boca_joe

Hardy Citchangsha/citrandarin in zone 7a - Northern VA!

We harvested the first fruit in early December, what a surprise!

Our fruit was a rich tangerine color just like a tangerine inside and the color of an orange outside.
* Relatively small pores , smooth skin on a round, golf ball sized
fruit.
* Here's the interesting part: the peel/zest had a definite
sweet orange taste with no trace of bitterness, in fact when I first
tasted the rind, I thought of orange marmalade- it was that
pleasant/sweet and orangey.
* _*The pulp tastes more like a mandarin or tangerine than anything
else, maybe a hint of lemon, not quite as sweet as a tangerine, more sour, but
definitely NOT bitter at all.
No trifoliate taste to speak of in the pulp or the rind!

With quite a bit of research and the expert input of several citrus hybridizers, we are pretty confident that this is what it is based on our taste test and where we got it and from whom.

This tree was planted in 2007, about 1' tall and now about 15'. It has experienced lows of near 0f at least once since planting and several single digit nights with no noticable damage or any dieback.

We have 18 seeds germinated from the fruit and are going to try grafting some wood this spring.

Pretty exciting for us here in zone 7 for a citrus this hardy and this tasty!

photos and videos here. Please disregard the references to citrumelo in the video- long story.

Boca Joe

Here is a link that might be useful: hardy sweet citrus in Northern VA, zone 7a

Comments (38)

  • Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Boca Joe...

    Nice to see another from the beautiful state of VA.

    I have seen your pics before from yards in around the area ( Dave's yard too" ;-) I am quite impressed with everything you have and i am so excited about the taste of your new fruit!! Congratualations!!! You have worked a long time to get it this far and i know you are stoked!!!

    You all have a great group in your area and i just wish i lived close to you all up in the northern area. Dave has told me about this certian Citrus man tht lives close to my house who lives down the street..I really need to visit him and see what he has planted in the ground hear in VB.

    Always nice to see you and your trees as well as all of your beautiful pictures.. I hope you are doing well.

    Tell your buddy that i said hello (Dave K) Thanks!!

    Take Care,

    Laura

  • wjp4140
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Very interesting. so there's hope here in Baltimore.

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    jacklord,

    Where in Maryland are you? Is your Thomasville grafted or on it's own roots? I've been eyeing them.

  • slopfrog
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    That's awesome. I find it interesting how many variations of leaves are present. You can tell there's a lot of genes floating around in that tree! Gives me hope if I ever have to move up north!

  • fabaceae_native
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks so much for posting boca_joe, it's great to see someone having success with hardy citrus.

    I have to keep myself from dreaming too much, but I do have a number of questions for you that I would love answered..

    -- First, do/did you provide any sort of protection for this tree?
    -- Second, what month did the tree flower, and were the blossoms susceptible to frost?
    -- Did you have any significant freezes while the fruit was still on the tree? What was the lowest temp before you harvested?
    -- Do you think you will get a crop every year, or was this a fluke caused by the warmest year on record nationwide, and a particularly early spring and very mild November/December?
    -- How soon after planting do you think a grafted tree or one started from a cutting would bear?
    -- Finally, and most importantly for me: what is the potential for being able to harvest a large quantity of fruit from your tree (for baking, cooking, preserves, drinks, etc...)?

    Thanks so much...

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    fabaceae, I might be able to answer some of your questions. It is not my tree, but I did buy it for the owner at one of our regional Citrus Expos and I have been keenly watching this plant perform.

    --First, do/did you provide any sort of protection for this tree?

    I do not believe the plant ever had protection other than a good microclimate on the south side of a house. It likely had some overhead protection from Trachy fronds for a while, but it has since grown above the fronds. I do believe as far as survivability, this tree is pretty darn hardy. It has taken down to 0 deg. F.

    -- Second, what month did the tree flower, and were the blossoms susceptible to frost?

    I don't believe the flowers were ever observed. They likely bloomed in early summer. But they were hidden by so much other foliage. The owner first noticed the small fruits developing.

    -- Did you have any significant freezes while the fruit was still on the tree? What was the lowest temp before you harvested?

    My guess to this is yes, some light frosts. Perhaps down to upper 20s. But again, it's in a microclimate. I do not know the actual temps the fruit encountered.

    -- Do you think you will get a crop every year, or was this a fluke caused by the warmest year on record nationwide, and a particularly early spring and very mild November/December?
    Very good question. We had an extremely mild winter 2011-2012 and a very warm summer 2012. That may have encouraged bloom. Or the mild winter may have allowed blooms which otherwise would have aborted due to normal cold weather. Or, it could be the plant was just finally mature enough to bloom.

    This next growing season will be very telling. If it blooms well, then it's was a maturity factor. If not, then maybe a winter weather factor. Although we've not really been much below 10 degrees here this winter.

    I believe the mild fall had a lot to do with the fruit ripening to a good flavor. He did not cover the fruit at all (I would have!). However, likely a cover over the fruit might be enough protection from early or untimely frosts in the future.

    Even in North Carolina, they can't always count on a good citrus harvest every season. I would imagine it would even be more spotty here.

    -- How soon after planting do you think a grafted tree or one started from a cutting would bear?

    Most citrus that are grafted from mature fruiting wood (all other conditions ideal), can bear fairly quickly. A couple years. Cuttings might take a bit longer as the root system gets established. There's no reason to think this variety would take any longer. Seedlings take probably around 8 years to get out of juvenile period.

    -- Finally, and most importantly for me: what is the potential for being able to harvest a large quantity of fruit from your tree (for baking, cooking, preserves, drinks, etc...)?

    Another good question. This plant is just begining to bear. It may bear much better this summer. We won't know until this summer or the next. Keep in mind one reason (of many) why this Citrandarin was discontinued as a rootstock was because of low fruit count (I've read). If low number of fruit, then low number of seeds and it's harder to propagate quickly for rootstock distribution. Although there is a high percentage of zygotic seeds, so seed is not the best way to propagate this variety anyway. Apparently USDA recommended tissue culture or cuttings.

    Stan McKenzie at McKenzie Farms has more of these plants in the ground and likely they are more mature. You should ask him how well they bear.

  • Boca_Joe(zone 7b) southern Delaware
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Dave is a fully certified hardy citrus researcher and grower in northern VA, he is fully qualified to discuss this tree since he bought it for our partner in crime Panama John.

    We all live very close to each other and and are constantly trying new things, visiting each others gardens, and sharing information and experiences with hardy palms, and hardy exotics: citrus and eucalyptus, loquat etc.

    Boca Joe

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yes, certified by the Potomac Valley Citrus Growers Association. LOL!

  • foxd
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Where can I purchase a Citrandarin tree? I've been lsearching on the web with no success.

  • Boca_Joe(zone 7b) southern Delaware
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Foxd

    I don;t know where you could buy one. we stumbled on this one. We hope to try some cuttings and possibly grafting this summer.

    Boca Joe

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If you are looking for Citrandarin, please contact Stan McKenzie, the Citrus Man in South Carolina. You can Google him. He might be able to graft one for you.

    By the way, if anyone is still following this thread, the Citrandarin tree is loaded with flowers and developing fruits now in the Spring of 2013! So, if warm weather holds late into the Fall, there MAY be a bumper crop.

  • persianmd2orchard
    7 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    How do I sign up and join the northern VA hardy citrus club??? I am really interested in this! I am in northern VA and the hardy citrus bug is biting me :).

  • tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Can you please send me a fruit

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    6 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    For what it's worth, the 'hardy' citrandarin plant in Sterling has died way down after this winter from hell. So, no fruit or blooms for many years off this plant ... if it recovers.

  • Boca_Joe(zone 7b) southern Delaware
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The tree is strongly regrowing from the bottom. We took several cuttings from fruiting wood last summer and a few are even blooming this year!

    This tree is a USDA 852 seedling , so it is not grafted , so it will be 100% true from the regrowth.

    Just took this photo last week. One tough tree.

    Boca Joe

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    6 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Glad to see it has survived. Thanks for posting Joe.

  • katiebeth128_wv_6b
    3 years ago

    I know it has been quite some time since the last post on this thread, but Boca Joe, thank you for the interesting posts on this citrus plant - I live in WV (6B) and have been researching cold hardy citrus for some time and stumbled upon this thread. Would you be willing to trade or send seeds? I would be happy to pay for postage and/or trade other seeds with you - I have tons of different heirloom vegetables and fruits in particular.

  • Joe S
    3 years ago

    I have no seeds till this fall, maybe, when the fruit ripen.

  • Laura LaRosa (7b)
    3 years ago

    Joe, I live in Annapolis and am very excited to see how successful you have been with your tree and your description of its flavor. Do you mind posting an update on how it has weathered since your original post? Also, where did you get the tree from?

  • bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
    3 years ago

    too few posts of this nature lately, I do wonder why

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    3 years ago

    Boca If I understand this. You did the cross pollination to develop this sweet cold hardy citrus fruit. Either way I say congrads on your hard work and patients.

    6b Steve

  • Joe S
    3 years ago

    Thanks for all the comments. The original plant is prob usda 852 , Dave got the tree at the citrus expo in Virginia beach in about 2006 or 2007. Steve, We did not do any cross pollination. The original tree has since died but Dave had taken cuttings and at least one bloomed this spring. The thing that made this so different for us was the lack of that horrible trifoliate turpentine/skunk taste..lol.

  • Joe S
    3 years ago

    Laura see comment above for answers to your questions.

  • 0webuser_27967133520
    2 years ago

    Are there any news? How do the cuttings?

  • Joe S
    2 years ago

    Dave Klemm has 2 cuttings about 4' high in pots. They have fruit this year! He has not planted in the ground, inside the garage for winter.

    I just planted a small plant in the ground zone 7b southern Delaware, we'll see what happens.

    Joe

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    2 years ago

    Joe, glad you responded. I did not understand the questions.

  • jenny_in_se_pa
    2 years ago

    Joe S - how has your plant done with all the rain the past couple months? I am north of you in the Philly area and we have been inundated but it seems down your way has taken the brunt!

  • Joe S
    2 years ago

    actually the rain has not affected it in the least. Looks good.

  • 0webuser_27967133520
    2 years ago

    Do you think you plant is US 852 or is it a seedling of it?

  • Joe S
    2 years ago

    No way to be 100% sure, but yes, most likely US 852

  • 0webuser_27967133520
    2 years ago

    Are the fruits sweet? I think I read it somewhere. In Europe all plants of US852 are producing inedible fruits as far as I know. Only for enthusiasts...

    Mikkel

  • 0webuser_27967133520
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I just checked my supposed US852. Leaves look different from yours. I`ll try to post a picture later.


    Mikkel

  • Dave in NoVA • N. Virginia • zone 7A
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Leaves are trifoliate but fruiting terminal branches can occasionally have a few bifoliate or unifoliate leaves.

    I would say if the fruit is left to ripen completely (nearly falling from the tree), then squeezed, diluted and with sweetener added, it can make a fair mandarin-ade drink. Fruit usually ripens by late November to December -- often too long past our first hard frost. Fruit is fairly large and very full of juice.

    But I would not eat the fruit out of hand. It has trifoliate overtones. In fact, my wife commented she could smell it after I cut into it.

  • 0webuser_27967133520
    2 years ago

    Thanks! It looks little bit different from mine. Mine is blooming right now but leaves are trifoliate until the top. Only some are monofoliate but more on the bottom of the plant. Here is link to someone who had it for 12 years in his garden. He is next to Hamburg northern Germany. Finally it got killed in a very harsh winter around 2011 or 12.

    http://zitrusgarten.net/homepage/bilder-c/a852.htm


    Mikkel

  • socalnolympia
    2 years ago

    This is a picture of a fairly large citrumelo tree growing in Winston-Salem, central North Carolina (zone 7b)



    credit to Bob Snyder for the pictures of his tree

  • bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
    2 years ago

    Ever try a fruit?