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Clementine oranges

Posted by hooks Z-5 OH (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 1, 07 at 23:17

Hello All,
I'm new to growing fruits yet I am not completely lacking a green thumb. I have expierience growing bonsai in a number of varieties and a few other potted plants. I have some seeds from clementine oranges and wish to turn one or two of the strongest growers into bonsai someday. My problem is this, what is the stratification process for citrus? I know how to stratify other species that fit the cold northern climates, yet I have never done any stratification with tropical/sub-tropical seeds. My other seeds needed 60-90 day refridgeration inside sealed plastic bag and wrapped with barely damp paper towel or inside barely damp vermiculite. Also I recently read a post about a 35yr old tree with no fruit/flowers. If I allow the tree to grow large untill fruit appears and cut it down to size will fruit remain or will down sizing stop the fruiting/flowering process.

Thanks for your time,
Tim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Clementine oranges

Hi Tim,

Tropical and subtropical trees typically grow in warm/hot climates. I don't believe there would be any reason at all to stratify seeds.

Citrus are just about the easiest plants to grow from seed -- just plant them and keep them moderately moist. They should germinate in about 4 weeks. Keep in mind most citrus have a fairly long juvenile period (where they don't bloom). They have to attain a certain height before the wood is considered mature enough to bloom. If you keep pruning seedlings back (as one does in bonsai), they will never get beyond their juvenile-stage growth and will never bloom or bear fruit. If you let the tree grow large (perhaps 8 feet??), then cut it down, you will remove all the mature growth and the tree will have to begin all over again. At least that's my understanding. Also, Clementines do not grow true from seed (from what I've read), but you're probably not interested so much in fruit quality.

If your goal is to have a small plant AND one that bears fruit (in your lifetime), you'd probably be better off with a plant started from a mature-wood cutting or a mature-wood grafted plant. Suggested varieties for bonsai citrus might include the smaller-leafed (and smaller-fruited) Calamondin, Chinotto sour orange, and Rangpur lime.

Hope this helps a bit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Four Winds - Bonsai citrus


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RE: Clementine oranges

First of all Clementines are one of the very few varieties of citrus that do not produce true from seed. Planting a Clementine seed will not produce a "Clementine" tree the same as the tree from which the seed was taken. Second, a citrus tree does not mature because the tree has attained a certain height. Citrus trees mature when the tree has produced the required node count for that particular variety. Dave is correct in saying that a citrus tree grown from seed as a bonsai will never fruit, because by continually triming the branches, the tree will never produce the required node count. However, you can achieve a fruiting citrus tree as a bonsai, by using a grafted citrus tree. Also you would want to use a grafted citrus tree that has been grafted onto a rootstock known as Flying Dragon. Flying Dragon rootstock is a dwarfing rootstock. It is possible for a grafted citrus tree could bloom then fruit in its first year.


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RE: Clementine oranges

Thanks for the quick response. Well I believe I'm starting to understand somewhat better. What I was wondering about however was the node count that you speak of. Do you know an approximate number. Could this node count be attained from back budding. Also if a grafted tree would work then why would a cut back not be an appropriate way to maintain fruiting after it has begun. The reason I ask is whith back budding the branch and node count would be increased while still keeping the tree at a reasonable size to cut down to a bonsai. I'm not sure if you know much about them but most bonsai which are of any reasonable size have been grown in oversized pots or in the ground for a number of years. For this tree bonsai training would not occur untill a 5 gal pot was full of roots. At the earliest a 3 gal pot. So you see the tree should reach a reasonable size for fruits before I start the bonsai training. If grafting is required which half needs to be the mature fruiting tree. Also when this tree reaches its mature state would it be possible to graft an upper portion to the lower trunk. Thanks for your consideration, and the advice about germination.

Tim


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RE: Clementine oranges

The required node count is different for every variety. For clementine trees growing in a subtropical environment like California or Florida, it takes approximately 5 years of growth to produce the required node count. However, if you cut a bud from a mature citrus tree, the bud will "remember" its node count when grafted onto its new understock (rootstock). Therefore, the scion (top part of the grafted tree) will be a mature tree from the begining, capable of blooming. Additionally, all new growth will also be mature. For bonsai there still would be one problem concerning pruning. Citrus bloom and fruit only on new wood, not on the previous year's growth. Therefore if this years flush is pruned from the tree, no blooms or fruit will develop.


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RE: Clementine oranges

The Blooms being on new growth is not a problem. I have a bougainvillea that is the same way. The cutback is done afeter the budding season. Additionally for appearence you can cut once you see which fruits are in the most visually appealing location. Nobody has answred my question concerning back budding that is my biggest concern.


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RE: Clementine oranges

Silica: many of my citrus trees bloom on the old wood, one of them is honey tangerine, many others also,only I don't know their names.

Hooks: Please explain what is back budding, I never heard anything like that before. Thanks.
K.


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RE: Clementine oranges

Back budding is a process used in bonsai to force dense small scale foliage. Even in dwarf plants growth patters for some plants are spacious. Back budding forces the plant to create smaller leaves and grow a higher number of branches. For example on one of my ficus trees i cut a paticular branch back to the furthest most new shoot, behind this shoot four more shoots grew. when these shoots grow to a reasonable lenth they will be cut to the furthest most shoot producing more shoots on each. The numerous branches is part of what gives the plant a mature look even though it is small. I hope my explanation was sufficient Kquat. the reason I am asking about this process is because it creates a higher node count on a smaller tree. i was wondering if this would promote flower/fruit growth even on a small tree.

Here is a picture of that ficus.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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RE: Clementine oranges

Hooks: thank you . Now I understand what back budding is. You can create it easily after grafting with a mature scion and will get fruits in 1 -2 years. Type Aggie Horticulture, click. click Plant answers , click Questios& answers, click Fruit then click Grafting methods. choose the kind of grafting you think appropriate. Well, good luck. K.


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RE: Clementine oranges

Hooks, Kquat as Kquat has said if you graft a mature bud onto the under stock, the scion will be mature from the start. If the under stock is immature, it will stay immature for ever, however, that would not affect what you want to do. All the grafted tree would have to do is get a little height to it to bloom. As Kquat says, this would be take one or two years. However, it could possibly take a little longer due to the back budding. You do not have to worry about obtaining the required node count, because the bud you will graft has already attained the required count. If you do not want to go through all the trouble of grafting, there is a very pleasing variety of citrus called a Procimquat. Procimquats are by nature a small sized tree, with leaves smaller than most other citrus varieties. Procimquats generally bloom and fruit in their first year, even from seed. Using a Procimquat would make a great bonsai.


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RE: Clementine oranges

silica: I have never heard of anything as Procimquat. Please tell us something about it. Where to buy it? Are the fruits sweet? Are they big or small? I think they have same size with kumquat or smaller. Am I right? K


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RE: Clementine oranges

silica: I have never heard of anything as Procimquat. Please tell us something about it. Where to buy it? Are the fruits sweet? Are they big or small? I think they have same size with kumquat or smaller. Am I right? K


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RE: Clementine oranges

I would not think that procimequat makes a nice bonsai. It is *covered* in disproportionately huge, stick-straight thorns and has a tendency to slender leggy growth--reminds me a bit of yuzu that way. Looks much like its trifoliate heritage with tri-lobed leaves so it's not that "citrusy" in appearance. I don't know if those thorns would reduce in size with bonsai training techniques, but I wouldn't want to work with it since it is so thorny. But if you cut them off, there is also the issue of aesthetics and scars.

I don't think that a grafted citrus--especially t-budded--would make a nice citrus bonsai either for the same reason: the scars are often quite prominent. A reasonable approach would be to root a mature cutting--difficult to do with some mandarins but easy enough with a Meyer--or purchase a rooted cutting. And if so, I would vote for Chinotto--the leaves are small, with short internodes to begin with.

Of course, citrus makes a nice plant even if you don't get fruit or blooms :)

Kquat, just google procimequat--it's there. Not good to eat is all I have to add :) (thanks Homey G)


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RE: Clementine oranges

Rick must be mistaken about the citrus variety Procimequat. Procimequat is not a trifoliate leafed tree, it is a monofoliate citrus. I have grown a couple Procimequats for some time, and they are very pleasing trees. As far as how full any citrus variety is, depends on each growers method of culture. It is correct that the fruit is not eatable, but it is very decorative, and remains on the tree for an extended period. Here are a couple sites where you can see the tree. http://www.plantfolks.com/images/WoodlandersTrip2005_027.jpg and http://www.homecitrusgrowers.co.uk/citrusvarieties/uncommon1.html As Rick says, Procimequats do have thorns, as does most all other citrus varieties. I would think in bonsai culture the thorns would be simple to remove if that was desired. However, I would leave them on the tree, in my opinion they add a lot of additional character, but each to his own.


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Forgot to mention

I'm sorry, but I forgot to mention that the Procimequat is not from a trifoliate heritage at all. The Procimequat is a man-made cross between the two varieties Eustis limequat and the Golden Bean kumquat. Procimequats are a great tree for container culture, as are both of its parents.


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RE: Clementine oranges

sillica,
Curious. I went to the CRFG's tour of a private citrus collection last weekend and there was a mature, labelled specimen of a procimequat planted there. The only reason reason I even looked at it was that I was recently given some procimequat seeds and fruit from a friend of mine. I thought the leaves were trifoliate. Knowing the owner of the collection, I would seriously doubt that he has a poncirus growing there without his knowledge. And yes, you're right on the parentage. So if you say they are typical single leaves, then I am sure you're right. It is certainly nice to have a citrus that will fruit from seed in a short period of time.

hooks,
I am not trying to discourage you from citrus or even procimequats as bonsai in the least. That facts that plant growth habitus varies somewhat with horticultural technique; that citrus like procimequat, limequats, and kumquats or any cultivar make nice container plants; and stability of fruit on the citrus tree--these are more of a rule than an exception. But as you well know, container culture and bonsai culture are related but not quite the same thing. I still think that the scars created from thorn removal would be unsightly and yet the thorns in young seedling citrus--especially in procimequat--can be quite disproportionate in size to a tree kept small. I do think that many citrus are not *ideal* as bonsai specimens due to long straight growth that lignifies rapidly and is not as amenable to wiring as some other plants but I am sure there are lots of citrus bonsai out there that are lovely, show-quality specimens. Now, granted, bonsai beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder and these are just the thoughts of someone who merely dabbles in bonsai but does appreciate the art involved. And I've been surprised by how kind and good-natured the bonsaists I've met turned out to be, so I am quite biased :)


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RE: Clementine oranges

Rick

I apoligize for not responding earlier but my college classes have been weighing me down a little. it would be quite difficult to discourage me in any way so don't worry. i am very head strong maybe even too much so at times. As far as citrus having too rapid of growth and not taking well to wiring it would not be a problem. for leggy growth you just need to remove all ecxept two leaves from each branch on new growth. this promotes more growth and also helps with the desired appearance. And as far as wiring goes many bonsai never get wired because of the type of tree. it is just nessesary to heed caution when trimming because it determines how the tree will grow. for the most part i do agree with your assesment of "bonsaists" yet i have noticed that on the internet there are a few individuals who are very condesending towards those who know less and are just trying to learn.

Here are a couple of photos for your enjoyment.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Clementine oranges

I planted a Clementine seed and this is what I. Got two weeks old very cute.


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