Dwarf Mandarin or Tangerine Tree

wacker1955October 1, 2006

I have a very small backyard which is enclosed with a 5ft. high concrete block wall. During the summer the backyard gets to about 120°-130° F and the wall its self hits about 140°.

I have already lost a grapefruit tree, don't know if I killed by over watering or fertilizing or the heat killed. The first year it did fine with many blossoms but no fruit.

I would like to try a Dwarf Mandarin or Tangerine tree, but it has to be sweet and juicy.

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Since you're from Arizona, have you tried the Arizona or Southwest Froums?

I would think the garden members there would be able to offer more appropriate advice.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 7:13PM
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I had the same question about dwarf citrus. The following is adapted fron a Sunset article...

Until fairly recently, most citrus trees were reached 20 to 30 feet tall and as wide. Even semidwarf trees, introduced in the mid-1900s, grow 10 to 15 feet tall.

Now dwarf citrus trees that grow slower than standards--reaching 5 to 7 feet tall in 13 years in the ground and staying even shorter in containers--are becoming more widely available. What makes them so compact are their roots. Sold as "dwarf" or "genetic dwarf," these citrus trees are grafted onto a rootstock called Flying Dragon--a naturally dwarf, contorted form of trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata)--which reduces their height by 75 percent. But fruits are standard size, all within easy reach at harvest time.

Nurseries now offer an array of citrus trees on this dwarfing rootstock, from 'Washington' navel orange and 'Lisbon' lemon to 'Pixie' mandarin and 'Oroblanco' grapefruit-pummelo hybrid. In the mildest climates, shop for trees this month; in slightly colder climates, your best selection is in spring.

Is it really a dwarf? Nursery labels can be confusing. Some trees marked "true dwarf" are actually semidwarfs. But citrus grown on Flying Dragon rootstock are labeled as such by Monrovia and C & M wholesale nurseries; Willits & Newcomb wholesale nursery identifies its Flying Dragon citrus with a sticker on the label that just says "dwarf." If in doubt, ask your nursery whether the plant is growing on Flying Dragon.

Drainage: Before planting citrus in the ground, make sure the soil is well drained. If your soil is compacted or of heavy clay and drains slowly, plant citrus in raised beds or containers. To improve water retention in sandy soils, dig in a 4- to 6- inch layer of compost to a depth of about 1 foot. Citrus grown on Flying Dragon rootstock are sensitive to highly alkaline soils (pH 7 and above).

As long as the tree is fed regularly, such soils shouldn't be a problem. Use a fertilizer labeled for citrus; besides nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, it should contain the minor nutrients iron, manganese, and zinc. Follow package directions for application rate. If the foliage turns chlorotic (indicated by yellow leaves with green veins), spray it with a foliar food containing chelated iron and the minor nutrients listed above. Withhold fertilizer from fall through midwinter.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 2:26AM
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Any updates on Results ?

I am looking at a container tree

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 3:30PM
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