Citrus in the news! The rare Dekopon

stephen90March 2, 2011

Take a look at this, everyone: a special variety of citrus in the news.....

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-dekopon-20110217,0,3259483.story?page=1

Here is a link that might be useful: The news story

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malibu_rose(z10CA)

Yes, I read this with interest last week. I wonder when we can buy these citrus plants for growing.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:03AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Really cool. Can't wait to try one and get a tree as well.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 7:53AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

search on here of dekopon will find some interesting discussions on some of the other forums. its mentioned a few times that the seeds are true to type but the fruit is supposed to be seedless and hard to find one that does have seeds. Sounds like it will be a long time before the public can buy the tree.

First one to find a seed and grow out the tree to fruiting age wins, LOL.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:29AM
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tantanman(z9Tx)

A cross between a tangor and a ponkan sounds very good indeed. I hope it is better than the much hearalded Miho which was developed in Japan and released in Texas as they best thing since the Owari. The claim was that Miho was the second most popular citrus in Japan next to Miagawa Satsuma ( one of its parents). Mine is almost completely lacking in taste. I assume that is because it is almost seedless.

From the description though, I am very surprised the Japanese will buy them. They have an adversion to fruit that is not round and smooth and pleasing to the eye.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 2:33AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I actually emailed the grower of the Sumo, and there are no trees available to the retail nursey trade right now. All trees are "spoken for", but selected commercial growers hand-picked by Sunsweet. So, the only way you'll get a Sumo mandarin tree in your home garden is to try to find the fruit, and see if the seeds, if you get any, are polyembyonic. I'm still trying to find fruit in my area (N. San Diego county, Calif) so I can do my own taste test.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:50PM
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wellsme

http://cgi.ebay.com/Japan-Citrus-Dekopon-Oranges-Priced-Cultivar-10-Seeds-/150555787075?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0amp;hash=item230dd2ff43

Here is a link that might be useful: Dekopon Seeds

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 10:48PM
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malibu_rose(z10CA)

Had my first Sumo Mandarin (Dekopon) today at Gelson's, an upscale market in Southern California. They were $3.99 a pound and each dekopon weighed about 3/4 of a pound. For two dekopons, I paid almost $6.00! They were very sweet and smooth considering how rough the skin was. They were also seedless. :(

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:44AM
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simon_grow

I wonder if that Dekopon seed seller on ebay can be trusted. I've eaten nearly 12 Dekopons and have not come across a single seed.
Simon

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 2:52AM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

I'm a compulsive and reckless buyer. 10 seeds on the way... it will only take.. hmm.. up to 8 years to tell if I'm getting what I paid for?

Wish I had a friend at the CCPP...

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:31PM
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jxbrown(z10/24 SD, CA)

I spent $3.59 for two at Mitsuwa yesterday. They also had them for $2.99 per pound at Whole Foods, but I'm kind of allergic to WF, so I didn't jump. They are good, sweet, seedless tangerines, but IMHO not as tasty as the Gold Nuggets growing in my own little yard.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:23PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Hmm - does anyone know if citrus seeds can harbor viruses? Or is it just budwood?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 12:41PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Citrus seeds can carry the bacteria Xanthomonas citri, which cause the citrus canker, so a gentle soak in 5% bleach solution will kill any of the bacteria that might be harbored on the seed. But, more ominously, it is also now believed that the seed can carry greening (from the Asian citrus psyllid). You should check in your state as to whether or not the importation of citrus seed is permitted. I do not believe it is in Florida, and wouldn't be surprised if it is also prohibited in California and Texas, both huge commercial citrus states as well. If you are really interested in growing a Sumo mandarin, you might want to contact the Citrus Clonal Protection Program at the University of California, Riverside, where certified budwood will be available fairly soon for those who want to grow this particular mandarin.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Clonal Protection Program, UC Riverside

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:01PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Yup. Had to cancel the order. Looks like federal law prohibits importation of citrus seeds.

I'm aware of the CCPP but for new (thus rare and in short supply) budwood in-state people get first crack. That is if/when it becomes available, which it isn't currently and my understanding is that it might not be at the next budwood cutting date.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 7:36PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

redshirtcat,
True and true, but for now, unless Suntreat loosens up it's stranglehold on this mandarin, this will be your only option. Right now, they are only allowing certain commercial growers have trees, and have no plans on releasing this tree to the retail nursery trade in the near future. UC Riverside does have the budwood, and eventually, tree growers will be able to get enough budwood to grow for the retail nursery market, but that will be at least 2 to 3 years out for us citrus hobbiests. And, as many serious mandarin folks have pointed out, there are other mandarins that they feel are better tasting, so perhaps we're not really missing out on anything earthshaking!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:43PM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

redshirtcat, I remember being so frustrated at not being able to get Gold Nugget and Tango mandarins trees because of similar reasons (patents and restrictions). And in 2 years, the market was literally glutted with them - my local Lowes had 100 Tango trees last year in the summer. So, please be patient and then there will be an overabundance of the Sumo soon!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:23PM
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MrClint

I bought a case of Sumo (6 to a case) from a local Whole Foods today. Most folks may already know this, but they will discount 10% if you buy by the case.

At any rate, it is a remarkable piece of fruit. The flavor was pretty close to a Tangerine Lifesaver candy. Juicy, easy to peel, nice size, wonderful texture, and sweet with some interesting flavor levels. If you love citrus, don't miss your chance to give these a try. I'm a huge fan.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sumo Citrus

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 6:34PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I bought a couple of cases at Mitsuwa Marketplace down in San Diego this weekend. 9 to a case, $12.99 a case. They were good, but I have had better mandarins - Page for one. They are very large, seedless (so far), have a nice thin membrane, and are very sweet with a low-acid taste. But, not very "tangeriny" in my opinion. Worth eating, but I wouldn't say they are the "best mandarin". My Algerian Clemintine was better.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:45PM
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bgtimber75

Late to this party but I just had my first Sumo. They had them at Weagmans 2 for $3 and a case of 12 for $10.99. I only got 2 because I had never heard of them before. Big mistake on my part, this may very well be the best citrus I've ever tasted. Weagmans is not close by but I'm going to have to make a trek back out there before these go out of season.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:44PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Wegmans in what city?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 10:29PM
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bgtimber75

Hunt Valley, MD. Other side of the country from you unfortunately.

I was on there website and you can check availability for your local store from the looks of things.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 11:04PM
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iammarcus(6)

Hoosier your comparison makes me feel better about missing out on the Dekopon as i currently have the Algerian and the W. Murcott with the Page, Pixie, Kishu on the way.
Dan

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:18AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, I know that Citrussource is really trying to hype up the Dekopon, as they have a substantial amount of money invested in growing them commercially. They're good, but there are as good or better varieties we can already grow. Their big appeal in the commercial market is first off their size, then their zipper skin, the fact they're nearly seedless, and that they taste pretty good. But, still nothing touches the Kishu. Enjoy your varieties, they are all very delicious, and you've got a nice span of time that you'll have mandarins!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:33AM
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jacklord(7A)

I have been grabbing one or two a day for breakfast from Whole Foods.

I must say they are damn good.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:36PM
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esplinlin

I bought a dozen Dekopon tangerines at Whole Foods in Phoenix in March. We savored each one, and held our breath as we peeled the last one, hoping for a seed. Bingo! Three seeds. One of them actually sprouted, and the tiny seedling is now an inch tall. The growers in CA don't have anything to worry about from me. If it survives, I'll plant it in my backyard along with our other citrus trees. But it will be a long time before we get any tangerines. In the meantime, I love to watch plants grow.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:05AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

My Dekopon tree. I hope the hype is worth the trouble I had getting the tree.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:16AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Congrats on locating the Dekopon, Bamboo! So, where were you finally able to locate one to purchase?

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:32PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Patty,

We talked about it in the other thread:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:33AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Yup, but no mention of the name of the nursery or grower? Highly unlikely, unless they're a large nursery or grower, that they can ship out of state, and even if they can, pretty sure they will not be able to ship to Calif., but always hoping, lol!!

Patty

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:56AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Patty,

I'm sorry I misunderstood. The name of the grower on the tag is Darryl's family nursery.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 6:08PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Ah. Okay, very happy for you, Bamboo, and keeps us posted on the fruit. I have a wee little seedling, so I'm hoping I continue to remember to water the little guy. It might make it to adulthood. We can compare fruit notes :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:42PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Patty,

Will do. It will be a couple of years before I allow it to fruit but it seems to be doing well so far. I am tempted to take a bud from it and graft it to another established tree.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:12PM
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PamSH53

We planted a Sumo seed about a year ago. It's now about 8" tall and has a flower bud. I'm not sure what to do. Let it open and fruit, or nip it? Also, will the tree we are growing from a Sumo seed produce actual Sumos? (I know Sumos are a hybrid.) Also, we just found three more seeds in the Sumos we bought at Whole Foods.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:16PM
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PamSH53

It just hit me that the poor little Sumo tree, only 8" tall, is too small to support a fruit. I'm going to have to clip that flower. But does anyone know what to expect from a planted seed?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:33PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Pam, I wouldn't worry about it. Most likely the fruit will drop off itself. If not, simply pluck the fruit when it's about bb sized. And yes, most likely the seedling was a clone of the mother plant. The Dekopon is a hybrid, but that has nothing to do with its seeds. The Dekopon is polyembryonic, which means it will produce more than one seedling per seed, and the strongest seedling will be the clone. It often will crowd out the pollinated or hybrid seedlings and they may simply tamp off. Your seedling will grow quickly, and may produce quickly for you, if you're already seeing flowering. So, leave the flower alone, enjoy it. See what happens. Post up some photos, we'd love to see your little tree!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:34PM
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krismast(6 S.E. PA)

A huge stack of boxes of sumo mandarins caught my eye at my local Wegmans. Of course I had to get some. They are so good! Sweet and juicy! Not cheap though, but very delicious!

Kristopher

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:22PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I just found a seed in a Dekopon/Sumo!! I feel like charlie In Willie Wonka finding the golden Ticket. Your darn right Im gonna germinate this guy.

I just hope Im around long enough to see what it makes. LOL

Mike

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:33AM
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serge94501

They're running me about $3/ea from all the stores around here (nor cal). Lots of good things about this fruit. The best thing is that my 2 little girls LOVE it and will eat them until they are full.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 7:26PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

They are expensive! But I am addicted, They are more tart this year than last year. Super sweet last year. I kinda like them better this year.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:31PM
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