Ultra Dwarf citrus trees inedible?

gam00(z10 ca)May 31, 2005

I was going to buy the Ultra Dwarf trees (Meyers lemon & Bearrs Lime) but was told at a nursery to forget the flying dragon trees. That their fruit was nearly inedible, lifespan is around 10 years. They only carry dwarf trees so I wanted to check the comments with the forum. I still prefer the Ultra Dwarf but this has worried me some.

Thanks

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Laaz(z8b SC)

gam00 the fruit of flying dragon is inedible. Flying dragon is used as a dwarfing rootstock to keep the tree small. The fruit variety grafted to this rootstock will be normal size & taste. Your nursery does't know what they are talking about.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 4:16PM
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gam00(z10 ca)

I figured I was just getting a line. The nursery is one of the largest in the area & specialize in dwarf trees. They are often mentioned favorably on this forum so I figured I would get good advice from them. Do the Ultra Dwarf have the limited 10year lifespan or is that inaccurate as well?
Thanks

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 7:06PM
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birdsnblooms

Gam, there are many people who grow FD as hedges. I've never heard nor read they only last 10 years. Go ahead and give it a try..FD reside in very cold temps..(I'm growing one here in IL, outside) so it's very hardy.
I agree the fruit are inedible..unless you like a frut w/a lot of seed and very little pulp/meat..
Also, as Laaz said, it's used as rootstock, too..Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 7:30PM
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mrtexas(9a)

Flying dragon as a rootstock produces better than average excellent quality fruit on the scion. The life is no shorter that any other citrus rootstock. It's own fruit is inedible.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 8:03PM
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birdsnblooms

Thanks, Mr. Texas..I didn't think it had a 10 year life, but wasn't sure..Thanks for clarifying..Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 8:09PM
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gam00(z10 ca)

Thanks for the replies. The trees I inquired about with the nursery were Meyers Lemons & Bearrs Limes on Flying Dragon rootstock. Not actually Flying Dragon trees. Sounds like the Ultra Dwarf root stock is exactly what I need.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 8:34PM
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birdsnblooms

Gam, when will you be getting your trees? Do you have an area your going to plant them? Find a sunny location, and it's probably best to check soil pH. Eventually you'll need a good fertilizer, too, so perhaps you'd best look into it..congrats.
BTW, if you're interested in a good, basic book growing citrus in CA, there's one on the market called 'Citrus' by Lance Walheim. www.acornsprings.com sells this book and it's autographed by the author..
The cover says, Complete Guide to Selecting & Growing More than 100 Varieties For CA, AZ, TX, Gulf Coast, and Fl. Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 8:53PM
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gto66(z5 IL)

Which nursery sells these "ultra dwarf" trees?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 9:29PM
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AnotherAlterEgo(8)

Beware of the "dwarf", "true dwarf" and "ultra dwarf" misnomers. There is really no such thing. Poncirus trifoliate, or Poncirus trifoliate 'Monstrosa' (aka Flying Dragon) do grow at a slower pace than swingle citrumelo, sour orange and other rootstocks. But I have Flying Dragon/Trifoliate trees with 1-2 inch trunk caliper. And I have trees grafted to them which are six feet tall and at least that wide. It just took them a couple years longer to get to that size.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 9:40PM
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Laaz(z8b SC)

I think Eddie posted this link a while back...

http://www.armstronggarden.com/caresheets/caresheet_citrus.html

Here is a link that might be useful: armstronggarden

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 9:44PM
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gam00(z10 ca)

Hoping to go this week to get the trees. I have a raised bed that's 6' x 25' that they will go in. It gets sun from morning to about 3pm. The other option is to plant them on the hillside but that isn't terraced and is difficult to climb - does get all day sun though. Thanks for the book recommendation. Definitely want to get that.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 9:55PM
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birdsnblooms

Sounds like you've got a good spread of land. You know what I'd do? I'd buy 4 trees..plant 2 on the hill and 2 on the raised beds..LOL.
You're welcome about the book..Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 10:17PM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

Laaz,

Thanks for that link. Armstrong has some really nice general guides to growing many different plants. If you click on "Gardening Tips" in the left border, then click on "Horticultural Guides" you can select different plants. When you find the one you want go to the bottom of the page, there is a "download pdf" option that generates a really nice atrractive printable guide.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 7:16AM
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eddiethek(z10 CA)

I read a report of a group that toured the Lincove Citrus Field station, near Exeter, CA. The writer related that they were shown 20 year old citrus trees grafted onto Flting Dragon rootstock. None was taller than six feet, except for the lemons, and they were about seven feet tall. That report is just a tiny part of the write-up at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Fruit Leaf (look for the yellow highlighting)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 11:53AM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

I for one would like to know more about this "Rainbow Grapefruit" that was mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:08AM
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AnotherAlterEgo(8)

Eddie - I have Kaffir Lime (C. hystrix), Calamondin (C. mitis),Improved Meyer Lemon (C limon X C. sinensis)and others that are six feet tall, grafted to Trifoliate. Based on the new growth that I've witnessed so far this season, the Meyer and Kaffir will reach 7' before the end of the season. Meanwhile, I grafted Satsuma Owari (C. unshiu) to Tri. Flying Dragon in April, 2004 and although the scion hasn't begun to branch, the overall plant height is approaching 36". All specimens are in containers, by the way. Thanks for the link. It was interesting reading.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:22AM
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birdsnblooms

AAE, How tall is Trifoliate when you graft unto it? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 2:36PM
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AnotherAlterEgo(8)

Toni - I generally like to graft when the plant is pencil sized. But, what do I know? I'm just a novice. LOL.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 10:44PM
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birdsnblooms

LOL, indeed!! Toni

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 11:22PM
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eddiethek(z10 CA)

AAE: Impressive heights! Are you using SuperThrive?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 3:11AM
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AnotherAlterEgo(8)

Eddie - Nope. I can't afford it. I just cross my fingers and pray for some (pH balanced) rain.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 7:53AM
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birdsnblooms

AAE, ST isn't really that costly and one bottle goes a long way. If you want, I'll give you the name of a nursery that sells it fairly cheap..LMK..Toni

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 2:17PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

AAE:
I like your jokes. That's a good one.
"Can't afford it.... and pray for the rain". Hah!
Benny

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 2:40PM
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AnotherAlterEgo(8)

Toni - Thanks. I actually had a couple of sample blister packs of SuperThrive. I placed them in a desk drawer, which subsequently was put into storage. I recently went digging around (looking for the ST) and found the samples basically melted and evaporated. I guess Texas summers are too much. I'm sure the desk was warped too.
Benny - I really can't afford it. All my money has (lately) been going to baseball, Cub Scouts and my beer of the month club. Not to mention, diesel is averaging 2.20 per gallon (costs me more than $50 to fill my farm truck). Oh, and I just made the last payment for my son's summer camp, which is more than $4K (but worth every penny for the peace and quiet I will enjoy for the month of July).

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 3:30PM
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birdsnblooms

AAE, sample packets...do you remember where you got them? these packets would be great for those who never used ST..this way, the person could give it a try and see how they like or dislike it..
I love my son, but it'd be nice to 'camp' him out for a whole month..LOL..Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 3:13PM
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kquat(09)

Multiple pleases:tell me where I can buy the dwarf or ultra dwarf citrus trees. I live in SW Houston. Thanks, K

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 12:42AM
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malcolm_manners

I'm not sure what the oldest FD-rooted tree is on our campus, but I'd think approaching 20 years. We have lots in the 12-15 year range. None is over 6 feet tall (we have Valencia, Hamlin, and several types of grapefruit; no lemons or limes). They get to be perhaps 7-8 feet across. Then they just sort of stop. They are heavy bearers, and the fruit is smaller than average, but excellent in flavor. I don't recall ever losing an FD-rooted tree, regardless of age. Unlike other rootstocks, they seem to be completely immune to citrus blight, Florida's main tree killer disease, and highly resistant to phytophthora.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 8:04AM
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