I bought this satsuma and I'm trying to figure out how big it will get at maturity. Could this cultivar be planted in a half whiskey barrel size container?
You should be able to plant it in a half whiskey barrel no problem. Without knowing the rootstock it is on it would be hard to know the mature size as the rootstock really determines the mature size. They only thing I would warn about a whiskey barrel is that it may be hard to move indoors if a strong cold front comes through. So you may want to have a good thick winter cloth blanket ready so you can cover it when needed.
I was thinking of putting wheels on it somehow so I could roll it into the garage during freezing temps.
That would be great. You know you may consider slowly steping up the pot size through the years. Maybe put in a pot a little bigger this year then one more size up then the barrel. I have heard that this helps prevent rootrot but I dont know if that is a problem in container plants in your area. I'll bet your tree will do great no matter what.
When planting in a container try to obtain your citrus that is grafted or budded on to Flying Dragon understock. Brown Select is avery high quality later maturing satsuma,
Last year my Satsuma tree produce a high volume of beautiful orange Satsumas. This year they are more brownish than orange. They look like maybe that have been hit by a freeze (which they haven't). Last winter we had several sever cold snaps )well below freezing. Could that have affected this years crop?
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Your Satsumas may have citrus rust mites, turning the fruit brown.
I learned about growing citrus in containers from John Panzarella, a local citrus expert with a citrus collection of well over 140 varieties, I can't really say how many now, but look him up. He first taught me this about citrus in containers, "Yes you can grow them in 'pots' but they will be larger, sweeter, and jucier, if you grow them in the ground". He also says you should re-pot only in a size or two increment larger. Say 5 gal -> 7 or 10 gal. otherwise the tree may just want to grow vegatative growth and not fruit.
The same can happen to trees that have been in a small container too long after they go into the ground. You get a lot of green growth and no fruit for several years. Some citrus may show characteristics of what I call "reverting to juvenile wood", where they grow large thorns like seedlings--even from older previously fruiting wood.
Then if you still want "pots", take Pecanman's advice, he has Satsumas named after him, and he's probably grafted more trees than all the rest of us will do in ten lifetimes.
Now to answer your first question, my BSS is about six feet tall and seven to eight feet wide, at the end of six seasons in the ground, two or three yrs before that, in a "pot". And I have it in a very small, three foot wide bed. It gets only about 4-6 hours direct sunlight. And it was one of three trees that did not suffer loss of fruit after the 19-23 deg freeze we had last year. It was uncovered and the farthest away from any structure. The the other two trees were Wikiwa tantangelo-lo, and Nova, a Clementine x Orlando tan-tangelo. Note: Wikiwas froze in '02 when the temp. dropped suddenly in Dec. before they were "hardened off" by The Nova was planted in spring of '04 and on Christmas day it had 8 in. of snow, and 24- 28 deg F for two nights but it was covered by two layers of heavy frost blankets. My back yard looked so wierd, the raised beds, covered with white frost blanket and then heavy snow made it look like a scene from the frozen North except my banana trees did not have time to die and were still green! And they looked like they were in four ft drifts with snow weighting the long green leaves down!
This is the first year BSS gave edible fruit in four years but it is real good for a Satsuma here.
Hi would it be better to move my satsuma tree to the ground this year. I bought it last year and got four satsumas, but I was thinking it would do better in the ground.
Plant it in the ground if you can. Satsumas do very well down here with minimal cold protection.