In-ground Bearss Lime in South Surrey

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by leapfrog, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Here are a few pictures of my Bearrs Lime tree.

    It's been in the ground for 7 years here in Crescent Beach (South Surrey, BC).

    I moved it from the back garden in the spring of 2019 because it was not getting enough sun to produce fruit. It went into shock for several months, with no flowering at the normal spring flowering time last year (May 2019), and produced developing fruit from the fall of 2019 flowering but none of the limes set over winter. It flowered again this spring and the limes are growing.

    Those that survive the winter should be ready to harvest in the late summer of 2021.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Well done! I didn't think this variety would survive outdoors in our climate. Perhaps it's warmer where you are, being so close to the ocean. Do you take any special precautions to over-winter it? Have you considered growing other varieties? I believe you already have a Meyer lemon from before.
     
  3. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Junglekeeper.

    Yes, I had an in-ground Meyer Lemon when I lived in Oak Bay. It produced about 50 - 100 lemons a year for a few years up until we moved form Oak Bay to Crescent Beach in 2013. I took some effort to let the new owners of our house in Oak Bay know how to winter-protect the lemon tree, but alas they left it to the elements and it died the following winter.

    My winter protection involves wrapping the tree with 7 watt Christmas lights, strung through wire mesh. This was sufficient to protect the relatively cold-hardy Meyer lemon at sea-level by the ocean in Oak Bay (Zone 8b - 9), as it would increase the ambient temperature by 4 to 5 degrees Celsius and would keep the tree alive in its small (3 ft x 3 ft x 3.5 ft high) greenhouse without any additional protection. Here in Crescent Beach (Zone 8a), I've added a small electric heater on a thermostat for the 5 or 6 nights a year that the temperature dips below -4 or -5 Celsius, and that has proved sufficient to protect my less cold-hardy lime tree. It's in a larger greenhouse (5 ft x 5 ft x 6.5 ft in height). The tree is currently 5 ft 10 inches tall and I will prune it to stay under the 6.5 ft I have to work with.

    I acquired a new Meyer lemon this past April and have it in a pot on our deck. It's thriving, with 50 - 75 lemons that will be ready next summer. The ones in the picture are from the first flowering this spring and are already 4.5 to 5 cm in diameter.

    I've attached a few pictures of the Meyer lemon I used to have in Oak Bay and the winter protection method I used to employ there. I'll post some pictures of my latest Meyer lemon soon.
     

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  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Too bad about the old Meyer's demise. Not everyone appreciates plants and makes the effort to take care of them. I'm confused about the lime tree. It appears to be growing out in the open, so where does the greenhouse come in? Is it collapsible, similar to the one seen in the photo that you used in Oak Bay?
     
  5. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, it's by the same manufacturer, just a larger size. The greenhouses they make are portable, light and fit over the tree in the ground or in a pot. I have 3 of them, a 2x2x2.5, a 3x3x3.5 and a 5x5x6.5. They are identical in construction, just different sizes. I have quite a few plants other than my citrus that aren't capable of surviving a Zone 8a winter without protection, including a Mediterranean Fan Palm, a Star Jasmine and several agaves.

    Here are some pictures of my latest Meyer lemon.
     

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  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I can see how they can be useful. You might even be able to punch a hole in the top of one and stack another onto it to create a taller enclosure. If so, you can double the height of your tree. Are these greenhouses readily available at retail in Metro Vancouver?

    Speaking of Mediterranean Fan palms, did you get a look at one of mine?
    Appreciation: - Palms in the greenhouse
     
  7. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    Sorry for the delayed response, Junglekeeper. I've been offline for a week or so.

    No, I don't think "double decking" the greenhouse will work. Apart from the challenges in keeping such a set-up airtight, I suspect that I'd have trouble keeping the greenhouse tied down in the winter winds. I reply on ropes and tent pegs to keep it from blowing away. I'd also need a lot more Xmas lights to keep the significantly larger volume of air inside the greenhouse warm enough. As I'm sure you know, citrus can be pruned at any time of year to be kept to a certain height or width. I plan on keeping mine at a little over 6 feet tall. Even at that height, it should produce at least 50 to 100 limes a year once it's well established.

    You can't buy the Flower House brand of greenhouse locally, but it is available online from the manufacturer (expensive especially with their additional international shipping charges) or a little cheaper from Wayfair.ca. They also sell them at Home Depot in the USA.

    Re your European Palm, it looks very different from mine and I'm surprised it doesn't have numerous trunks of varying heights splaying out from its base, as they are so common with this type of palm.

    Here's a picture of mine. As you know, this variety of palm is an incredibly slow grower; I've had mine for 8 or 9 years and the main trunk is only 14 inches inches tall. It was 7 or eight inches tall when I bought it. It measures 30 inches from the base to the top of the highest fronds. Note the 4 or 5 trunks or "branches" growing out from the main trunk near the base of the plant.


    Oct 6 2020.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It's probably the difference between growing the palm indoors vs. outdoors. Yours is clearly the more robust one, with short but stout stems. The thorns on mine are much smaller as well which is a good thing as I occasionally get one stuck in my head. Perhaps the limited light available precludes the production of offsets though flowers appear regularly. Also, I don't fertilize mine in order to limit its growth.
     

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