Should I use clippers to cut off my Brown Select Satsumas? Is that the normal way since they seem to tear at the stem when picking?
Yup, clip them off. All satsumas should be clipped off, as they do not separate well at the stem. Other mandarins with satsuma in their genetics may have the same issue, and should also be clipped off the stem.
Thanks Patty and Texas. This cool weather is sure making them sweet.
Good to hear someone has their satsuma ripening already. I expect mine will be starting about thanksgiving time thru January. I made a mess when I first started picking mine a few years back and quickly started clipping them as they got very messy when I tried to pull them off. Last years' drought gave me small fruits but this year they are back to normal again but not as many due to the stress from that drought. They did not even flower well and I did not even expect to get as much fruit but have been surprised how much fruit I will get this year.
In our zone 7b/8a, here in the foothills, we don't start picking until November,
after we've had a few good frosts. That seems to really stimulate both color and sweetness.
Our local Mountain Mandarin Festival, featuring the Owari Satsuma, happens the third week
If I remember right, Brown select is one of the early varieties compared with Owari. Last year we had some still on the tree at Thanksgiving but this years cool nights has them ready a little early.
Correct, earlier than Owari. And, I think things tend to ripen at different rates in different areas, as well. For me, everything across the board is later than most everyone reports, I think due to my milder temps. Plus, younger trees tend to ripen later as well, and many of my trees are under 4 years old. My Miho Wase and Okitsu Wase Satsumas are earlier than my Frost Owari (Wase means "early" in Japanes). October vs December. Armstrong is also an October ripening satsuma. Brown's Select is usually around mid-October, St. Ann's Early ripens in September. We don't usually get concerned about super early satsumas here in my neck of the woods, due to our milder temps in the winter, but certainly an important consideration for commercial growers trying to extend mandarin market times, as well as for home growers who either want really early mandarins and also want to extend times to enjoy mandarins, or have winter temp concerns.
Thanks, Patty and HGF!