cara cara tree

boxofrain106June 11, 2012

here is our new cara cara tree. does anyone have experience with this variety in the sf bay area?

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pennypond USDA 10 Sunset 21 CA

What a beautiful tree! I'm envious.

We've been going to farmer's market every week specifically for Cara Cara. As late as mid June they are still tasty in southern California.

Um.... do I have room to add a new tree?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:08AM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

The soil looks very dark around the tree. Did you add anything to the soil when you planted the tree?

I planted one a couple of months ago here in South GA.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:14PM
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TimSF(CA Z8B/Sunset17)

Beautiful tree, boxofrain! Where exactly are you? Since you're able to grow Oleander, I would say your in the warmer parts of the Bay Area (East, North or South), so you should be able to grow Cara Cara with no problem.

I was wondering the same thing as Randy in regard to the dark soil around the trunk of the tree - is this just compost top-dressing, or did you actually amend the soil it is planted in? Generally, the recommendation these days is to NOT amend the planting hole, since the roots will not want to venture out and instead circle around this hole and (potentially could) choke itself to death eventually.

Some other thoughts:
1) Create a slightly larger watering basin and mound the edges. When watering allow enough water to fill and let seep down. Remember, water citrus thoroughly and deeply and let rest between waterings, at least once/week to start. Doing this consistently during the growing season will be key.
2) Based on the level of your grass, I see that the tree may be planted a little too deeply. Especially in clay (which most ALL of us have here in the Bay Area have) or any water-retentive soils, it is imperative that you plant your tree a bit raised (root flare slightly showing is good) so that the trunk does not sit in moisture, which is a good recipe for trunk and root rot that may not show itself for a few years! One should only plant the root flare/trunk interface a few inches deeper if you are CERTAIN that you have good drainage.
3) Mulching up to about 6 inches of the trunk with bark helps to conserve moisture, keep the roots cool, helps to prevent weed growth, and breaks down to organic matter with time, so do consider this.
4) Removing the wooden support allows the trunk to strengthen. If wind is a concern, you may keep the support (probably a bit further from the trunk, however), but only loosely tied so the tree's movement isn't hindered.
5) Keep grass/weeds away from the drip line of the tree so they don't steal nutrients.
6) Feed (every Valentine's Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day) with fertilizer [like GreenAll's Citrus and Avocado fertilizer especially made for citrus) as close to NPK ratio of 5-1-3 as possible, and contains the essential micronutrients of Fe, S, Ca, Cu, Mg and Mn.
7) Try not to prune during the next couple of years to help strengthen the tree, build reserves, and enable fruit production, and
8) Speaking of fruits, your Cara Cara is self fruitful (doesn't need pollinating) and is self thinning of both flowers and fruit, so don't worry if majority of baby fruit drops.

Good luck!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 5:46PM
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Thank you for all the comments and advice! the darker soil around the tree is a high acid planting mix that they recommended at the nursery where we bought the tree. they said to mix that with our soil and plant the tree. and then put about 2 inches deep of the high acid mix on the top of the soil after it was planted, and then we watered it, so it looks darker in the pic. does anyone have any idea how quickly this little tree will grow?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 4:07AM
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To Answer Your Question: You might see some new growth this Fall, but if not -- don't worry. It's using that time to establish the roots. As long as your aren't seeing droopy leaves, die-back, or yellowing, you are OK.

It's hard to tell from the pic, but "too deep" was my initial thought, too. It's likely gonna sink a wee bit more over the next month. How deep determines whether you should mess with it further or not.

About Yellowing: If you see leaves yellowing from inner vein outward, especially leaves lower on the tree or closer to the trunk (vs. far outer leaves on the tips) you may be overwatering and root damage has already started. But yellowing leaves is a normal process that happens as the tree drops it's older ~2yr old leaves, but that yellowing looks different.

I still have yet to find any fertilizer that matches the quality of Foliage Pro. Would be perfect for this establishment during summer and fall. Then I usually go with a mix of synthetic vs. organic fert.

FYI: It will likely need watering about half-as-much as it did in the pot (a lot more than it will need next summer). I've actually found with newly planted container trees in our CA soil, the surrounding soil will wick away moisture from the original "light" container mix. If you see the leaves start drooping (hanging down) instead of looking perky, it maybe thirsty. This doesn't happen with the Costco citrus trees from W&N as they use a heavier mix that is similar to soil.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Let's try to understand this once and forever... citrus are not very sensitive about planting depth; if you are planting a citrus in the ground, it is not very important how deep you plant it, as long as you do not bury the bud union. I DON'T know much about container growing; and I really think the idea of leaving the root crown exposed is an affectation more than a science; but for inground citrus NO ONE commercially would leave the root crown exposed to be eaten/attacked by various rodents/diseases.

If ANYONE has ever seen a commercial citrus grove planted with crown roots exposed, I would consider debating the issue; but in 5 continents I have NEVER seen it.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Hi Everyone!

There is a baby orange on our tree along with about 3 blossoms and a lot of new baby leaves! This little tree is looking great!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Kewl... have fun, enjoy the fragrance; oranges are not so hard to grow.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I planted my Cara Cara(Red Navel around here) back in April.

It is in full bloom again and the trunk is now noticeably thicker. I fertilize it once a month with a 1/2 cup of 6-4-6. I used that on my Meyer's and Satsuma in their first year too.

I will post a picture tomorrow.

Your tree looks to be in fine shape.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:53PM
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