Hardy Citchangsha/citrandarin in zone 7a - Northern VA!

Boca_Joe(zone 7A)January 29, 2013

We harvested the first fruit in early December, what a surprise!

Our fruit was a rich tangerine color just like a tangerine inside and the color of an orange outside.
* Relatively small pores , smooth skin on a round, golf ball sized
fruit.
* Here's the interesting part: the peel/zest had a definite
sweet orange taste with no trace of bitterness, in fact when I first
tasted the rind, I thought of orange marmalade- it was that
pleasant/sweet and orangey.
* _*The pulp tastes more like a mandarin or tangerine than anything
else, maybe a hint of lemon, not quite as sweet as a tangerine, more sour, but
definitely NOT bitter at all.
No trifoliate taste to speak of in the pulp or the rind!

With quite a bit of research and the expert input of several citrus hybridizers, we are pretty confident that this is what it is based on our taste test and where we got it and from whom.

This tree was planted in 2007, about 1' tall and now about 15'. It has experienced lows of near 0f at least once since planting and several single digit nights with no noticable damage or any dieback.

We have 18 seeds germinated from the fruit and are going to try grafting some wood this spring.

Pretty exciting for us here in zone 7 for a citrus this hardy and this tasty!

photos and videos here. Please disregard the references to citrumelo in the video- long story.

Boca Joe

Here is a link that might be useful: hardy sweet citrus in Northern VA, zone 7a

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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Boca Joe...

Nice to see another from the beautiful state of VA.

I have seen your pics before from yards in around the area ( Dave's yard too" ;-) I am quite impressed with everything you have and i am so excited about the taste of your new fruit!! Congratualations!!! You have worked a long time to get it this far and i know you are stoked!!!

You all have a great group in your area and i just wish i lived close to you all up in the northern area. Dave has told me about this certian Citrus man tht lives close to my house who lives down the street..I really need to visit him and see what he has planted in the ground hear in VB.

Always nice to see you and your trees as well as all of your beautiful pictures.. I hope you are doing well.

Tell your buddy that i said hello (Dave K) Thanks!!

Take Care,

Laura

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:16AM
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wjp4140(7b b-more)

Very interesting. so there's hope here in Baltimore.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:56AM
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jacklord(7A)

Fantastic. The fruit looks very high in quality.

My Thomasville fruited here in Maryland. Made for a good pie. So maybe there is hope for us up here.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:55PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

jacklord,

Where in Maryland are you? Is your Thomasville grafted or on it's own roots? I've been eyeing them.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:15PM
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slopfrog

That's awesome. I find it interesting how many variations of leaves are present. You can tell there's a lot of genes floating around in that tree! Gives me hope if I ever have to move up north!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:54AM
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fabaceae_native

Thanks so much for posting boca_joe, it's great to see someone having success with hardy citrus.

I have to keep myself from dreaming too much, but I do have a number of questions for you that I would love answered..

-- First, do/did you provide any sort of protection for this tree?
-- Second, what month did the tree flower, and were the blossoms susceptible to frost?
-- Did you have any significant freezes while the fruit was still on the tree? What was the lowest temp before you harvested?
-- Do you think you will get a crop every year, or was this a fluke caused by the warmest year on record nationwide, and a particularly early spring and very mild November/December?
-- How soon after planting do you think a grafted tree or one started from a cutting would bear?
-- Finally, and most importantly for me: what is the potential for being able to harvest a large quantity of fruit from your tree (for baking, cooking, preserves, drinks, etc...)?

Thanks so much...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

fabaceae, I might be able to answer some of your questions. It is not my tree, but I did buy it for the owner at one of our regional Citrus Expos and I have been keenly watching this plant perform.

--First, do/did you provide any sort of protection for this tree?

I do not believe the plant ever had protection other than a good microclimate on the south side of a house. It likely had some overhead protection from Trachy fronds for a while, but it has since grown above the fronds. I do believe as far as survivability, this tree is pretty darn hardy. It has taken down to 0 deg. F.

-- Second, what month did the tree flower, and were the blossoms susceptible to frost?

I don't believe the flowers were ever observed. They likely bloomed in early summer. But they were hidden by so much other foliage. The owner first noticed the small fruits developing.

-- Did you have any significant freezes while the fruit was still on the tree? What was the lowest temp before you harvested?

My guess to this is yes, some light frosts. Perhaps down to upper 20s. But again, it's in a microclimate. I do not know the actual temps the fruit encountered.

-- Do you think you will get a crop every year, or was this a fluke caused by the warmest year on record nationwide, and a particularly early spring and very mild November/December?
Very good question. We had an extremely mild winter 2011-2012 and a very warm summer 2012. That may have encouraged bloom. Or the mild winter may have allowed blooms which otherwise would have aborted due to normal cold weather. Or, it could be the plant was just finally mature enough to bloom.

This next growing season will be very telling. If it blooms well, then it's was a maturity factor. If not, then maybe a winter weather factor. Although we've not really been much below 10 degrees here this winter.

I believe the mild fall had a lot to do with the fruit ripening to a good flavor. He did not cover the fruit at all (I would have!). However, likely a cover over the fruit might be enough protection from early or untimely frosts in the future.

Even in North Carolina, they can't always count on a good citrus harvest every season. I would imagine it would even be more spotty here.

-- How soon after planting do you think a grafted tree or one started from a cutting would bear?

Most citrus that are grafted from mature fruiting wood (all other conditions ideal), can bear fairly quickly. A couple years. Cuttings might take a bit longer as the root system gets established. There's no reason to think this variety would take any longer. Seedlings take probably around 8 years to get out of juvenile period.

-- Finally, and most importantly for me: what is the potential for being able to harvest a large quantity of fruit from your tree (for baking, cooking, preserves, drinks, etc...)?

Another good question. This plant is just begining to bear. It may bear much better this summer. We won't know until this summer or the next. Keep in mind one reason (of many) why this Citrandarin was discontinued as a rootstock was because of low fruit count (I've read). If low number of fruit, then low number of seeds and it's harder to propagate quickly for rootstock distribution. Although there is a high percentage of zygotic seeds, so seed is not the best way to propagate this variety anyway. Apparently USDA recommended tissue culture or cuttings.

Stan McKenzie at McKenzie Farms has more of these plants in the ground and likely they are more mature. You should ask him how well they bear.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Boca_Joe(zone 7A)

Dave is a fully certified hardy citrus researcher and grower in northern VA, he is fully qualified to discuss this tree since he bought it for our partner in crime Panama John.

We all live very close to each other and and are constantly trying new things, visiting each others gardens, and sharing information and experiences with hardy palms, and hardy exotics: citrus and eucalyptus, loquat etc.

Boca Joe

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Yes, certified by the Potomac Valley Citrus Growers Association. LOL!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:57PM
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foxd(z5b/6a)

Where can I purchase a Citrandarin tree? I've been lsearching on the web with no success.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Boca_Joe(zone 7A)

Foxd

I don;t know where you could buy one. we stumbled on this one. We hope to try some cuttings and possibly grafting this summer.

Boca Joe

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

If you are looking for Citrandarin, please contact Stan McKenzie, the Citrus Man in South Carolina. You can Google him. He might be able to graft one for you.

By the way, if anyone is still following this thread, the Citrandarin tree is loaded with flowers and developing fruits now in the Spring of 2013! So, if warm weather holds late into the Fall, there MAY be a bumper crop.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 3:30PM
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persianmd2orchard

How do I sign up and join the northern VA hardy citrus club??? I am really interested in this! I am in northern VA and the hardy citrus bug is biting me :).

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:01PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Can you please send me a fruit

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:28AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

For what it's worth, the 'hardy' citrandarin plant in Sterling has died way down after this winter from hell. So, no fruit or blooms for many years off this plant ... if it recovers.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:32AM
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Boca_Joe(zone 7A)

The tree is strongly regrowing from the bottom. We took several cuttings from fruiting wood last summer and a few are even blooming this year!

This tree is a USDA 852 seedling , so it is not grafted , so it will be 100% true from the regrowth.

Just took this photo last week. One tough tree.

Boca Joe

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:44AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Glad to see it has survived. Thanks for posting Joe.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:43PM
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