Merry Christmas to me.. Bought myself a tree.. :-)

jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)December 24, 2012

I just had to! ;-) lol..

Mandarin Orange , 'Algerian Clementine'

I usually treat myself to a little something for my birthday, but this year my heart just wasn't into shopping.

Today at Wal Mart I saw these little trees and just couldn't pass them up! I got one.

I haven't treated myself to a new plant or anything really since last March!

It has a few leaves not in the best of shape, the poor thing was crammed in the middle of a box of them. But all in all not a bad little tree.

I guess now I need to find a container and get some Gritty mix made. ;-)


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James AKA lumpy_j

I see you have McRuff the crime dog watching over it for you.

Merry Christmas!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:59AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Nice choice, JoJo. Very sweet mandarin. A little love and a bigger pot, and you'll have a nice little tree going there. Merry Christmas to yourself, lol!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 9:42AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Good Morning!

James~ Yes, I do have him watching over us! lol. That's a very special picture. It was given to my grandma who volunteered for the Sheriff's dept. for years! She was the start of our neighbor hood watch program in Tucson. :-) It was taken years ago, only about 5 min. from my house.

The tank on the right is my gecko. So the tree and me have plenty watching us! LOL! It's my plant/craft/critter room. ;-)

Hi Patty~ :-)
Thank you~
Will see what pots I have tomorrow. I know there's several not being used. It will most likely stay out all year, so One of my bigger ones probably. I have a small yard and it's all gravel! So pots it is.

Lots to learn! :-) I was thinking of trimming back the top branch to where the leaves are. That stem of nothing is bugging me. lol..
should I and can I do it now?


    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:22AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

its a good thing walmart around here doesnt sell citrus, id have way more than i should

Nice looking tree


    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:30PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Actually, JoJo, if you let the top stay bent like that, it will stimulate the nodes in that empty part of the branch to flush. I'd leave it and watch to see for flushing in the spring.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:35PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Didn't know that Patty, How will that stimulate new growth? Just leaving it hang down like that?

I will leave it then. :-)
It's spring like weather right now! Our poor trees and plants end up so confused around here.

Thanks, :-)


    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 2:11PM
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My, my, my, I guess I am a bit late to this party!

Well you look at, you put one ounce of blame on me for your quick at the moment

I'll be..Now you have to be a part of this forum since here is where you can hang with the best people and get the best advice, and for container growing too.
Have you see Patty's and Mike trees Jojo in pots?

I am beginning to think I am going to be outnumbered in the container end. In fact, even John has is dabbling with pits now. Why, we are all pot crazy and finding it very convenient to use containers although I would prefer to have the choice of back yard too:-)

I am soooooo glad you finally got one you can be excited about and eat too. Yahoo, really!

Hello Patty, Mike,and James!~ Happy New, it will be here in a few.

Much affection to you all!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 3:34PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Merry Christmas!

I have Lowes, Home Depot and Wal Mart all with in 5 miles of each other and about 5 miles from me. lol!

Home Depot has a really nice Variegated lemon in a 5 gal.

Hi Mike!!
Never too late! ;-)

Not an ounce, more like a ton of blame your way! LOL!!!

I have seen Patty's and Mikes tree's! 'm here all the time Mike, but more as a lurker! I have one small tree in the ground. 2 yrs now. ;-)

Not much yard for me.. so containers it is! Things need to be movable. lol..

You outnumbered ? lol...


    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 12:54PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Having the top bend down like that causes the apical node to change (top node in elevation). So, at the bend, whatever node is now at the top because of the bend, will become the apical node, and growth will emanate at that point. There will be growth also continuing from that bend to the tip of the branch, but you'll actually cause stimulated growth at the bend. This this the technique we use when we graft citrus to rootstock - we can T-bud graft lower on the rootstock, then we bend the top of the rootstock down, to stimulate growth a the t-bud site.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Everyone has a different "standard"... if it were my tree, I would cut it off somewhere near the center of the bare part. The same node will still be the apical node; but without the imbalance to the tree that the "side" growth leaves. I suspect even Patty would eventually cut that off. With my Meyers, almost anything that is downward growing gets cut; but then I am growing mine in hedgerows, mechanically pruned to 2 meters wide rows and 2.5 meters height.
We have actually been doing for 2 1/2 years, what the newest experimental centers in Mexico and Brazil are playing with. Result? In short time, not only will we be producing the finest lemon in the world; we will be the biggest producer... and the least cost producer. Someone here once "accused" me of trying to corner the Meyer lemon market; I only wish I knew the secret to cornering a market that doesn't exist.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. If life gives you lemons, pray they are Meyers.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 10:08PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Sometimes I'll top a whip, and other times I'll let it lean over, and simple create a new dominate apical node. You've seen the before and after photos of my Ortanique on the forum? Here's the example of letting a tree's main apical branch droop over to stimulate lateral growth.
Before (you can see how the node at the top of the curve is starting to grow a new branch):

And after about 8 months. That top node became much more active, and grew an entire left side of the tree:

So, sometimes, in very young trees, I'll let them droop, and this is what I usually get. It can create a shorter tree. Short is good for me :-) I don't want an apically dominant tree that grows to 20'. By having a main trunk curve to the side, it's basically the same as drop crotch pruning in causing the last node to become the dominant apical node. But now I have two branches that droop downward. I want my fruit to be low so I don't have to use a ladder. Yes, for sure you can create the same thing by pruning the top of the tree (called "topping"). Most grafted trees grown up into 5 gal or 15 gal pots have already been topped. Smaller trees not always, so can end up with a single branched whip. So, topping the tree will force lateral growth, and the top node will become the new dominant apical node, but you'll get lateral growth, first.

Jojo, you ask why or how this happens? Almost all trees demonstrate apical dominance. Here's a great description out of Wikipedia (it is actually a good definition of what apical dominance is, and why plants exhibit apical dominance):

"Apical dominance occurs when the shoot apex prevents the growth of lateral buds so that the plant may grow vertically. It is important for the plant to devote energy to growing upward so that it can get more light to undergo photosynthesis. If the plant utilizes available energy for growing upward, it may be able to outcompete other individuals in the near vicinity. Plants that were capable of outcompeting neighboring plants likely had higher fitness. Apical dominance is therefore most likely adaptive."

You can prune it off, but sometimes I'll leave it, let it hang over, and cause the node at the top of the curve to become dominant and begin to branch? That's what I allowed to have happen for my Ortanique, and now it's a nice, bushy tree with a whole new left side, and starting to develop a very nice shape. This doesn't always work, and if not, then yes, I'll prune. It worked nicely for my Ortanique, and also for my White Sapote, which is developing a really lovely and architectural structure due to this curving of the main apical branch.

And Happy New Year to you, Mike! Hope you're feeling 100%, know you were a bit under the weather. Hope you all have a fantastic 2013 citrus season!

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia: Apical Dominance

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 1:56AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Thank you both for all the great info! Lots to think about and learn! What a great start you've given me!

Now that I read what you wrote Patty, I recall some of it from the Bonsai forum, but hadn't really read it all that close.

I think I will leave it and see what it does. :-) I'm curious now and anxious to learn more about tree's in general. Will attempt a bonsai someday too. lol

John~ Wishing you the best on finding that corner on the market. ;-)

A meyer tree is on my wish list for spring. :-)


    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 10:19PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, JoJo, nice new tree! ;-)

You know me....I prune early, and often, until I have the canopy that I desire....
then I start thinkin' about fruit.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:58PM
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How's the tree doing these days?:-)))))))))

Hello Josh and Patty! Patty, that is a beautiful potted tree. I am lovin it:-)


    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 4:49PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi all!
Patty! Thanks for sharing those pics. I hadn't seen them before.

I think I need a few more tree's to try different ways of growing. ;-)

Hi Josh! Yes, I know you do :-) See, another tree, and I could do as you do, and then let this one go to see what happens.

I really want the pink variegated I saw at HD! It even had a nice size lemmon! 5gal. for about $25 if I remember.

It does have several side branches, but short now and they blend due to the leaves.

Mike~ Tree seems Ok today. Just checked. We had a hard freeze last night and I forgot to cover it(I'm sick and was in bed by 8pm! :-( ). But I have it under a shrub which is a pretty warm spot (micro climate) compared to the rest of the yard.

It has a few yellow leaves, i'm assuming not fed well or at all by grower/wal mart. I will give it a shot of MG today till I can get better.

Is it ok to move it to gritty mix this time of year? Or weather is so flip floppy! But it's been a warm winter with spring like days and cold nights. Yesterday was high of 51* but water in dishes outside froze. lol.. Today will be high of 53*.
Warming up to 60's next few days.

Or just pot up and put some 5-1-1 around it for now, just to get it in a bigger pot. Right now it's in a tall narrow one. A slip I think it's called.

I'll put a link below of what our week will look like. Please don't hate me if you are where it snows. ;-)


Here is a link that might be useful: Tucson Forcast

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 11:42AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mike, Patty, and JoJo!

Yes, JoJo, I think I would pot it up for now, just loosening the edges of soil
so that it makes good contact with the 5-1-1 around it.

That said, it was last year, right around this time that I re-potted (full bare-root) my
variegated pink lemon. Not the best time of year, especially with the cold weather,
but I couldn't stand the thought of the Lemon going the rest of Winter in that nursery mix.

Anyhow, smart money says to wait :-)


    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 12:18PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Josh!
Thanks! :-)

I left 4 tree's in the nursery mix last year and lost them. :-( so I can understand why you wouldn't want it to rest in the mess they came in! Wishing I had potted up. My pink included in the lot.

I will at least get it in a 5-1-1 till spring. We are a little warmer than you.. so it should be O.K. and small enough to protect if needed.

Smart $$ and being impatient are quite the tug of war, aren't they. ;-)

I hope your pink is doing well. I know I had read deer got to her.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Merry Christmas !!

Nice present Jojo!!!

Looks so healthy.. wish we had citrus like that here at our local stores!!

Lucky lady!!!

Get better soon..


    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 3:44PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Laura!
Merry Christmas to you, and all! :-)

Thank you. :-)
Our selection is limited to just a few varieties unfortunately, but nice little tree's at that. Come spring I will get out to Mesquite Valley growers, real nice tree's! 3 greenhouses to choose from.

So you can't get tree's local from big box stores?

I can't order any in. Import laws for disease! I see so many I would like, but fine print says will not ship to AZ. You think I'd learn by now not to look, but i do. lol..

I'm trying to get better. Thanks. :-) Fear it will go to my chest and won't be gone soon though. Heading back to bed soon. :-)

Have a good day all!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 3:59PM
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My family knows I am wanabbi gardener so my Xmas presents were Weed fighting weapons I got Weed popper, weed wrench, garden weasel and weed stirrup hoe. Weed you in troubles I am ready for the battle.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 11:56PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi All!
Abe.. What great gifts! Your armed and ready for the war! lol...
I usually get garden related,and love getting them. I grow all sorts of veggies and greens in the summer, grew up with a huge garden that fed a family of 5! So i still have to get out and play in the dirt. lol..

Soon you'll be past the "wanabi" and a pro! :-)

Well my guys left to celebrate the last bit of Christmas with DH's family. I'm sick so stayed home and itching to plant or do something! while taking it easy. lol..

Looking at our 10 day forecast looks like next weekend / Fri-Mon. would be the best time to move my tree to the 5-1-1 . What do you all think? The next few days are gonna be cold, windy, rainy and flip flop in temps, but next weekend sunny and in the 70's. I posted a link to our weather forecast at the bottom.


Here is a link that might be useful: Weather next 10 days

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 2:34PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Everyone,
I have been too sick to get my mix made, it's all I can do to move around the house without coughing. :-/ I have some 5-1-1 that was only used for a few weeks last season, so I 'freshened' it up and got my tree put in it in a 12" pot today. It's on the patio up against the house facing west to protect from wind for a few days, and seems to be doing good so far, no sulking today.

I'll post pics later. :-)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Instead of citrus use pine tree....Look

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 11:16PM
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