Satsuma planted in sort of shady place...

kumquat1December 18, 2010

i put a Satsuma tree in the back yard where there is shade most of the day. Direst sun for around 2-3 hours. In north Florida we get a lot of sunshine. The tree is growing very well with beautiful dark green foliage. It bloomed once, last Spring, but lost all the flowers and fruitlets. It is over 6 feet tall by 5' wide now. Growing like crazy. Could it be inhibited by a lack of light? If the leaves and branches are going great guns, will the flowers/fruit do well? Is it doomed? The reason I planted it there, is because we have a lot of oak trees and in the well-lit areas I am planting vegetable patches and any fruit trees I can fit in. On hikes in the Big Cypress Swamp, I have encountered many sour orange trees in dark shade--presumed to be propagated by the local native Americans in historic times, as the fruit is a refreshing treat when a person is tired, sweaty, hungry, and thirsty. The sour orange fruit was always big, fat, and beautiful on those little trees. Being a sort of mad scientist, I could not resist putting a citrus tree in that location. What do you think? Rather than moving it, I might just buy another one to plant out front.

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Aside from the lack of fruit, if the tree is doing well I wouldnt move it unless you just want to. Im pretty sure fruit set isnt dependent on light or lack there of. Of course if the flowers dont get pollinated then you wont get anything. But thats highly doubtful when the tree is outside during the bloom. How old is the tree?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 10:21AM
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kumquat1

Many of the flowers were pollinated and little fruitlets came about before the big drop. Maybe not enough water at the time. Going to try watering next time it flushes out some flowers. I was under the impression hot and dry were required by Satsuma. But after studying these posts here, I watered my limequat regularly and it held more fruit, and made flowers/fruit much longer than in previous years. I believe someone posted that drought causes the tree to burst into bloom. Well that may be true, but continued drought does not support the fruit once it is set. It is 4 years old.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 9:30AM
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wally_1936(8b)

My satsuma sets under a Oak, a Fig and a banana tree, I don't know how old it is as it was producing fruit the year we moved here (4 years ago) First year 50+ fruit then the next two years 300+ fruit. But I think because of the freeze we had last winter we only got 50+ fruit this last season, it gets afternoon sun and seems to enjoy where it sets. I don't water very often unless I have a very dry summer. haven't put down any fertilizer so far probably would produce more if I did but then I would have to give more fruit away each year. But no one seems to complain about receiving a basket now and then. The "goose foot" bug or tall stink bug as I call them seem to be the only problem I have but they don't damage the fruit only the skins. Each year after the blooms fall and fruit puts on there is always early fruit falls off but I don't worry about that as I expect this to happen each year. Satsuma don't like wet feet but enjoy a good drink now and then as well as being fed organic fertilizer.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 8:40PM
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kumquat1

Three little satsumas have hung on after the Spring bloom! So exciting, but I have 3 grandchildren, so I will only get a little taste.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:22AM
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woodrok

Never had any problems with satsumas in shade. I'm not sure how far you are from me but we have had a very dry spring here. My navel orange and satsumas lost almost all the fruit buds this year after a great growth flush and incredible flowering. I can only find a handful of fruit left on them. The Moros, Meyers and Calamondins on the other hand are loaded.

Rob

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:46PM
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kumquat1

Hi, Woodrok! Panama City area here. My Meyer and limequat "trees" flushed with blooms in March, then all blooms and fruitlets fell off. I left them alone till this nice rain today, and plan to re-start the regular watering and fertilizing schedules. Last year my limequat did the same thing, then re-bloomed and had a good crop. I think I fertilized too much through the winter and hit it with too much nitrogen, so it put out a tremendous amount of branch and leaf growth. The Meyer has been in ground 1.5 years. Never a lemon yet. Had a good bloom in March. Lots of healthy leaf and branch growth. We fertilized and watered it a lot since going into the ground, so we have expectations. Do you think the roots are not up to all the top growth?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:35AM
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woodrok

Whats the ground like? I have 2 meyers that are doing ok. The first year I pulled all the fruit off to let the roots grow. Years 3 and 4 had huge crops for such little trees. Last year wasn't so good...I blame the dry and the heat. This year they had huge blooming season but only one of them set a bunch of fruit. I can't really say why the difference. If yours is only 1 1/2 years old I would just give it some more time. It will come through for you. As far as the roots go what kind of soil is it in and how was it planted? And I would love to get a limequat but haven't been able to find one around here yet.

Rob

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:40PM
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kumquat1

Hi, Woodrok, hope you are enjoying this pretty day!
We are on a sandy hillock north of a bayou--the salty kind, not the cajun kind of bayou--live oaks galore, moss hanging down, magnolias, etc (oak hammock zone) Water runs off, never leaving a puddle. Acid sand. We bought the Meyer Jan '09. It had been pruned down to 1 ft tall, but was in full bloom and was probably a couple of years old. We amended the hole with some potting soil, not a lot. It is planted by the front porch (block and cement) in hopes of stepping out on to the porch to get a lemon, then sitting in the swing with a nice glass of tea some day. Should I put an LOL here? One mystery is that we inherited the house, built in 1936, and there is no telling what my mother swept off the front porch, such as bleach, Spic 'n' Span, construction debris (there had been some re-modeling projects including tearing down the old wooden porch and building the block/concrete porch many years ago). The Meyer is growing beautifully. This morning I went out to do a deep watering, and noticed that my limequat has a few tiny white buds on it. The Meiwa kumquat and calamondin trees are loaded with white buds, so it appears what happened last year is being repeated. The Meyer still has no buds, maybe I am too eager for that glass of tea with the lemon in it. I got the limequat from Park Seed Co. It is a beauty. Don't know what variety. Made limes usable from October through March. My husband eats a lime or lemon every day. I leave them all for him, but would really enjoy having some lime/lemon drinks myself as I love drinking ice water with some juice in it. Will wait till the Meyer puts out before I deprive him of one single lime. Are you far from Panama City? I have a drill bit shaped like a pencil for grafting, a pencil sharpener that goes with it, and some bees wax if you want to try an experiment in the Autumn. All you would have to do is have available some root stock to hold it. I am letting some volunteer seeds grow into trees for that purpose: to graft good citrus branches on to the stumps. One other factor: This lot was bare sand when we moved here. A weed wouldn't even grow under these oaks. My parents kept the leaves swept up. We have been keeping free-range chickens, and the place is turning into a jungle. We have to hack everything back with a machete.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:05AM
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woodrok

Yes it's been a very nice day. Saw the beach boys in concert last night too.:) Is the soil loose or compacted? If compacted you may want to turn in some regular garden soil around the tree. I personally wouldn't have used potting soil to amend the soil. If the other trees are doing well in the same soil then it just may take some time. On the other hand as you said about the possible ground contamination I too have an area that has killed everything I have planted there. Gardenias x 2, Sweet olive x 1, Hibiscus x 3. I'm debating digging a huge hole and replacing the soil or just giving up on that spot. I have no idea what my builder may have dumped there.
On a second note one of my meyers is starting to bloom again after the rain we finally got last week so maybe yours will decided to do something soon.

Rob

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:49PM
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kumquat1

Thx, Rob
I think you are right. The drought then the rain should kick them into gear.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:58PM
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woodrok

You're welcome. Also I forgot to mention that some trees just seem to take their own time to bloom. I have a Moro Orange that was 2 years old grafted when I bought it. I planted it and it grew very well but never bloomed. It was in the ground since spring of 2007 and grew to about 12-14 feet tall. This year is the first time it has bloomed and it has a bunch of fruit on it. I was debating starting over the past 2 years after no blooms but now I'm glad I didn't.

Good luck with yours!
Rob

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:21PM
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