grow or survive, but they do require some form of stress to flower and fruit. Normally that stress is provided by cold as Millet is providing his trees. Your tree might have had the beginning symptoms of winter leaf drop that Millet has described many times if it was being exposed to direct sunlight while the roots were cold (it is something you should be aware of if you are going to grow citrus in NY), otherwise, it may have just been dropping older leaves and adjusting to the lower light and humidity.

    It sounds like your indoor gym is the perfect place for your tree until it get old enough to fruit--then you will need to find a way to provide some stress to initiate flowering.

    Skeet
     
  5. Lazar

    Lazar Member

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    Thank you !

    By the way, it is interesting that somewhat similar first-colder-than-warmer
    environment stimulates aquarium fish to mate.

    THANK YOU AGAIN
     

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