Return to the California Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Citrus Trees

Posted by ques California (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 10:59

I live in Sacramento California and would like to plant orange and lemon trees (that hopefully will mature in my lifetime - I'm 71!!!) I know absolutely nothing about gardening! When to plant? What kind to plant? How to plant? I need help - I once killed a cactus plant!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Citrus Trees

It gets pretty cold up there in the winter so I'ld plant a small tree in a barrel with drilled holes on a moveable platform for the winter. Our neighbors have a limon, small but grows the best tasting limes in a barrel. Best bet is just to go to the nursery in your area but check around, make sure that they aren't pulling your leg. Or just visit the 99 Cents Only for the very best veggies and fruit for only 99 and save all the pain of warching your trees not do as well as they should.

RE: Citrus Trees

Hey Ques, buy the dwarf (grafted) trees form Home Depot or Lowes. They usually come with fruit already, or only take a year or two to begin producing. If you want a greater variety of trees to choose from, you could stop by Four Winds Growers in Freemont. I grow these dwarfed trees because i have a limited amount of space in my suburban-sized lot. I have the following trees, all of which have been planted in my yard for 3 years and already produce fruit. the amount of fruit they produce is not astronomical, but perfect for home consumption. I don't have the space to grow normal-sized trees anyway.

I have:
2 Murcott Mandarins
2 Valencia Oranges
1 Cara Cara orange
1 Mexican sweet lime
1 meyer lemon
1 variegated pink lemon

Here is a picture i took in January of one of the murcott mandarins with ripe fruit. The plant is less than 4 feet tall. Notice there is a dward meyer lemon tree in the background. If you look closely, you can see some bright yellow lemons hiding between the leaves on the right side of the tree.

And here is another mandarin with ripe fruit in November.

Debbysunshine, it doesnt get as cold as you might assume. A handfull of frosty mornings is all we get here in the valley, and citrus trees aren't bothered by those. Citrus trees are common landscape trees in homes here. There are even commercial groves of citrus on the eastern and western slopes of the valley. By the way, Four Winds Growers is the nursery that supplies the most citrus trees in California, and they are located in Freemont (Northern Cal). Orchard Supply Hardware carries their plants down in SoCal.

RE: Citrus Trees

Hello ques - I also live in Sacramento and citrus trees generally do fine here with some basic requirements. I have these types in ground- Eureka Lemon (13 ft tall pictured today below), Bearss Lime (7 ft tall), dwarf Valencia Orange, and dwarf Clementine Mandarin and a couple others in containers. Citrus in general can be considered low maintanence fruit trees and require just a few basic rules. They need full sun (so plant in southern exposure),moderate water but must have good drainage since standing water will cause trouble ( best to plant in slightly raised beds to keep above ground) and they need the occasional feeding (citrus fertilizer). Now is a great time to plant(but plant soon before the scorching sun and heat of summer arrives). Also try to plant in the warmest 'microclimate' in your yard. Cold air sinks so plant higher ground as opposed to lower. Like the previous poster mentioned you might want to purchase the dwarf varieties since many already have fruit and trees will be easier to maintain than the big standard size. The only other thing you have to worry about is the occasional hard winter freeze. It's not as cold here for in ground citrus as the other poster 'Debbysunshine in SanDiego' might think but there are occasional nights each winter where you may have to protect by throwing a light sheet over your tree for the extra insulation. Then remove sheet during the day for the sunshine. The more mature the tree gets the hardier it will be from the frost (I don't protect my large mature trees as much but the small newly planted ones I throw sheet over if temps forecast to fall below 29 or 30). If you don't want to bother planting in ground the dwarf trees do make excellent container trees as well. As a general rule of thumb Mandarins and Oranges are hardier followed by Lemons then Limes. Like I mentioned earlier my Lemon and Lime trees are big and mature and were planted in the 1980's and they have survived this long in this climate here. Check out the website for Four Winds Growers for lots of good information. Good luck.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

RE: Citrus Trees

I never cover my citrus, not even during the January 2007 freeze when we broke a record for cold temperatures. They do perfectly fine. Just plant now, fertilize as directed on the box of the fertilizer, water your trees, and it will give you delicious fruit. Don't ever worry about covering your trees, its not necessary.

RE: Citrus Trees

Yeah I didn't cover my large citrus trees either during the Jan 2007 freeze and they were fine (although my Lime lost many leaves and the fruit turned to mush)..I personally cover the small trees that aren't as established just to give it 'a little extra protection'.

RE: Citrus Trees

My thanks to debbysunshine, central cali369, and norcal916 for such useful information and for the pictures. I feel embolden! I will let you know about my (hopefully) progress and - who knows - maybe I'll have pictures of my own!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the California Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here