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Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Posted by cfox248 3 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 9:58

I'm SO excited! I just got the notification from Four Winds that my Moro is in the mail shipping to me, I am beyond excited to get it! I checked the weather last week and had some hope it would ship, the nighttime lows were around 30.. But now that I look today, it's 23 for tonight, 25 for tomorrow and 32 for Wednesday- rather than the 28 that they want. I am SO hoping that wherever my Moro is on its way here is a bit warmer... But, at least they do guarantee their trees.

I have to go get a pot and more dirt... I was planning on doing that this weekend, I was not expecting it so soon! I trust their judgement in shipping and will pamper my orange tree so it can hopefully recover from the cold shock. I can't WAIT!

Has anybody else in the cold northern states had a tree ship today?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Congrats on your new purchase. I am still holding off a little longer until I place any orders for live plants. Watch the temperatures and be home when the UPS guy stops. Expect some cold damage too, but as long as the tree isn't left in temps below 30 too long it shouldn't have much damage.

Regarding Four Winds - they have great trees and customer service. I'm sure if the cold damage was bad then they would replace the tree free of charge. Four Winds is worth the money.

What age tree did you purchase? How much was shipping?

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Thanks! I placed the order with the understanding that they would not ship it until they were confident the temps would hold. They said they had several hundred orders on hold to the Northern states until it warmed up and they were watching the weather and would ship when they thought appropriate. I DID expect to have to wait a few more weeks, but we'll see what happens!

It was a 3 year old Moro orange tree. Shipping was 23.60 to ship up to me via USPS Priority. I do expect some cold damage, bu since it's almost spring here I expect it will invigorate and start growing like crazy once it gets to go outside during the days. I am in 100% agreement, they are worth the money. Last summer I was lucky enough to pick up a Meyer lemon tree from Four Winds that was sold at my local nursery. It looked bigger than 1 year, smaller than 3 - maybe an old 2 year old - for an incredibly cheap price. 15 dollars? 20 maybe. I'm pleased with it, an more than willing to pay the extra money to get another from the source.

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Yup when it comes to citrus, "You get what you pay for", and Four Winds costs more, but the quality is 100%.

My Meyer Lemon originated from Four Winds as a 3 year old grafted tree. If your tree looked anything like mine you will be quite impressed. The trunk should be thick and good size canopy.

Im not sure the size of your florescent grow light, but this new tree might need that to itself, or a better quality light for next winter. A sunny window alone wasn't enough for my tree to thrive and bear fruit.

Four Winds has really great citrus care material on their website, have you checked that out? Their 'problem solver' section is a great resource.

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

I've already got plans for a plant setup next winter! Right now we have a little counter in front of a south facing window. A 2-bulb, 2 foot fluorescent light hangs about 6 inches above the tree. My myer, shorter and more bushy than the Moro will be, was happy in the window (till I had to take it home over break) and even flowered in November. I have so many plants now though that it's going to need to change.

Next winter, I am taking over the room that would hold a washer and dryer of my duplex had one for a plant room (about 6X6 feet). It's used in the summer for our bikes, but those are obviously not used over winter. The shelfless cupboard will have the current fluorescent mounted in it for my smaller plants. I will get one of those octopus lamps - the lamps with 5 or so heads - and put a full spectrum Fluorescent bulb in each of them, and each plant will get its own light. I will invest in a second lamp if necessary. It's a north facing room, but it's warm and easy to humidify and with all the lights will be better for the plants overall.

I have been around their site, but I have not done the problem solver. Will check it out for future reference!

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Growing citrus sure is a learning experiance. See what works best for you and your situation. Does that laundry room have any windows for direct light?

We can give tips on your setup before you make any purchases. I would like to know how many watts total those proposed bulbs would be, and how much total cost. Those are to get an idea what would be most efficient and economical setup.

On a side note, I did some experimenting with taking cuttings from my Meyer this winter. I liked the idea of getting a new lemon tree for free. Esp when it was far too cold to have anything shipped. Only one cutting survived, but it's strong and almost a foot tall now. I think in the future I will try to root any branches that I prune off. I heard that lemons are the easiest to root. I just used the cheapest rooting hormone from amazon and used a Pepsi bottle as humidity dome. Just some thoughts if you want to try your hand propagating your own citrus. Cuttings make great gifts too. My friends already put in requests lol

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Just one north facing window. The one south facing window by the plant counter is dandy but it will not fit all the plants. I figure I can have one of them on there, maybe two - whatever I find needs the most light. Maybe both citrus can fit up there. In the winter, it's pitch black out here by 4:30 and the sun isn't up till 10 so it really gets very little direct south sunlight anyways.

I'm not sure what kind of bulbs. I figured on finding some full spectrum ones like the kind linked below (there are cheaper ones, but these ones are labeled as grow lights...) If there's no direct sun, I figured a whole bunch of those could do the trick. I will have another on the plant counter for whatever plants end up on there. As much as I'd love to, I share the plant counter and can't hog it all...

I thought about rooting some cuttings, but the cuttings - due to not being on the dwarfed rootstock - would grow into a full sized tree, right? I didn't want that. As much as I'd love another lemon, I want it to be small!

EDIT: This is the style of lamp. Just, shorter and with longer necks for the hoods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Light bulbs

This post was edited by cfox248 on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 20:06

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Right, cuttings are not dwarfed. Although most meyer cuttings I see online in pots grow smaller and in bush form. More of an experiment really. Cuttings are a popular way to grow Meyers as well as grafting.

Hopefully your tree(s) won't have much longer inside. Temperatures are ticking upwards here. I feel spring coming in NY, actually got to open some windows today.

There is a guy on these forums, Steve, that grows with lots of fluorescent bulbs and he could advise you on that. In my opinion if the cfl's and fluorescent are going to have an accumulative wattage upwards to 150 watts then a HPS lamp would be more beneficial for the same watts. Maybe price as well - my 150w HPS lamp was $66. The quality of light from HPS is incomparable from cfl. My light meter reads that fluorescent lumens drop to almost nothing just a few inches away while HPS has great lumens up to 3-4 feet away.

Food for thought. You got a lot of time to plan. Steve grows healthy kumquats and figs under cfl's and maybe he will chime in.

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Maybe I will try a cutting when my Lemon tree is back to full health. I suppose I could always prune it to stay little, right? and I WOULD like another lemon in case mine bites the dust.. hmm....

I know there are other better light options, I'm just trying to keep electricity costs down. Having fluorescent lights on 12 hours per day isn't adding hardly anything to the electricity bill - calculated out it's less than a dollar per month for the little two light I have. I have not looked into energy consumption of other bulbs, I just assumed they would be energy suckers. (I'm working on an LED grow light system for my succulents for that reason!) I wouldn't mind myself, but I share the bills and don't want to raise them when other people are chipping in to pay. Maybe I will look into how much they use - if it's not too bad I would definitely consider switching!

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

There are many options for indoor lighting. Im interested in LED too and might dabble with that in the future when I need more. I believe my hps adds about $5 more on electricity per month. Wasn't noticeable for me, but I am not worried about upsetting roommates!

Check out this link:

When you view the photos from drop box remember that this person is growing citrus in Toronto! He also uses CFL, obviously with success ;-)

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Tree arrived today! It looks great. No cold shock, the leaves look good save for a few that got damaged in the box. I mixed up a batch of soil that was some good non-MiracleGro soil (Black Diamond to be exact- the ONLY soild I could find of a different brand), perlite and the redwood chips the tree came in. I threw in a few handfuls of cedar chips, too. The root system on that tree is CRAZY! My poor lemon has such a little root system that when I took out the orange tree I was immediately concerned about pot size. But, it says 12 inches in the pamphlet (that's what size I have) and I don't have any other pots, so in it went.

I also repotted my Meyer lemon. Again. I fought about it with myself, since he's finally on the mend but not 100%, and I just repotted it 2-3 weeks ago and didn't want to kill it with transplant shock... But the drainage really had me worried. It was in MiracleGro Cactus palm and citrus mixed with perlite. I gave the tree a gallon of water upon potting (nothing drained out the bottom). But even today, weeks later, when I put in the moisture meter it goes all the way to the far end of 'wet.' So, I risked it and popped Lemon out of the old pot and into the new, hoping it wasn't too settled into the first repotting. It's also in the Black Diamond soil, cedar chips and perlite.

Both got watered with Foliage Pro fertilizer. I was very pleased to see that it was draining out the bottom after a gallon of water. both will go into the windowsill after they are done draining into the sink.

One thing I noticed on just one leaf of my orange tree, shown in the leaf close up. Could it be from a citrus leaf miner? I'm guessing it won't be a big deal since it's just ONE leaf, but thought I'd check if I should be worried.

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RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Probably not, and even if it was, the larvae has hatches and is long, long gone. Yes, Four Winds does an outstanding job developing their root systems, which is why their trees do so exceptionally well. I have never lost one, even despite some neglect on my part at times :-)

Patty S.

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Amazing! So happy to see that your new tree arrived safe and healthy! It really looks great in that pot. 12in is fine no worries there.

How is your charlie brown Meyer Lemon doing? Has it reacted to the transplant? Hopefully that will be the last transplant for a year or so.

I must say, you are giving me the citrus fever. I cant decide which variety I want to buy this year.

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

It's surviving. The initial transplant killed off all the teensiest new growth/leaf tips, and there's some branch dieback - most of the smaller twigs. I expected this, because I really had to work the roots to loosen the root ball and get out the nasty compacted soil when I first took it out of its original pot. But the leaves that are there are doing okay, not wilty or anything. I don't think it was settled in the new stuff yet, so I'm hoping it will be okay till I can get it outside. I didn't harass the roots this time, just patted off the loose soil and popped him in the new stuff. Crossing my fingers. I almost bought another because I know it'll be a long time before I get lemons out of my poor Meyer now, but I really only want one, haha.

Yes, last transplant for quite a while if I can help it. I'm really hoping this soil drains well this time. It won't matter as much when summer hits, as it gets so hot here it saps the water out of ANY soil, but I've got about a month to go before they can go outside. I guess only time will tell!

For all the headaches this citrus causes, I love having them! I've got not just citrus fever, but gardening fever... Got a few plants on hold from shipping in May, and I'm heading to the greenhouse this weekend to have a look. I hope my roommates won't mind me slowly turning the house into a jungle.

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Cfox..That is great..I just love the trees from them and the roots are huge..

Just be careful with the mix you used..It might find it robbing your tree of benefical nitrogen because the the type of amendments you used which will break donw drawing from nitrogen..Just fertilize on a regular basis and make sure you feed enough to your tree especially in the growing season...Good luck:-)


RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

It might take a year for the Meyer to get established again, roots and branches. I guess that I shouldn't gloat about picking another ripe meyer lemon yesterday? I have to say, growing the tree, picking the lemon, washing it, cutting open and eating is such a fulfilling experience. I contemplated the whole growing experience while I lip puckered my way through half a lemon, juiced the rest. All the picked fruit this winter has been extremely sour, somewhat more so that store bought lemons. Amazing really because I LOVE anything sour. Im not sure why I haven't gotten any with that distinct 'meyer' sweetness. I am happy regardless. They could need extra heat. My next winter I may invest in heat pads.

Where do you plan to put the trees outdoors? Will they get full sun?

Well said on the gardening fever remark. I know this is a citrus forum, but I am also excited about growing other stuff. I unwrapped my container garden and was pleased to see that many of my berries had survived. My dwarf sour cherry also survived and buds are about to break. Live in a city and ground soil is polluted with chemicals and lead leeching from my apartment building, so my entire garden is in containers. I especially love fruits and berries.

What did you order from

RE: Orange tree in the mail... and it's COLD!

Thanks for the heads up, Mike. Next year they will both go into either the 511 or Gritty mix. This year this is what I could do with what I had on short notice. I fully intend to fertilize when they go outside, probably every other watering.

They will indeed be in full sun (gradually) - they'll sit on the south side of the house near my front door. Last year I put my Meyer in direct sun that it got most of the day and it loved every second of it, even the days over 100 degrees. Nearly doubled in size. Maybe by the end of the summer it'll be as big and healthy as it was when I bought it at least. I've got my store bought lemons until then, I suppose.

I've got a Miracle Berry plant and a Tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) on wait for me. They ship May 1st. I can barely wait - I've got the pots already (The same as my citrus pots) and this weekend I'll be picking up soil. My plan was to get the citrus soil this weekend too, or at least start getting supplies for one of the recommended mixes, but it was shipped much sooner than I expected and there is literally nothing in the way of garden centers nearby my school save for home depot (MiracleGro only...) I drove to five places before finding the Black Diamond soil!

The Miracle Berry is easy enough, goes into an acid mix of sphagnum and perlite, 50/50. The tea plant is a bit harder, it needs a well draining slightly acidic soil mix of sorts. Still working that one out.

Good deal on your container garden surviving! This winter was especially harsh. I don't know that I have the polluted ground problem but I can't plant anything in the ground out here, nothing would survive outside long term. I'd plant some berries, but this is not permanent housing for me, so I'm out of luck till I have some property I can call my own.

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