Hardy Citrus for British Columbia

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by mr.shep, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Gregn if the Satsuma budwood is from my friend (tutor) in Texas, it is certain to be some very special budwood, from an outstanding tree. - Millet
     
  2. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Millet, Bonnie sent me some flying Dragon and regular Poncirus trifoliate seeds. He is very knowledgeable guy (to say the least) I saw the pictures in the citrus growers forum. That's one thing I have absolutely no experience in - is grafting and budding. One can read allot about it but the hands on experience is the best way to learn...
    I am very surprised that the Trifoliate "orange" plants are not seen in British Columbia (I've never seen one - except in my yard) These citrus cousins are hardy to -20 to -30c and the fruit is quite ornamental though inedible. (not poisonous just completely unpalatable)

    Junglekeeper, depending on how much Juanita budwood i get, I could give you a cutting if you are intested.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks, Greg. I certainly wouldn't mind a cutting if you can spare it. Otherwise there'll be other opportunities once your tree is more established. I'm not sure I have anything you'd want in exchange though as they're not cold hardy varieties.
     
  4. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Gregn, perhaps when there is more Canadian interest in citrus, a day long budding and grafting school can be held. Everyone enjoys coming to British Columbia - Gods country. Who knows, if enough Canadians start growing citrus, one year the Citrus Expo could even be held in Vancouver or Victoria. . - Millet
     
  5. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Millet, much to my surprise, yesterday when looking for some limes a local specialty produce store I found what I believe are Changsha mandarins. These are a product of China about a 1 1/2" in diameter and 1 1/8' high, mostly seedless and kind of flat top and bottom. (of course I bought a couple of 1kg bags!!) They are very sweet. I know LSU was working on a seedless Changsha several years ago. Did these ever get released?
    The rind is not as deep a orange colour as the Changsha's that I have. I have not picked the 2 I have hanging on my tree - so I haven't done a taste comparison. From what I read the standard Changsha is full of seeds - Is this correct? and how many seeds. The Changsha may be suitable for British Columbia, as the fruit is small and the tree is reportable hardy to around -10 to -15C - once dormant.
    Any thoughts?

    Greg
     
  6. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Millet: As a neophyte I'm feeling a bit over my head, but I'm certainly willing to learn budding and grafting. In fact I'm really excited from what I've learned on this forum so far, and I'm so glad I decided to buy that Meyer Lemon from the nursery last March.

    The edible citrus family have always been my most favourite fruits. I consider it a real bonus that the trees are one of the most attractive plants in any garden.

    I had no idea that it was possible to grow any kind of citrus in this climate, let alone that there are half a dozen or so varieties that can be grown in the ground in Victoria with minimal fuss. It takes very little preparation to protect the hardy varieties on those 5 days or so we see a year where the temperature drops significantly below freezing.

    There are at least 4 of us here in the lower mainland and on the island who clearly have a passion for growing citrus (Greg, Junglekeeper, Barrie and me). Any others from this part of the world out there?
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If I had my own garden, I'd give it a go. Unfortunately, that's not ever to be likely with the price of real estate.
     
  8. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    I was wondering how a Trovita orange would do here in the PNW. The Trovita orange does not need heat to ripen which suits us well and is rated as zone 9 plant (according to Monrovia) I am wondering if this would work as well as the Meyer Lemons (which we have to protect so we dont loose the fruit during our infrequent cold spells. Also does the fruit of this variety ripen before winter or does it hold onto the fruit until spring?
    junglekeeper do you have a trovita and if so how does it do for you inside?
    Greg
     
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Unfortunately my experience with the trovita will not be of much use to you, Greg. The tree was repotted soon after purchase and it seemed to do well for a few weeks, even putting out some new growth and a few flowers. Then it started to lose leaves followed by stem dieback either from the stress of repotting or, more likely, low humidity. It eventually put out some new growth from what little remained but it is still rather sad looking. Now that humidity levels are under control I may repot it into a better medium come spring time. In short, it is a work in progress. What I can tell you is it seems none for the worse after the temperature dipped to 6C/43F during the recent cold spell.

    BTW, I saw a number of trovitas at a nursery earlier this year that were loaded with oranges. They were patio trees from Monrovia.
     
  10. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Junglekeeper, which nursery did you see the Trovitas at? I was going to get a nursery to
    order in a patio tree for me. The fact that it doesnt need heat to ripen fruit indicates to me that it should be similar to the care of a Meyer. Hmmm.
    Greg
     
  11. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I would like to know if your citrus (all of the above Canucks) have survived the brutal freeze earlier this month? I brought mine into the greenhouse just in case.....
     
  12. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    My 3 Meyers lemons, 1 satsuma, 1 Juanita Tangerine and 10 degree tangerine all came through with flying colours. 1 US119 hybrid 'orange' suffered some damage but should be OK. All were in the ground with various types of protection. I didnt loose my fruit on my Meyers.

    Greg

    The rest of my citrus (mostly cold hardy varieties) are kept in a unheated garage where its cold but doesnt freeze. Planning to plant more outside this spring. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I usually write these things down but didn't in this case. If memory serves me, they were at Art's Nursery in Surrey.

    I grow mine indoors.
     
  14. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Not a problem. If anything my cold protection set-up kept my Meyer Lemon too warm. See thread here for the full details..........

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=16982
     
  15. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Spring update:
    Our spring hasn't yet sprung but for the most part the citrus did reasonably well through one of the harshest winters we have had in a long time. I think my only casualty was a in ground US119 although the rootstock is still ok - I will wait a bit longer to see if any new growth appears from the scion. What seems to help growth is growing under poly, especially in the spring to get the new growth and flower buds kick started. The use of the large Christmas lights on my meyer lemons prevented losing the immature fruit through our freezes in December and January. (I will have to stock up on those lights as it sounds like they will be banned by 2012 by the recently introduced federal {Canada} legislation). I have also imported some other rare varieties from the US. I have some very rare citrus that are currenly being grown from cuttings.

    My collection includes

    Meyer Lemons (in the ground)
    Ten degree Tangerine (s)
    Yuzuquat
    Thomasville Citrangequat
    Early Saint Anne Satsuma (in ground)
    US 119 Hybrid (in ground)
    Juanita Tangerine (in ground)
    Pomello x poncirus trifoliata (Not named)
    Poncirus trifoliata
    Croxton Grapefruit (planted in ground May 26 2007)
    Changsha Mandarin
    Dunstan citrumelo
    Browns Select Satsuma
    Miho Wase Satsuma
    Owari Satsuma

    Less hardy varieties:
    Harvey Lemon

    Non hardy Varieties:
    Oro Blanco Grapefruit - hybrid
    Campbell Valencia
    Bearss Lime

    Currently propogating:

    Obawase Satsuma
    BC # 2 Satsuma (Bonnie Childers)
    Boyette #3 Satsuma
    Miho Wase Satsuma
    Owari Satsuma
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  16. islandweaver

    islandweaver Active Member

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    Greg - What an amazing and varied collection of citrus you have! You noted that some of them you have in-ground. I noticed that you seem to allow your citrus to go dormant over the winter with minimal applied heat during frosty spells.

    I am trying to get the nerve up to put my Improved Meyers Lemon into the garden which would only leave me with my calamondin and Bearrs Lime to coddle. I would love to get one of the hardier oranges for the garden as well but they are hard to come by on our island. Would you be willing to make a recommendation based on your experience and what do you use for sources? The coldest I've recorded on my property is -5 C this past winter. At the moment my Meyers is heavily laden with ripening fruit, as is the calamondin. Diane
     
  17. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Bob and Verna Duncan at fruit trees and more are the only propagators of hardy citrus that I know of locally. They are on Wain Road in Sidney - near the ferry terminal. I have not met them in person, but I have talked to them quite a bit.I have bought 1 of my plants from them. I caught the citrus bug only 3 years ago after hearing about someone in Chilliwack who had a lemon tree that produces 250 lemons a year.
    Meyers will do well if they are planted against a wall (fence etc) in a full sun location.
    (Especially during the winter) Look at your yard - do you have a spot where the snow melts quicker than the rest of the property? Any warmth of the winter sun will help.

    Ideally purchase plants that are budded or grafted on to Trifoliate rootstock. Poncirus Trifoliata is very hardy to about -25c so if by some misfortune you lose your plant you can still use the rootstock to graft or bud onto. The Trifoliate (and its hardier and stranger looking cousin the Flying Dragon) is also worth having on its own. They both will produce inedible fruit - and the seeds produced are valuable for growing root stock.
    That being said the 3 Meyers that are in the ground were bought locally and are not on any special rootstock and they work fine. 2 are under my front window in a dry location and third is up against my house as well. I have them covered with a tomato greenhouse I got at Canadian tire until sometime in May when I will remove that.

    I have Imported most of what I have, from the US south east. They are also a zone 8 HOWEVER, they generally have only overnight lows dipping to -10c etc for a short time then it warms up above freezing during the day. we can have sub freezing temperatures for days on end perhaps for a week. Their summers are warm to hot. This is why i believe, that citrus will be mor successful if we can replicate the temperatures that they exprience in the SE. I have been monoriting the weather for Atlanta and Charleston in the newspaper. The Meyer Lemons will always need protection below freezing as will any tree that carries fruit into our winter or you will lose everything you worked for. Satsumas generally are picked OCT to Dec depending on the variety and growing conditions. Many other citrus fruit varieties take longer to grow to maturity hence spending the winter outside.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  18. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    islandweaver - take the plunge, you can grow Meyers in the ground in this climate with minimal protection. I planted one in early April last year and I've had fruit since Christmas.

    Gregn - my tree is just beginning to send out new growth (leaves), but only one small flower bud is presently emerging. I probably should have kept the mini greenhouse on it, but I took it off in February. My tree is about a month to six weeks behind where it was last year. It came from a nursery and was covered in flower buds when I bought it in early April of last year. I thought I'd experiment this year by letting it fully acclimatize and allow it to start the first flush when it would naturally occur this spring, but I expect now that I won't see any flowers till late May and that I will see the fruit development and ripening about 2 months later this year than last year. That would mean a first ripening of this spring's flowers in March 2008 and running through the early summer.

    Any idea as to whether I'll get a reasonable flush this spring? Last year I kept about 2 dozen lemons on the tree. They all ripened nicely and were reasonably large. This year might I expect significantly less fruit since the tree didn't have the benefit of a nice warm protected winter and spring in a greenhouse?

    I've been fertilizing the tree with a weekly watering of Miracle Gro 24-8-16 since early April.

    Zone 9a micro-climate - Up against the southwest wall of the house with full sun all day - sea level, Oak Bay. Max/min temps for April were 21.0C/3.1C (69.8F/37.5F).
     
  19. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Islandweaver, the Trovita navel will do well but you will have to keep it inside through the winter. It does not require high heat units to ripen. The other varieties of mandarins
    appearantly need lots of heat to ripen the fruit. That being said, my Changsha mandarin
    ripend without much fuss on my deck. I moved the plant to my garage at the end of October and left the 2 golf ball size fruit on the tree untill Boxing Day (then we all had a section ... it was very sweet and flavourful - though it did have quite a few seeds)

    Leapfrog, its time to expand your collection...The green house seems to be a good idea to leave on untill well into spring - my meyer is ready to burst into bloom now.
    I got a big flush on my meyer last May about 3 or 4 inches...I think we had a better warmer spring in 2006. We will see shortly what develops.

    Greg
     
  20. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Greg,
    Plenty of new growth on my Improved Meyer with many flower buds ready to open. Key lime is in fruit and also sending new growth and flowers too. A bit of new growth on the Changsha mandarin and Owari satsuma. Ten degree tangerine is healthy but no real noticeable growth yet.

    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  21. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Barrie, my first year with the 10 degree tangerine I didnt get any new growth till summer.
    This year both my potted plants are going to be full of bloom by next week. Lots of new growth too. A friend had his inside all winter and he has 10 nickle size fruit on his tree.

    Greg
     
  22. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Barrie, how are your new recruits doing? I have kept most of my citrus crammed in a couple of tomato greenhouses. My Croxton Grapefruit has taken off like no other citrus tree I have. Considering the fact that it was just a young plant and about 20" tall it has grown alot. It has gained about 6" in every direction including about 12 new branches each about 6" long. I have two, and the lesser one I planted against the west side of the house next to the chimney. A Browns Select Satsuma its in full bloom and and a changsha is setting fruit now...

    Greg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
  23. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Greg ... new growth on both the Owari satsuma and 10 degree tangerine. Changsha mandarin has grown the best and is flowering quite well. My Improved Meyers are non stop it seems.
    Sounds like your citrus is doing great! Here's to a good harvest!

    Cheers, LPN (Barrie)
     
  24. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Barrie, the 3 new changshas I kept have put out lots of new growth - but no flowers.
    A browns select satsuma has flowers on the new and old growth which i find a bit of a surprize. I wonder if this (flowering on new growth) is typical of certain varieties? All my meyers put out flowers on the old growth as did my older changsha. Also, my unnamed pumelo X trifoliate has one very large flower on it - about the diameter of a Golf ball. Its quite impressive.
    Greg
     
  25. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Greg ... I noticed my Owari is growing quicker now and has several flower buds. So far good fruit set on the Changsha. 10 Degree tangerine is holding steady. Key limes are about a month from harvest.
    Did you get your pumello x to set. The fruit are huge!

    Cheers, LPN (Barrie).
     

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