Minneola Tangelo Tree Advice.

DjkleenAugust 26, 2013

So heres some pictures of my newly purchased Tangelo tree. I've had it approximately a month or so. It's a "semi dwarf" tree and it's planted in a pretty nice size container.
The soil drains very well, almost to well... Once a day I fill up a 48oz or 1.4L jug and water the tree. In the beginning I noticed the container it was in wasn't really draining water so I dug carefully to the bottom of the container and was shocked when I found that the little holes were clogged and water had been filling up the container and made quite a mess.... I quickly and carefully pulled the tree out and drained the water and squeezed the soil and then drilled holes in the bottom of the container to aid in drainage. It helped because now I can see a lot of drainage. I'm now seeing some leaves turning yellow and dropping off, but I also see quite a bit of new healthy growth. You can see the tree in the pictures i'm posting. I'm just wondering if everything looks good. I'm a total newbie when it comes to citrus and am relying on the awesome first hand knowledge of you guys. I've tried to look up info on Google but I always get really mixed messages. Any help and advice on trimming and fertilizing my little guy would be GREATLY appreciated!

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That is my favorite citrus just bought one
myself.I think I would attempt to move it to
a smaller pot. How far down did you plant
the tree? I don't see the graft.Do
you fertilize? Is there sap coming from
the trunk?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 1:44PM
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I planted it a little above the whole root ball a soil(when you pull it out of the little black container it comes in) I haven't fertilized, I was hoping someone could give me some advice on that and I haven't seen any sap. Is that a good or a bad thing? Thank you for the quick reply, I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:15PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, I think you're just seeing the results of having had the roots suffocated by accumulating water. I would not water every day. You need to actually check your pot before watering, to see if the tree is getting dry. I water my container citrus probably twice a week during the summer (possibly 3 times if we have a heat wave). I would keep the tree in partial shade (afternoons), water appropriately, and also fertilize with DynaGro Foliage Pro. You can also apply a time release fertilizer as well, something like Dynamite Palm & Citrus or All Purpose time-release fertilizer. You may see more leaf drop for a bit, but hopefully, with correct watering and drainage, as well as regular fertilizing applications, your tree should push out some new flush here shortly. Sap on the trunk would be a bad thing, but I doubt you're going to see Gummosis in a container environment.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:43PM
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Ah okay. Thank you Patty. I'm going to switch to twice a week and see what happens and i'll go get the fertilizer you mentioned. Approx how much water do you give your tree every watering? And for the fertilizer i'm assuming I just follow the instructions on the package for when and how much to use? Oh and when I check to see if I need to water how far down do I check?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 4:32PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I soak my trees until they run through. My potting soil is pretty well draining. And remember, the only water my trees get during the late spring through early winter is what I give them via the hose. We don't get rain here in S. California except in the winter and early spring. And, my relative humidity is normally very dry (except when we get the occasional monsoon pushing up from the Gulf of Mexico). So, my situation for container citrus is very different than yours. If yours are receiving rainwater, you need to make sure you're not over watering by hand. I use full strength Foliage Pro, since my containers are outside all year 'round. Most container folks will cut back to 1/2 strength during the winter months, when their trees are indoors. And, if you have decently draining soil and a pot, you really only need to check down as far as your finger will go. If you are suspicious of the drainage, however, I would try to get down to the bottom of the pot with a long stick.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 6:46PM
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If you live in Modesto, is there some reason you don't want to put this tree in the ground? They are much easier to deal with in the ground than in containers; and the yield will be lots greater.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 7:12PM
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@ Patty, Okay thank you for the great advice. I'm trying to learn everything I can because I really don't want to lose this guy. I love Tangelos and hate paying so much in the store for them.

@ John. Last year I had an Avocado tree in the ground and it was doing awesome, then one day it literally just started dropping leaves then the branches dried up.... I guess i'm kinda scared to put it into the ground because I don't want to lose this one. So you feel in ground is easier to maintain? I'm willing to try in ground, my soil seems to drain pretty well. When I water it seems to soak up pretty quickly and doesn't puddle up very much. If I put it into the ground do you recommend I add anything to the soil in the hole before I transplant the tree into the hole I dig?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Another good way to find out if your plant
needs a watering is by trying to lift or
tip the pot, if it is alot heavier then it should
be it probab.ly is still wet enough.Some times
it looks dry on the top but might
still be very wet a couple of inches

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 9:24AM
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The soils in Modesto are some of the best in the world; mostly sandy loam; and the water from MID is also some of the best. Planting inground should give you better and faster yields and make the care much simpler... just fertilize 3 or 4 times per year with a good citrus food applied at the dripline. No need to amend your soil with anything when planting.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 3:11PM
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@ John. Okay, i'm going to give it a go again and plant in ground. I purchased some citrus food and fertilizer today at O.S.H. I'm going to find a nice open spot and let my little tree go into the wild. ;) I have a year warranty with Lowes so hopefully I won't have to use it!

I really appreciate everyones advice and help. I'm really new to trees and anytime I mess up and one dies it really bothers me... I feel like as if i'm killing a dog or something.... I'm going to transplant in ground maybe tomorrow morning and then i'll wait 5-6 months and take pics and see the progress. Fingers crossed I can keep it alive and get fruit this next season!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Just to be sure.... since your avocado died under your care... be sure you are not watering your trees with water from a water softener. Not likely in Modesto, but you would be amazed how many plants are killed in that manner.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 6:22PM
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