Satsuma Tangerine...is it ripe?

puglvr1(9b central FL)November 30, 2011

Hello everyone, I have a young Satsuma tangerine tree that bore 2 fruits for the very first time since I planted it. My question is how can I tell when its ripe. Right now most of it is orange and still has a little bit of green left.

I'm hoping to pick it at the right time so its sweet. Thanks for any advise!

BTW, this one is the largest Satsuma I've ever seen!

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Whoohoo! Congrats, Nancy! ;-)

I would wait until the fruit has fully colored.
In our area, a couple good freezes in October really kicked the Satsumas into high gear.
Even some of the slightly green fruit has been sweet. But in your warmer area, I would give the
fruit as much "cold" as possible. Any frost in the future?

Josh

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 3:49PM
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malcolm_manners

I'll have to disagree with greenman in this case. Here in central Florida, Satsumas normally are bright green when at their peak flavor. The SealdSweet growers used to market them as "Emerald Mandarin" for that reason. Normally they will be good by the first half of November, so we're a bit past peak right now. They should still be fine, but on a young tree, you may find that they're starting to dry out, which is disappointing. And fruit is a couple weeks early this year -- even Minneolas are decent here in Lakeland right now, and normally, they'd not be good until after Christmas.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 5:00PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I am gladly corrected in this case!
I want Nancy to really enjoy her Satsuma. Good to hear that it isn't too late.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 5:09PM
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johnmerr(11)

I once visited my Brother, when he was living in Tampa; he asked me to tell him what was wrong with his orange tree. He said they won't get "ripe"; but they keep falling on the ground. For a California boy, an orange is ripe when it gets orange. I explained to him that in Tampa they were never going to get orange (the skin); then I cut open some and showed him they were indeed ripe. Your mandarin definitely looks a bit "overcooked"; and likely the skin will be a bit "loose". Best thing to do, pick one and try it; next year you will be smarter.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 5:58PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all your help and advise...I'm off to pick them right now and let you guys know if I picked it too late :o(

Next year hopefully, I will be more a little more experienced.

Josh, I know you're aware that this is the tree I planted last Feb. Not too shabby for its first year.

Updates later...

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 9:56AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Just tasted one of the tangerines...except for two dry segments the rest was very juicy. It's not as sweet as I had hoped but I'm hoping its because the tree is still very immature. I only planted it 10 months ago. I'm pretty happy with it so far. Hopefully next year will be even better.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 4:28PM
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johnmerr(11)

That variety is seldom sweet, in my opinion. My Mother had one for years and we finally replaced it with a sweet orange; because nothing we did could make it sweet. Part of the problem is the tree was in Sacramento which doesn't get enough heat units to make it sweet; but you shouldn't have that problem in Florida.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 5:12PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I know it is late for me, but I had to find it worth my time to say good night to you Nancy and compliment you on that tree! Thank you.

Beautiful fruit and I wish I could share one or two with you in your warm climate.

Hope you are well and a good night to all:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 10:09PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks John...you're SO right! Heat is in over abundance here, so I'll see what the tree does in the next few years as it matures.

Hi Mike! Thanks! Nice of you to pop in. When you get too cold, come on down for a visit...its suppose to be in the 70's to low 80's here for the next 10 days,lol...Take care!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 6:48AM
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kumquat1

I live in a warm micro-climate on the Florida north coast. I had 3 Satsumas on our 5-6 year old tree (first time to bear fruit). Some poster from Texas said they picked their satsuma in October and it was delicious, so we picked one. It was green, and absolutely beautiful inside and out. It was very juicy and tasted like water. We ate a second one on Thanksgiving Day. It was very orange and was "shrinking". It was sweet, and tasted okay, but there was no Satsuma twang to the taste, not much acid, just tasted like an average orange from the grocery store, not like a Satsuma. We are saving the last one till Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 5:10PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Kumquat, thanks for your response. Good luck with the last one.

I grew this tree strictly for the cold temperature so I wouldn't have to protect it during the few nights of winter freezes that I get in Central FL. I already have several Mango trees to heat and cover and didn't want to plant anything else that would require covering/protecting. I'm okay with it if it doesn't bare much fruit. I'm fortunate enough to have neighbors with plenty of oranges, grapefruits, lemons,limes and all are free for the taking. I wanted to plant something NO one else had around here.

Might not have been the best choice but as long as I don't have to protect it...I'm okay with it,lol...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 5:42PM
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wally_1936(8b)

I picked my satsumas for the year. My tree puts out around 300 each year but due to our drought they were much smaller this year. I never pick before Nov around thanksgiving time each year. I find them always sweet even when the skins are green. I remember they use to dye them to look ripe in the stores many years back. They were very juicy and sweet even then.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 12:02AM
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