Mandarins, my collection...

September 2, 2019
last modified: September 2, 2019

Started my collection the winter of 2017, has grown at my limit already. All have some fruits on them and looking ok. Total repot and rootprune last year, back to normal. Page.

Also a Cara Cara, red navel.

Daisy mandarin in the making.

Several of each, total about 30 trees

Comments (18)

  • poncirusguy6b452xx

    Nice Bob. I have no mandarins. Just meiwa nzl valentine and fukusu. No more room.


  • socalnolympia

    Satsuma, Kishu, and Shasta Gold are must-haves for a large mandarin collection. I've tasted many mandarin varieties and these are my top 3-favorite. Page mandarin is pretty good too, tart and orange-tangy, you can taste some Minneola tangelo flavor in there, and the aroma is deeply aromatic of pine needles. (I still think I personally prefer Minneola tangelo a bit more than Page)

    I'll also comment that Nova Lee was a definite improvement over its parents (Nova and Lee).

    I personally am not such a big fan of Dekopon, though they are good, they're a little too sweet and rich for my tastes, almost slight mango flavor to them.

    Xie Shan, of course, is just a variety of Satsuma. That one I've never had the opportunity to try.

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  • nulesm

    Bob very nice collection!!!! It looks like you will be able to try each variety this winter . You will have to let us know how Shasta , Tahoe and Yosemite compare . Shasta has a very different mandarin taste . Your Nova x lee looks fantastic, mine is the slowest tree I have . Xie Shan fruit look very similar to Shiranui fruit . Bob I love my Page very similar to a very sweet orange . Always fantastic trees Bob .


    Bob thanked nulesm
  • Bob

    SoCal, have you grown all those varieties since you have access to all the good stuff? You really don’t need all these varieties since the differences are that much different. I might be wrong. Brian, hope they be as big as yours in a couple of years.

    Xie Shan I have is about 5 years old, locals that have tried it, they all thought it was incredible,I kid you not. My Page is about10 years old, Dreamnavel 5 years. Cara Cara 3 years.

  • socalnolympia

    I've had the opportunity to taste them.

    In the case of Satsuma, they taste much better and more flavorful when grown on older trees.

    When grown on a very young tree, people can wrongly mistake Satsuma for tasting bland and watery.

    While it's true the flavor of many mandarin varieties aren't really that different from each other, the ones I specifically mentioned are all very different from each other.

    People have different personal taste preferences as well. I prefer tart, flavorful, and aromatic.

  • Bob

    SoCal, thanks for your take on the different varieties. I did understand that young trees don’t produce good tasting fruits, that’s the bad thing with many other fruits also. Brian, sorry come winter can’t give you opinion how good mine taste. You better tell us yours.

    what does an old tree age requirement is for citrus.

  • socalnolympia

    I'm sure most mandarins taste better when they are not on a younger tree, but I think this is all the more especially so for certain varieties in particular.

    Satsuma trees are typically not ready for commercial production until they are at least 5 or 6 years old, and the flavor improves more when the trees get up to 12 years old. Thereafter, the flavor continues to very gradually improve even more over the years, but at a much slower rate. Probably the flavor reaches its very peak when the tree is somewhere around 25 or 30 years old, but might start to slowly begin to decline after 40, though they are still good.

    My grandparents had a tree that must have been 35 years old. They were the best Satsumas I had ever tasted. (And I would say probably the best mandarins I have ever tasted) But over the next 10 years after that I remember they slowly decreased in fruit quality, year after year, though they were still good. The tree was showing visible signs of very old age, and a few of the branches were dead.

  • Laura LaRosa (7b)

    Bob, that’s a great collection. I expect to see taste test results in the future!

  • Amy (montreal, canada)

    Love your collection Bob! I think that you also said that you have Daisy right? Can’t wait to hear your input about these one and to know which is your favorite between shasta, yosemite and tahoe!

  • Bob

    Amy, might have problems with Daisy. I ran out of rootstock, so I grafted on a small grafted tree, did not tag it. That grafted tree has two other varieties already. Takes a while to sort this out. My source said, “to die for”, he is a reliable guy. If I find one tree that I don’t want, i’ll Use that one, so I grow that one on its own.

  • socalnolympia

    I've only tasted Daisy from supermarkets, so maybe they taste different when picked fresh off the tree, but I'm not a huge fan of them. They have a tropical mandarin flavor and are sweet, lacking in tartness, though they do have a few seeds. Only moderately easy to peel, if I remember.

    I don't want to put you off from them though, I think a lot of this comes down to personal preference.

  • Bob

    SoCal, your input on citrus is valuable to me, more I know about the stuff I am growing the better for me and for others that wants to know what they’re growing down the road.

    I consider my knowledge about citrus mediocre at best and when it comes to tasting the varieties available, I am just starting out.

    I do have a handful of friends that are pretty good about citrus and that is why I got such a nice variety of citrus, for me that is. I am starting to gather a few friends here, that appreciate the stuff I am growing and voice their opinions, so far so good. Doing something right.

    Still the best part of growing things is “making” trees that are productive, nice looking, decent tasting.

  • nulesm

    Bob great thread !! Funny thing I find mandarins aren't discussed enough on the forum and probably 9 out of 10 of us are big time mandarin collectors. I like you and your wife Bob love the taste of very sweet candy like mandarins this is why I bought 2 Gold Nuggets , Shiranui, Pixie, Kishu . Daisy in all the reviews I've read are supposed to be extremely good but they do have seeds . Some think it's the best . I hope you will be able to locate your daisy graft lol. Amy an I wanted a Daisy so bad a year ago but probably not so much anymore because we both have run out of room lol. I have a tango I find it very hit and miss some years the fruit are excellent and other years watery and tasteless. I find Shasta very good very sweet but it does not have that typical mandarin flavor as Dancy or a clementine would have at least under my conditions . I find Shasta more on the tropical fruit taste very complex very good . I was very disappointed with my Kishu fruit last winter they were very dry and tasteless maybe because the tree is still young . I have a ton of fruit on my Kishu this year so fingers crossed they will taste better then last winter. Kishu and my Satsuma so disappointing for me I thought since I live in a cooler climate Satsuma would do great . I have a Valencia that needs a lot of heat which I don't get and the fruit are fantastic so sweet who knows . I bought a Pixie tree this year and it has 4 fruit on it , I know that it's a young tree and don't expect much but I'm very excited to try them . Have you ever grown Dancy Bob? I grew one about 30 yrs ago and the fruits were fantastic very sweet with a very strong mandarin flavor unfortunately the tree died from my inexperience. I've always been tempted to get another. Bob have you tried growing Minneola ? They are excellent right off the tree nothing like you get in a store they are incredibly sweet . I have tried Shiranui fruit from my tree for two years in a row now and they are incredibly sweet the best to me . Still haven't tried fresh Gold Nuggets, I do have one fruit hanging on one of my trees . Actually my crazy Gold Nuggets are blooming right now so maybe soon . Bob your doing everything right just look at your gorgeous trees!!!!!


  • Bob

    Boy Brian, that is great advice, especially coming from an real experienced person. If this causes others to follow suit, we could in good shape as a forum with a lot of substance.

    I absolutely love reading your take.”(experience)”. Bob.

  • socalnolympia

    Isn't "Pixie" the same variety as Kishu ?

    Also, for any of you reading this who may not know, Dekopon / Shiranui / Sumo are the same variety, just marketed under different names.

    Also I've tasted both Shasta and Tahoe. Tahoe is fairly good, but Shasta is clearly the better one, in my opinion. It has some good tartness and has some tangy orange flavor in there, not the same as a typical mandarin. I've read comments from two people who found Shasta to have somewhat of an "off" flavor they didn't like, but I have not found that to be the case.

    The flavor of Shasta is very different from Satsuma, despite the fact that they are both tart and aromatic, but both are very good. Again, Page is also tart and aromatic, but has a flavor type different from both of them. So if you want some variety, plant a Shasta, Satsuma, and Page. They are all more on the tart side, but the flavors of all three are uniquely different. (I mean their flavor types are not similar like many other mandarin varieties)

    Gold Nugget is highly rated from many comments I've read, but in my opinion overrated. I've tried Gold Nugget several times from the supermarket. They appeared to be fairly fresh. I'm just not a fan of them. I believe once I even tried it at a Farmer's Market where it would be the freshest you can get, it wasn't really any different.

    Of course this could just be a matter of personal preference, so everyone who's reading this should take my opinions with a grain of salt, and maybe read some other people's opinions on these varieties before accepting all this as solid fact.

  • Amy (montreal, canada)

    Bob, if we were living in the same country I will have send you a couple of SugarBelle twigs. I heard that they are very good! I can’t wait for Brian and Jane review on this one!

  • Bob

    Thanks for thinking of me, I was thinking about sending you whatever I have too.

  • Amy (montreal, canada)

    Bob, it’s a shame that we live so far apart. Imagine how much fun we will have if we live in the same country with our love for citrus, persimmons and other tropical fruits!

    I love your mandarins collection! Mandarins are a favorite of mine among the citrus. I have quite a few varieties in my collection but if I had to do it all over again there are a couple ones that I won’t buy. Just like Brian, Kishus was a disappointment to me too and I am pretty sure that all my satsumas won’t be as good as I thought at first. I also have a clementine Nules for two years and it didn’t grow at all!!! My favorite one so far is shiranui and I am glad to have a backup of this one. Actually, I have more than one backup because I grafted it everywhere I can lol! I am looking forward to taste my first page, tango and xie shan mandarins this year. I love my minneola but wish that it’s not an alternate bearer.

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