possible freeze; should I pick lemons?

marcia_m(5 and 9)January 5, 2014

I have an in the ground lemon tree. I don't know what kind. It was supposed to be a Meyer, but some of the fruits are as big as grapefruits. The tree is full of lemons and predictions are for temperatures to go as low as 27 on Tuesday night.

I'll keep watching the forecasts, but I am wondering -- should I pick all the ripe lemons if the forecasts continue to predict below freezing temps? (This is the first year the tree has fruited.)

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Pick them; they are mature and won't get better... maybe a little darker yellow, but not better. If the temps are going to 27 or lower, protect your tree with a blanket and a 100 W bulb inside.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 2:30PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH


I can see why you like Guatemala so much. When You are in citrus country you plant outdoors and then comes a 20 year low. Our forecast in Cincinnati just got bumped from -12 to -8 F A 100 year low. G.D.G.W. EEEEE?

for definition of GDGW check the link to the dead thread below.


Poncirus A. Guy

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg0809552915548.html?67

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 4:06PM
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marcia_m(5 and 9)

Thanks for the info, John. The tree is too large to put a blanket over--probably 7 feet tall now and about as wide, even though it's only 4 years old and planted from a one gallon pot. Maybe I'll lay down a couple of bags of mulch to protect the bottom trunk.

I'll pick the nicest lemons tomorrow. There are too many for me to use before they go bad anyway. Maybe I'll juice some of them, too.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 5:01PM
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That's not too large for a blanket... throw it over the top and hang a light bulb in the center of the tree; a few degrees can make the difference between a live tree and a dead one.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 5:47PM
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I also have some large in-ground fruit trees. Some are also too high to cover but sometimes you can wrap a tarp around them, or even partially around them and use bungee cords to hold it.

I also picked most of my lemons yesterday but left some up in the foliage. I guess I will have to pick the rest this evening because it's supposed to be even colder tonight.

I wish the very best for all of you who are trying to protect your citrus.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

This cold snap has educated me to what I need in the future when my citrus stays out doors. My figs are now dead to the leaf pile 3 ft deap around the base. figs grow 8 ft in one year, no problem.

I have the greenhouse footer near done and the tree will be safe to -0 f with out a heat source. My citrus will be out side for winter of 2015-2016.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Hi folks, I'm new to this forum and came here looking for similar information. I'm in Charleston, SC. My Girlfriend has two Satsuma trees that she planted 15+ years ago. They produce wonderful oranges and often lots of them. I just picked the trees mostly clean because we assumed the oranges would not make it thru tonight's forecast 19 degrees. I picked over 1,200 oranges between yesterday and today. Were we right about needing to pick them before the freeze?
I also just picked a couple of drywall buckets full of grapefruit from another friends house. Same thinking but I'm not really sure now if I needed to pick them all. One way or another, I've got a lot of citrus to deal with...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:56PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Unless someone tells you I am wrong, citrus fruit is destroyed by temperatures below 28 F. If you want them you need to pick them. If you have more than you need try leaving some on and see what happens tomorrow.

Let us know if the trees survive. There are a lot of people that would like to know other than myself.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Thanks Steve, I did leave some of both the oranges and the grapefruit on the trees as they were hard to get to anyway and I only have so much time.
I think the trees will be fine. We've had lower temps than this over the years. We do have a few young trees that we've covered with tarps and added a light bulb to.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:48PM
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