Pruning satsuma trees and a rant

ellie_may12November 5, 2007


This is my first post on the citrus forum. I only have one little kumquat tree that I baby.

My mom has a couple of 20+ year old satsuma trees in her front yard. In the past, she has had kids come down and pick a few satsumas here and there, and she would go out there to help them and teach them how to pick fruit without damaging the limbs. Well....this year she has had bunches of kids coming down and picking fruit and yesterday Dad found a group of about 12 kids out there climbing the trees! Most were not in the trees and ran away as soon as Dad went outside, but 2 were up in the tree. When Dad told them to get out of the tree, the one kid (while he was still standing several branches up) told Dad he wasn't in the tree!!! Dad had to threaten to call the police to get him to come down! What is wrong with kids these days???

Anyway, the kids broke several branches. Mom and Dad pruned them back, but are now concerned that they have hurt the trees? I know it isn't the best time to prune, but do you think they hurt it?

Thanks in advance!

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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

The tree may try to push out new growth. If that growth doesn't have time to fully develop before a frost, it will be a lot more sensitive to frost damage. Not much you can do except protect it from any temp. colder than 34 degrees until it has a chance to mature and harden up for winter.
What has happened to the kids? We took God out of the classroom and out of their lives. Righteousness and justice mean nothing to them now.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:08PM
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Any broken limbs should be pruned off properly - they did the right thing there. Pruning a few limbs, even at this time of year, won't hurt the tree.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:13PM
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There wasn't much your parents could do except prune the broken limbs. Your parents need to discuss this with the local police. If this happens again, call the police and have the kids arrested for vandalism. Make the parents pay for an arborist to come look at the tree and fix any damage. When you hit the parents in the pocketbook they will control the kids.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 11:37PM
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Individual responsibility has taken a vacation in the U.S. :o(
Well, this isn't a popular idea, but I've learned something. My Japanese BF is what most would consider the worst gardener on the planet. He has no idea how plants grow or whatever and he has bonsai in his blood. There are no large trees on our property and there's no rhyme or reason to his butchering (bonsai'ing)... he feels like doing it, he does it. I used to do before and after pics to shock people. :o) Well, I'd give dire predictions... you butchered that bush, cut off 90% of it, it will die... and they never did. He butchers his tangerine tree, mostly in the winter, granted, but he butchers it and it happly has survived for 30 years, though it won't flower on the new growth. I no longer sweat it, so the poor tree had some out of season pruning... it'll survive. :o) Just keep an eyeball out on it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:44AM
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Thanks for the info. I have been passing the info on to Mom. She really likes the idea of calling an arborist and telling the parents that they need to pay for it. LOL

She is actually talking about putting something out there to prevent the kids from getting into the trees. Before, she didn't mind them coming out and picking enough fruit to eat. She gave several of the kids permission to come get some, but only if they didn't damage the trees. The kids that normally come pick her oranges will jump up and down in front of her window and wave to her before they start picking fruit. BUT the kids who were climbing the trees did not have permission.

My other concern is if one of those kids fell out of the tree while they were picking oranges....could they sue Mom and Dad? If a woman can sue McDonalds for spilling coffee on herself and burglers can sue homeowners when they get hurt while they are robbing someone's house....

All is not lost though, they came down today and borrowed my wood chipper. Dad is going to chip up the broken branches and save the wood chips for my smoker! In a few months, we will be eating orange wood smoked pork ribs. YUM!!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:39AM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

smoked ribs! Do you make your own BBQ sauce? Try one cup low salt soy sauce, 2 cups fresh squeezed tangerine juice and a little sugar. I only use a tablespoon. others like more. Reduce at a rolling boil and stirring constantly. Brush it on while smoking. Oh my!
You can use different fruit juices. Berry like black berry or raspberry are wonderful, apple works too.
My custom twist it to use what we grow. Daisy tangerine and instead of sugar I use Barhi dates. Now parboil those ribs and finish them with some sauce and smoke. WOW

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 3:37AM
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hello, softmentor, sounds like a good recipe. do you mind if I copy it and send it off to some people who wants new interesting recipes? thanks.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 7:25PM
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This is the reason I tell my BF that we are not putting a fruit tree in the front! I don't know about your state laws, but I betcha they could try to sue you... 'attractive nuisance' meaning you provided something the kids just couldn't keep themselves away... Just kills me.
I remember as a kid, in the 60's (!!!) my mother yelling at people bringing bags and stealing nuts from our front yard... even then, they'd be affronted, as if if it's in your front yard, it's free game. So I guess this behavior isn't really new.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 12:24PM
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