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citrus

Posted by cavamarie z8b/9a FL (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 25, 11 at 12:47

Im in north Florida (Ocala) and would like to buy a few citrus trees. The local nursery that I usually used sadly closed. Does anyone have any recommendations for nurseries with good selection that is either within driving distance, or that offers shipping. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: citrus

I use Floyds in Dade city. You won't find better trees and they are very cheap. You could also try Blue Star nursery in Hawthorne.


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RE: citrus

Oh I loved Blue Star. I drove there yesterday, and it looks like they are closed. I called and there was no answer either. They were my favorite and first choice. Ill check Floyds in Dade City. Thanks.


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RE: citrus

Ocala is too cold for citrus.
The freezes the past three years showed us that!


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RE: citrus

I recommend The Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery in Jacksonville - link below. It is located at the south end of the city.

Here is a link to University of Florida information on the cold hardy Flying Dragon (Trifoliate) root stock:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs221

Here are photos of our satsuma tree grown on trifoliate root stock. Satsumas are the most delicious and easy to eat citrus. You just can't beat them. Here are photos of our tree, a photo taken from each side:

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Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Flying Dragon Citrus


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RE: citrus

That is one gorgeous Satsuma!


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RE: citrus

Beautiful! Do you know which of the satsumas you have, Carol? Is it sweet? I want one!
Marcia


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I think that satsumas beat any other citrus there is: they are 1) deliciously sweet, 2) have very few seeds and 3) have a very loose skin that can be peeled off in two pieces. What other orange can you eat in the car?! They are one of the best kept secrets around because you never see them in grocery stores. They don't pack or travel well - they are too "fragile" for large crates in grocery stores - so you only get them from neighbors, roadside stands or flea markets. But if you ever have one, you will love it. My Dad found out about satsumas shortly after moving to Florida in the 60s. He planted the one above in September 1980, so it is about 31 years old!

Unfortunately I don't know which variety of satsuma it is. The one pictured above is my parent's tree and I also have a satsuma tree, pictured below. They are equally good and the fruit appears about identical but I don't which variety either of them are. My guess is that they are both Owari - but I don't really know. On both trees, the fruit is ripe and ready to eat every Thanksgiving. We leave the fruit on the tree and eat as needed. The fruit would last until about March except neighbors and church friends beg to have a chance to pick. We give away hundreds and hundreds.

It is so funny because often we will give someone a basket of fruit who has never had them before and they will politely nod and say 'thank you'. Then the next time we see them, they will say, "WHAT WERE THOSE?!! THEY WERE DELICIOUS!" It is not until they try them that they appreciate how wonderful they are!

For some reason, the photo below makes my tree appear much smaller than it is. It is actually about eight foot tall. It was planted in 2000. It is on the dwarf Trifoliate (Flying Dragon) root stock which has the benefits of being cold hardy and keeping the tree smallish. The amount of fruit in the photo is deceiving - I bet I got 200 off my tree this year! I still have about 50 hanging on it. No joke, they taste like candy.

Photobucket

The folks at Flying Dragon Nursery know their citrus trees. They are a small, family-owned business and have been selling citrus at that location for years and years. They are experts in cold-hardy citrus for areas that get a few freezes a year like north Florida and south Georgia.
http://www.flyingdragoncitrusnursery.com/

Linked below is another website - Mr. Texas - who is an expert on citrus. He has an overwhelming amount of good info.

Have fun!
Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Mr. Texas


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RE: citrus

Picked two minutes ago:

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Carol


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RE: citrus

If you can grow citrus in Jax you should be able to grow it in Ocala. There are all kinds of citrus growing all over the city here. I have about 9 different kinds although some of them are in pots. I do have 2 different mature orange trees in the ground. I have seen lemons, grapefruit, kumquats, satsuma and oranges planted in different parts of the city around here.

I grew kumquats, satsuma, and oranges in S central and SE Louisiana and the winters seemed a little colder than here in NE FL. They often went into the 20's and teens there whereas it doesn't seem to get into the 20's near as often here..


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RE: citrus

Your descriptions sounded wonderful and the pictures were hard to ignore, I just had to get online and buy two 4 year old trees, Satsuma Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)

Lou


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Lou, Wow, that is awesome! I don't think you will be disappointed. With your green thumb - and as much sun as you can give them - they should do fine! I throw citrus fertilizer on both of the trees four times a year: March, May, July and September. I just toss it by hand (hand "broadcast" it) underneath the tree out to the drip line. And that is it. Just sit back and wait for the fruit. Please post photos of yours when you get them!

Carol


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RE: citrus

  • Posted by saldut 9-10 st pete, fl (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 26, 11 at 15:30

Wonder how they would do here in St Pete, we don't get that cold that you guys do... where did you order yours from, Lou...??? thanx, sally


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RE: citrus

Cava,

I spoke with the people at Blue Star a couple weeks ago about fruit trees they will get in February so they are still open.


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RE: citrus

"Ocala is too cold for citrus.
The freezes the past three years showed us that!"

I'm sorry,but that is just not correct.The mandarin,satsumas & tangerine type of citrus-when grafted with a good rootstock are very cold hardy.I had two tiny tangerine trees survive last year,with just sheets placed over them & we hit 15degs here on several nights.There are also a number of properties in my area,that have very mature trees & they are never protected in the hardest freezes.It seems,if You can get the young tree through the first couple of Years,then after that,there is no real issue.Cavamarie,look for trees that are grafted onto Swingle rootstock,as it does well in our area.I would advise You to plant in Spring,after all danger of freezes are past.This will give the young tree maximum time to establish before a hard freeze occurs.There are also a few ways to further protect the tree,if You decide to select a variety that is not as cold hardy as those mentioned above.These can range from simply placing a blanket/tarp over the tree,to enclosing the trunk in foam pipe insulation(I do this on a couple of my less cold hardy young trees).Best of luck with choosing & growing Your citrus tree.

"If you can grow citrus in Jax you should be able to grow it in Ocala."

Jaxonville,though much further North is protected by the ocean breezes.Ocala & the surrounding areas can see some pretty low temps,because We are so far inland.


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RE: citrus

Meany!

No fair posting citrus porno... my mouth watered as I scrolled down watching your satsuma stripping!


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Oh bamboo rabbit, I hope you're right. I drove up there last week, and there was orange tape around the entrance and barrels in the parking lot. Okay, you people have KILLED me with that satsuma picture. Is that huge one in a pot?? I have a minneola tangelo that I need to find a pollinator for. Will a satsuma do the trick?

I love Florida....


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RE: citrus

Oh, and everyone, thank you for all your informative responses. Has given me a lot to consider. I know its possible growing citrus around here, since as I drive around my block I see some monstrous orange trees. Ive had a difficult time the last few years with the ones Ive gotten, since we did have pretty cold winters. This year has been much milder, and Ill be much smarter when getting some new citrus.


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RE: citrus

Cava,

I just got off the phone with Bluestar so they are still in business.


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Blue Star

Excellent!! Thanks, bamboo, its right up the road from me.


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RE: citrus

Sally,

I ordered mine from MyerLemonTree.com
They ship UPS within the week from a grower in Florida.
The reason is, I wanted it now and not have to wait until spring because I'm planting out a newly cleared acre+ with fruit trees, nut trees, grapevines, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Lou

Here is a link that might be useful: Satsuma Orange Tree


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RE: citrus

I live in zone 9a.
We grew citrus for Minute Maid but were wiped out by the three freezes in the 80's.
Replanted just enough for the family in the early 90's.
The last three freezes have killed off half or more of those trees.
Two Satsumas were planted in the 90s.
They were easily as big as the ones pictured here.
But mine were severely damaged by the three years of deep freezes.
One Satsuma is dead and will be taken out soon.
The other was damaged and may not survive much longer.
The temps in my grove were down to 19 degrees last year for more than 8 hours.
Many nights of 20 and 22 degrees for long periods.
It is a wonder anything survived.
So yes, it is correct that citrus cannot survive such cold temperatures as Ocala had recently.
You might be fortunate enough to have a warm micro climate.
Every yard is different and yards often have cold and warm pockets.
If it were so easy and warm enough grow citrus, why are there no large commercial growers in Gainesville, Jacksonville and Ocala?
Because the ideal climate is way further south.
Homeowners can afford the risk.
When you have hundreds of acres planted in citrus, you cannot.
There are exceptions to the rules and your place might be the exception.
Wishing for warm winters for many years to come and happy citrus to all!


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RE: citrus

Lou - did those puppies arrive?!?

Carol M. - Jacksonville


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Carol,

They haven't arrived yet due to the holidays, I was notified there would be a delay as UPS wasn't on full delivery schedule due to the holidays, they should be coming in anytime now since the holidays have passed.

Lou


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RE: citrus

Gatormom nailed it - homeowners can take risks with freezes that commercial growers can't. To a commercial grower, a freeze is financial ruin. To a homeowner, losing a few yard citrus to a freeze is disappointing, inconvenient, and it costs some money (new trees plus buying citrus until the new trees are producing). But it is not a crisis.

I have an Owari Satsuma that I bought from a big box store close to 15 years ago. I don't know what rootstock it's on. It has survived temps down to the low teens with minor foliage damage (though it was not exposed to temperatures that low until it had been in the ground a few years). Most years it takes no damage at all, and I do nothing to protect it.

There are several other citrus that would probably survive (i.e., worth planting by a homeowner) in North Florida. I added a link to the Just Fruits and Exotics citrus page, because it describe a lot of citrus varieties and has a USDA hardiness zone recommendation for each. (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with that nursery nor have I ever bought from them...I just thought the page was informative.)

Citrus that I see growing in people's yards here (Panama City area, zone 8b) are: satsumas, kumquats, Improved Meyer lemons, and some tangerines and oranges. I also see some grapefruit trees...but only small ones. It makes me wonder whether grapefruits only live as long as they are small enough for homeowners to keep covered during hard freezes.

I have a related question: has anyone tasted a limequat? I am wondering if they are *actually* good for lime substitutes or if that is just marketing hype. I'd love to have a "lime" tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Just Fruits and Exotics citrus page


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Thanks a lot, Lou of Floral City. I bought one from the Meyer Lemon place. I have no idea where I'm going to put it, but at least it arrived today, after the freeze/frost.

How did you make out?

Carol B. in Sarasota


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RE: citrus

Carol, Carol,

The UPS truck just delivered my 2 Satsuma Mandarin Orange trees, but it's too dark out to open the boxes and plant them. They will spend the night in my barn.

Lou, MOO


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Where do I get a tree like the one in the pot ?


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Optical illusion; it is not in a pot. The pot is about 8-10 feet in front of the trunk. You can see the trunk above the pot, just slightly right of center. This Satsuma was planted in the ground by my father in fall 1980. 33 years old. The pictures I posted on Christmas 2011 are front and back of the same satsuma.

I posted a link in the December 25, 2011 to the Flying Dragon Nursery, where you can get wonderful satsumas on appropriate root stock.

Carol in Jacksonville

This post was edited by love_the_yard on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 22:34


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RE: citrus

i have a grape fruit, navel, and tangelo tree out back, and a ponderosa lemon out front. all do great here. lowest cold i`ve seen here at my yard was 16 degrees a couple times. normally not that cold. i live in Inverness just south of ocala. i like greens nursery over by Mt dora, they have tons of trees and stuff in stock and very cheap prices. i got my apple and pear trees from them. we have color country down here but they seem to be barely hanging on and dont have much of anything. they buy from chestnut hill tree farm up by gainesville. this is a grower of trees that supplies nurseries around fl and Georgia. they wouldnt be too far to drive for you to go right to the farm for your trees. they have a website and facebook page too. http://www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/store/pg/33-About-Us.aspx


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RE: citrus

Carol, you have an AMAZING satsuma tree...wish I was your neighbor,lol...

I have a small one that I planted about 2 years ago...its quite pathetic compared to yours. Mine is not growing well at all, every year it seems to do worse with Citrus Leaf Miner...I think its actually "shrinking"? :o(

Thanks for the great pictures...I'm sure I'll ever see my tree do as well as yours but I'm not ready to give up yet...


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RE: citrus

Posted by loufloralcityz9 Z 9 (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 4, 12 at 18:13
" The UPS truck just delivered my 2 Satsuma Mandarin Orange trees, but it's too dark out to open the boxes and plant them. They will spend the night in my barn.

Lou, MOO"

Lou, any updates on your Satsumas...how are they doing?


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The last winter 2012-2013, I tried covering them with a plastic tent and I also had one stringer of C9 lights under each tree but the wind here is fierce coming off the huge mile long pasture to my north and tore up the plastic during the night. The trees sustained considerable freeze damage but were still alive above the graft union. All the branches were killed and all I had left was two green sticks above the graft. They sprouted out new growth this summer but now still are smaller than when the trees first arrived. Because they are now small I presently cover them with large plastic trash barrels with double stringers of C9 lights at the base. So far so good for the few freezes I had here. The new branches they put out are doing great. I also had some branches sprouting from below the graft union which I left on the tree so it could gain strength. During the summer I removed those branches from below the graft union and put them in a tub of water that I use to sprout roots on cuttings. Lo and behold they rooted out, I recently potted those and I will graft some of the satsuma branches as I trim them for balance during the tree formation years and I should be able to make a few more satsuma trees. I will build a small but tall wooden heated greenhouse for the satsuma trees that I can take down later when the trees are larger and less susceptible to the cold snaps. So it's one step forward and two steps back in my quest to grow citrus trees. Never say die but occasional awchits are allowed:)

Lou


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RE: citrus

Hi Lou, Thanks so much for the update...I'm happy to hear they are still alive after all that its been through!! Hoping for the best!

Mine bloomed last year (inspite of the poor sad looking leaves) due to a very bad case of CLM...but unfortunately all the tiny fruits all fell off :o(

I'm hoping it will continue to grow, even though its been sooo slow and eventually give me some fruits in the future...Maybe they're not meant to be grown this far south?

Though it might not look like it, I have done some light pruning on this tree at least 3 times...mostly to shape the tree but the CLM has been so bad I decided to let it grow some this last spring and summer...Any tips or ideas what I should do to help it along? I do fertilize it often...every few months (not heavily) since its small... Thanks!!

Here's a picture of my poor and very sad looking satsuma :o(


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RE: citrus

ok when it is small like yours you will want to fertilize every week but in small doses (heaping teaspoon closer in as the root ball is not very large as yet). Keep the fertilizer away from the main trunk about two inches to start, each year pull away from the main trunk one more inch. Looking at the picture of your tree I would guess you should be at the 3 inch away stage now. The sand we have in Florida does not hold anything so the fertilizer just washes on through to China. You will find a good response to the weekly light feeding as your tree won't have to wait a month or two for another meal. My trees each gave me fruits the first year, not many, not big, but freakin delicious. I have my watering set on a timer 15 minutes every other day. Another thing I notice about your tree is you have green (what looks like grass) growing above your roots. remove all things growing all the way out to the drip line. Citrus trees have very very shallow roots (many times growing above the dirt). The greenery growing under your tree is stealing the food from your citrus tree.... get rid of it and keep it clear of grass & weeds on out to the drip line. Do what I've indicated and you should have some fruit in December. The weekly feeding should spur the tree on to flowering.

Lou


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RE: citrus

Thank you Lou!! I will take your advise. I really appreciate all your help. I will water and fertilize a lot more often. Any suggestions on treating the CLM or is it a never ending battle I'm never going to win anyway.


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The citrus leaf miner is a hard pest to control. The moth flies only at night laying eggs on the underside of the tender new leaf. The moth and larva are barely visible to the naked eye. Because the larva tunnel into the leaf the sprays cannot reach them very well. I put a link for you to click on and read but I don't see any easy way to control a heavy infestation. What I use to keep them in check may seem odd at first but if the infestation is light it works to keep the numbers down. I use a hand held hole punch (like for making holes in leather) the best hole punch has a wheel of different size holes you can choose, I center the punch over the dark spot at the end of trails where the leaf miner is at and I punch them out of the leaf and drop the punched bit of leaf & miner into a jar of soapy water. This keeps the larva from hatching and becoming a moth that lays a bunch more eggs. It's rather labor intensive but an old retired fart like me has time on his hands. The leaf will heal as if it had a small bug bite. Doing this in conjunction with using Spinosad leaf spray may knock your infestation down to a manageable level and the leaf miners that the Spinosad misses you give them the one-two punch. I do not recommend using the systemic (absorbed by the plant) type controls like Bayer as you will be eating the fruit.

Lou

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Leaf Miner


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Thanks for taking the time about your method and the link you sent as well...I think I will just let the CLM go for now. I'm surrounded with Citrus trees. My neighbors have several of them planted all around me, so I really think its a battle I cannot win :o(

I will concentrate on watering/fertilizing and hope it will grow and get stronger, and able to take the CLM abuse that the rest of the citrus around me have done...

Thanks again!!


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RE: citrus

Hey puglvr, can you post pics of a close up of some of the foliage? I'm curious if the areas of the leaves not damaged by miners are showing nutritional deficiencies?

Year before last my ponkan looked dreadful, and I thought it might have greening. But after closely inspecting the leaves and a lot of reading, I realized it had a pretty advanced case of zinc deficiency. I had been giving it keyplex nutritional spray, but while that has minors, it doesn't have much zinc. I ended up buying the southern ag nutritional spray which has a lot more zinc, and treated it last year. It made a huge improvement, and this year it looks mostly normal now and is fruiting.

Absolutely agree with the advise to fertilize less but more often to help a tree get established.


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RE: citrus

Hi Sun!! Great minds think alike,lol...as luck would have it I just sprayed the tree (a few days ago) with Southern Ag Nutritional spray. I did notice the tree looking anemic...not very healthy besides the dreaded CLM that its been battling...

I'm ashamed to admit that I have been very neglectful of this tree...had put all my attention on my favorite trees (mango) and pretty much neglected this one...that's going to change :o)

I also added some fertilzer and watered it in. Will definitely be fertilizing a lot more often with lesser amounts...

Couple of questions? How often did you spray the tree with the Southern Ag. once a week or less often and how many times did you treat it? The treatment I have it a few days ago I used 2 Tablespoon to a gallon of water...

Oh, I also noticed it had a mild case of black "sooty mold" on some of the leaves so I treated it with Volck oil as well...

You can see some of the yellow leaves...

Thanks!


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Hi puglvr. Thanks for posting the pic. Does look like there is some nutritional deficiency going on. I've been trying to work out a good fertilizer schedule. I found that increasing to a larger amount of fertilizing less times a year like the commercial strategies recommend doesn't work very well for me. It is too easy to burn nearby plants, and the soil is so sandy that the trees still run out of fertilizer before the next time. Last year my fertilizer schedule was granular balanced fertilizer in Feb, April, June, August, 1-2lb each time. No ferts of any kind from Sept-Jan so they don't flush tender growth in winter. They do naturally keep shedding leaves. So this is the roughest looking time of year for them - shedding leaves since Sept, but not growing any new ones yet. Last year I intended to spray nutrient spray in March, May, June, July, August mostly that works out to fertilizing monthly, alternating granular and spray with a bit extra in June. What I learned is that for maximum efficiency the timing of the nutrient sprays is important. So instead of going on a calandar timetable, the best time to spray is each time a new growth flush is 3/4 of the way expanded. That still worked out to alternate with the granular fertilizer. It seemed that the granular fertilizer would trigger a growth flush, but not provide enough nutrients for the growth flush to expand to full capacity, so doing the spray at 3/4 leaf expansion helped the new leaves form well. So I definitely sprayed less than once a week. More on the order of monthly, for all my citrus, healthy & not. For the ponkan, which had the biggest problem, I think I gave it a head start and sprayed it every 2 weeks in March/April last year. So hopefully you'll see a good improvement this year! Your tree is nice sized if you could get it to leaf out fully this season.


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Thanks so much for all your help Sun...I definitely want to give this poor Satsuma a fighting chance this year...its a nice little tree and would really like to see it a little healthier and eventually grow and fruit...hoping for the best :o)


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Here is a very useful chart on protection temps for different varieties of citrus, bloom times, fruiting etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: citrus info


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Good luck puglvr, let us know how it turns out after some TLC this year!


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Nice link, Thanks for posting Jasmine!!

Keeping fingers crossed Sun, I'll keep you posted!


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