I overwatered my Dwarf Manderin

Grower62February 19, 2011

I recently put a dwarf lemon tree into the ground, I live in the Sierra foothills of N California and the ground is made up of heavy clay here. So I removed about a foot of clay and filled it with planting mix. After the first heavy rain we received the hole filled up with water and I did not notice it for about two days but it was a soupy mix. I understand now that my tree should have been elevated up above the clay to avoid this and give the water a place to go.

My Question is this. What should I do now? I removed the tree from the ground as it was sitting on about a foot of what appeared to be canned chili. Is this going to hurt the tree it was in the ground for about two weeks so have the roots started establishing themselvs. The Second question is the root ball was looking pretty mushy when I pulled it out how should I treat the roots.

Right now I put the tree back in the pot under about 8 inchs of damp soil mix. Please help

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Grower62

I'm sorry dwarf mandrin tree

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:27AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Grower, I'm in the Sierra Foothills, too...up around Auburn.
When exactly did you plant the tree? Last Autumn?

If the tree was only in the ground two weeks, then I really doubt it had time
for the roots to establish themselves.

The most important thing for the tree now is to preserve the healthy roots - if it has healthy
roots left.

In a container, I like to use a mix of Fir bark, Pumice, Perlite, and grit (gravel, quartz, et cetera).
The important thing is to use a mix that is porous and free-draining so that oxygen returns to the
root-zone after watering.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:51AM
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Grower62

Yes I planted it about two weeks ago. The roots were pretty soaked when I uncovered them tonight I put the tree in a pot and brought it indoors tonight I was going to see what I could do about any root damage, and mabey try to put it back into the ground what do you think I should do. I'm right up above Folsom

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 2:48AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Ah, Folsom, nice area - I go to the October Renaissance Fair.
I think it's too cold to be planting in-ground right now (29F here this morning).
I'd keep the tree in a container and baby it through the rest of the winter.
I wouldn't re-plant until the end of March or April.

Monitor the tree carefully, making sure not to over-water.
A good method is to stick a dowel or wooden skewer into the container, and then to water
only when the dowel comes out dry and clean. I would also put the tree outside during the
day, and then protect it during these cold nights. If you put the tree in hot, direct sun,
or in a windy location, it will probably lose leaves.

Thankfully, the Mandarins are among the more cold-hardy of the Citrus.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 11:01AM
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