update: WA state hardy citrus 2020

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by SoCal2warm, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Keraji seedling
    20200403_113729.jpg
    This is its second winter in the ground, outside.
    The 2018-2019 winter was pretty cold, and it got killed back to the ground, but this year looks like it's been easier for it. The small seedling is only a little more than an inch high.

    Keraji is closely related to Satsuma, but more hardy, smaller somewhat more sour fruits, and very seedy.

    Ichang papeda x kumquat hybrid seedling
    20200403_113740.jpg

    Sudachi
    20200403_113800.jpg
    Sudachi is closely related to Yuzu but the fruits are usually picked while still green.

    These hardy citrus varieties are pretty rare and very hard to find.

    Olympia, WA, climate zone 8a
    pictures taken April 2, 2020
    None of them were protected this winter, survived out in the open, in the ground.

    It will be a while until they start putting on any growth though.
     
  2. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    Here is a photo of a sudachi I am currently selling in North Saanich on Vancouver Island in case anyone in our area is looking for a sudachi. I made this one in my greenhouse last year :-D

    20200328_162921.jpg
     
  3. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    I've found that Changsha mandarin and Ichang papeda are very easy to grow from cuttings, inside (with warmth/humidity).
    The same is not true with many other varieties.
     
  4. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Ichang papeda in the ground
    20200403_151353.jpg
    It's growing on its own roots.
     
  5. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Ichang papeda (a different one, on rootstock) just beginning to leaf out now:
    20200504_163257.jpg
    see the reddish tips at the end of the branches.

    Don't mind the unhealthy looking older leaves in this picture, I think an Ichang papeda's old leaves normally look better than that, this one already wasn't doing so well after being planted outside last year. The other Ichang papeda (not pictured) has greener looking leaves.

    tiny Keraji seedling in ground still alive and looking good
    20200504_163418.jpg

    May 4
     
  6. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Changsha mandarin
    20200507_124222.jpg
    looking very good, in a protected spot on the south-facing side of the house (but wasn't protected this winter)

    Bloomsweet "grapefruit"
    20200507_124245.jpg
    probably the least hardy variety of my hardy citrus, only slightly more hardy than Satsuma mandarin I think. It managed to be able to keep about half of its old leaves. They turned very yellowish but have now been surprisingly greening up. It's just in the last week begun to put out some new leaf growth. It's up against a south-facing brick wall, but other than that wasn't protected and managed to survive through this winter. It made it through the very cold winter the year before that too, but I had put a special cover over it and it suffered some moderate damage then, did not do so well. This year it looks like it is doing just okay.
     
  7. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Yuzu seedling
    yuzuseedling-may21,2020.jpg
    growing on own roots
    It has gone through two winters without any cover over it, in the ground outside.
    The 2018-2019 was colder than usual and nearly killed it back to the ground, but it subsequently regrew, and this winter it was able to keep all its old leaves, as can be seen in the picture.

    May 21, 2020
     
  8. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    little Ichang papeda plant, only 14cm high, growing on own roots (not grafted), in the ground, survived through the winter (not protected) beginning to put out some new leaf growth (darker red color)
    20200604_165700.jpg
     
  9. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Bloomsweet
    20200607_130359.jpg

    The new leaves of the Bloomsweet have grown much bigger now, and there appears to be a new rapidly growing branch offshoot at the top.

    Yuzu
    20200607_130244.jpg

    Dunstan citrumelo
    20200607_130449.jpg

    Both the Yuzu and Citrumelo are really taking off, lots of growth. They will probably get to be a very large bush size very soon.

    None of these were protected this winter, outside in the ground.
     
  10. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Yuzu seedling
    20200617_124418.jpg
    June 17, 2020
     
  11. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Ichang papeda seedling
    20200627_112936.jpg
     
  12. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Bloomsweet
    20200727_142328.jpg


    small signs of growth on tiny Keraji seedling
    20200727_144642.jpg

    July 27, 2020
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  13. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    20200927_171846.jpg
    Yuzu seedling, September 27, 2020
    doing very well, a little over 2 feet tall
     
  14. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Here's a picture of a Kabosu tree, loaded with fruit, in someone's yard in Vancouver, WA (right across the bridge from Portland). He did not protect the tree the previous winter.

    Kabosu-VancouverWA-Nov3-2020.jpg
    picture taken November 3

    Kabosu is related to Yuzu and Sudachi, a really rare variety to ever find in the US

    I did get an opportunity to taste one of the fruits from this tree and can try to tell you how it was. The peels of the fruit were moderately edible, in fact I kind of enjoyed eating, or at least nibbling, on them. They were not as soft/edible as Yuzu, but definitely more edible than regular lemon or mandarins. When I first cut into it, I noticed it had a smell like a very high quality Meyer lemon (maybe a little bit better) mixed with some very aromatic Satsuma smell. There might also have been a tiny hint of Yuzu aroma in there, barely on the edge of being perceptible.
    The inside is a little bit more fragrant than a lemon. Eating it, it tastes like a lemon. It's not bad at all, but it doesn't have the most flavor, maybe not the best quality lemon, kind of watery, maybe just a little insipid, mixed with a little bit of tangerine and Satsuma flavor. The inside part of the fruit is not bad, but in my personal opinion the peel is where most of the flavor is, for Kabosu. It's a similar situation for Yuzu.

    Vancouver, WA is also in zone 8a, but this yard was in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.

    I just visited the yard at this location 3 days ago and the Changsha tree that is growing up against the house had many bright reddish-orange fruits on it. The peels of Changsha are definitely not so edible.
     
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  15. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    @SoCal2warm
    I am monitoring these posts with great interest to try and find a good citrus plant to give my husband for his birthday next summer. I think we could grow one in a container on our deck at zone 8b or 9a. Lime and grapefruit hybrids are no good due to medication conflicts.

    I really appreciate hearing details of what grows well where and opinions about how different varieties taste. Thank you. I'm keeping notes.
     
  16. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    If you are on the border of 9a/8b, and it is on your deck right next to your house (especially if you are in a suburban area), you could probably grow a Satsuma mandarin. That would probably be the best-tasting citrus variety you could grow.
    Since you are so far north, you might want to select an earlier-ripening variety of Satsuma.
    I know Satsumas can be grown in zone 8b in the South (of the United States), but you are so far north in BC Canada, it might be different, despite being in the same zone classification.
    There is also Arctic Frost mandarin, and Nippon Orangequat (a Satsuma x kumquat hybrid), and kumquats are also easy to grow in containers, are more hardy than the other ordinary citrus (Meiwa is one of the better tasting kumquat varieties).
    Moving more into zone 8a in northern latitudes, Yuzu is probably the best tasting one you could grow with little or no protection, but it is more of a culinary citrus variety, not so much for out of hand eating. Can make some great Yuzu-blueberry muffins though, as well as sauces for fish, some great cocktail recipes as well.
    Move to the south-facing side, against a warm sunny wall to increase the length of growing season a little bit.

    I still have doubts that Satsuma would be able to grow well for you, since you are so far north. Maybe if you were willing to bring it inside your garage just on the coldest nights of the year.
    Or do what Bob Duncan of Fruit Trees and More nursery in North Saanich, Vancouver Island, does, put it on a south-facing wall under an awning with a layer of clear plastic sheet, and Christmas string lights to keep it warm on winter nights. He's able to grow Meyer lemons that way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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  17. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    Here are some links that you might find useful for cold hardy citrus:
    ... of the 'tasty for eating fresh' varieties it looks like Kumquats might be the most cold hardy.

    However, keep in mind that pretty much all citrus fruit will be spoiled if it freezes, so while the tree might live it will lose the fruit if not protected a bit.

    For my citrus collection I grow most of them in a cool greenhouse, allowing it to get to just above freezing. I use gazebo heaters that provide infrared heat when temperatures reach freezing, so they only go on when necessary. They are quite efficient and I find them quite economical but your mileage may vary. If you only have a few plants you can bring them indoors during the coldest winter months.

    I have only tried growing the flying dragon and the Yuzu outdoors year-round and without protection so far. The flying dragon seems to have no issues. The Yuzu seems ok with the cold but did not like all the rain and developed a fungus issue over winter outdoors, so you may need to grow somewhere protected from too much rain to do well. I will be trying other varieties outdoors as I make more plants. This way I won't lose a variety due to experimentation.

    Nanoose bay is not too far from here so our climates are very similar and you might find our notes useful. You can see my notes on all the different citrus varieties we grow, including when we harvest, their uses, and what they taste like on our website: Home | Aprici
     
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  18. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Yuzu seedling
    Yuzuseedling-January5,2021.jpg
    January 5, 2021
     
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  19. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    PXL_20210225_213659608.jpg
    February 25, 2021

    The Keraji mandarin still looks like it has healthy dark green leaves.

    It's planted in the ground, but not too many feet away from the house. I only put a paper grocery bag over it, and a 1-gallon container of water under there (to help resist freezing). I don't think the cover really helps much, probably only makes 2-4 degrees (F) of difference. It was only covered for the 3 or 4 days of snow. We actually had 16 inches of snow here, but the temperature only went down to about 24° F.
     
  20. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you very much to @SoCal2warm and @Will B for all your excellent advice, tips, links and encouragement. The Home | Aprici website is fantastic. As soon as conditions allow, I hope to make an appointment to come there to your nursery and buy one or two trees.

    PS How does a jug of water help resist freezing?
     
  21. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    When water starts freezing, it releases heat. 333.55 kJ (ca 0.1 kWh) per litre of water. That heat prevents further temperature drop, until dissipation. That means, that during freezing 5 litres of water can heat like 50W heater for 10 hours, 500W heater for 1 hour or like 1 kW heater for half an hour, depending on how fast the freezing goes. The colder the weather, the more powerful (but shorter) heating is.
    The opposite happens, when the ice is melting.
    They teach that in elementary school. Heat of fusion (or enthalpy of fusion) is the keyword.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  22. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    Water is very interesting in terms of preventing frost damage, but not as effective in most circumstances as one would think. I have experimented with it quite a bit in my greenhouse as I like the concept. While it can store and release large amounts of heat energy, unfortunately the small temperature difference between frozen and not means it does not heat things around it too well. This means plants near water can freeze while the water itself does not freeze. Using water for protection is probably most effective when the plants themselves are coated with water and the ice that forms acts as an insulator with the additional water added preventing the deep cold from reaching the plant. This is what they do in places like texas, using microsprayer irrigation. Unfortunately it is not very practical for the home grower.

    My own experiments have been partially successful, but have reached the conclusion that water by itself is not a practical method to keep things sufficiently warm unless you have quite vast amounts of water. I am interested in trying out eutectic salts, but have been having difficulty finding a supplier for the appropriate compounds to make them. If anyone knows a supplier of say sodium sulphate at reasonable cost I would be very interested in hearing about it.

    Water by itself is interesting stuff, but I would not rely on water in our climate for cold protection for anything that could not grow outdoors on its own until you are quite sure of what you are doing.
     
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  23. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I think this is something that makes sense in theory, but not common sense. Thanks for your explanation and observations.
     
  24. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Water is a good protection for plants, that are somewhat hardy (tolerate light freezes), like figs, citruses, persimmons etc. It is not so good for plants, that don't tolerate freezing temperatures at all. But I have still managed to protect even ocras during -9°C frost just by placing water bottles next to plants and covering with a floating row cover. The math I described above, works well in practice. The effect is smaller, if there is no insulative cover. Then the heat will dissipate too soon.

    Turning 1 litre of water at 0°C into ice releases as much heat as it takes to heat 1 litre of water from 0°C to 80°C.
     
  25. SoCal2warm

    SoCal2warm Member

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    Covering with a paper bag and putting a water container in there probably won't make the difference between surviving and not surviving, but it will help these hardy citrus plants emerge from the winter with healthier leaves. That's important in this climate with a short citrus growing season.
    I have also experimented with using transparent vinyl covers over a frame. Temperatures can get quite hot (inside the frame) during the daytime when there are clear skies. But during the night it is only a little bit over 2 degrees (F) warmer inside the frame. From what I've observed, it seems to be detrimental to the plant during the cold part of the year, since the plant does not handle the day to night temperature fluctuations well, and is not able to enter into dormancy which would help protect it. I would hypothesize it might be beneficial if started around the middle of April (in this climate).

    I don't cover all the hardy citrus varieties, just some of the varieties that have less hardiness than the others. And they are only covered for a few days when the forecast calls for unusually low temperatures, which so far have typically hit between February 3 to February 13. There is a spectrum of different levels of hardiness, so to some extent the term "hardy" is a little bit relative.

    Satsuma and Bloomsweet are more zone 8b varieties, and I am in zone 8a, so I try to give them a little bit more protection. Keraji seems to be borderline between zone 8b and 8a here, so really benefits from protection. Sudachi seems to barely be able to survive without protection. Changsha can survive, but not very well unless it is planted closer to the house in an optimal location, and Ichang Lemon needs to be planted close to the house in a very optimal location if it is to even do okay (in this climate).
    So far no fruit from Bloomsweet or Satsuma, they are very slow growing, but I know someone 2 hours south of me who gets fruit from early ripening varieties of Satsuma that he protects with insulated panel wood frames over part of the winter.
    One observation I can make, I saw his Kabosu tree at different times of the year and it grew very fast and vigorously.

    My Ichang papedas are a weird one. They're supposed to be able to survive much more cold than Yuzu, but their leaves look very bad over the winter, and they are slow growing here, almost making me wonder if it has less cold tolerance.

    Most of my plants are still very immature and small in size. They do not seem to grow fast, overall in the year. (Though they do put on lots of growth quickly in summer)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021

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