Generally, satsuma trees should be planted somewhere that is protected from northern winter winds. Choose a site that is on the south or east end of a building. If that is not possible, plant among other trees that are blocking arctic blast coming out of the north or west.
The older and larger satsumas grow, the more cold hardy they become. We highly recommend covering young Satsuma trees when a hard freeze is expected. From our experience, 1-2 year old trees are hardy to around 28F degrees, 3-4 year old trees 23F degrees and 5+ year old, healthy trees 15F degrees. When covering, be sure to use fabric that can lock in the heat. Also, be sure it drapes all the way to the ground so the fabric can catch and trap the heat radiating up from the ground. We have also found that water buckets make cheap heaters. Take a 5gal bucket or something similar (the larger the better) and fill it with water. Then place the container beside the trunk underneath the fabric cover. During a hard freeze, only the top of the water will freeze. The unfrozen water in the bucket will radiate heat and help keep the tree from freezing. Another trick-of-the-trade is to put pipe insulation on the trunk and main branches. This is also popular for older trees that cannot be covered as easily.
Satsuma trees will not tolerate wet feet, and must be planted in well-drained soil. Do not plant too deep; you want the top of the root ball level or slightly higher than the surrounding grade. It is good to put down mulch or pine straw, but be sure NOT to pile dirt over the root ball – the roots need to breathe. Satsuma trees can take more shade than other fruit trees, but still need at least 5 hours of full sun or 8 hours of filtered sun each day. Fertilize in spring and summer with a fertilizer that has plenty of major and minor elements. Satsumas are heavy feeders but do not dump large amounts in one spot or root burn may occur. Keep soil pH between a 6 & 6.5 for optimal nutrients absorption, fruit quality and tree health. The healthier the tree, the cold hardier it will be. Never trim a citrus tree in the fall because this will stimulate new growth that will be susceptible to a freeze. The best time to prune is just after danger of frost has past. Lightly trim long runners to help them bush, but severe trimming is not necessary unless the tree is becoming too big for its space.
We currently have ‘St.Anne’, ‘Brown Select’, ‘Owari’ and ‘Arctic Frost’ in stock at the Garden Center. The ‘St. Anne’ is an early type that ripens up in October while the ‘Brown Select’, ‘Owari’ and ‘Arctic Frost’ ripen in November. ‘Arctic Frost’ are cold hardier than traditional satsumas. Mature, well established ‘Arctic Frosts’ have proven to be capable of handling temperatures as low as 10F degrees without severe damage. This makes them an ideal selection, especially if you need a tree that can be planted in a very exposed location without a frost and windbreak to the south or west. They are sweet, juicy, almost seedless and easy to peel. Fruit ripens between mid and late November in Statesboro.
Come down to the Garden Center to pick up your Satsuma tree while supplies last. Once we are sold out this year, we will not have more shipped in until next spring. We are looking forward to the fun and delicious future of this cold hardy mandarin in Statesboro and surrounding counties!
We are excited that fall is here because that means the start of planting season! Many are not aware that fall and winter are the best times of year to plant. We hope this article inspires y’all to catch “spring fever” this fall because there are many major benefits for establishing the new plants in your landscape this time of year.
When planting in spring, trees and shrubs have far less time to become well established before summer heat and drought sets in. Plants naturally flush out with new top growth in the spring, which competes with the roots for water and nutrients. This can result in the tree or shrub not having the adequate root structure to support its budding growth. When summer sets in, the plant will be more vulnerable to leaf drop, or even branch loss, because the investment in the roots below the soil is not enough to keep up with the demands of the overhead above the soil. On top of those negative outcomes, there is an increase in time spent monitoring the impacts of summer heat on the recently installed plant, as well as greater expense from the high amount of water used.
So what makes fall and winter the best time to plant? There are many reasons why it is such a beneficial season to landscape your yard. When plants are installed during fall or winter, they are able to put all of their energy into root growth because their tops are dormant. During this time the roots never shut down and will slowly grow and become established all winter because the top growth will not be competing for nutrients. By the time spring and summer arrive, the plant will have a larger root mass, making it better equipped to meet the seasonal demands. The results are incredibly beneficial and include a better spring flush that is followed by improved tolerance to summer heat and drought. Plus water demands are little to none!
Also, fall and winter bedding plants should be planted before the ground cools off. Plants like ornamental cabbage, chard, kale, and pansies like the cooler air but greatly benefit if installed while ground temperatures are still warm. The warm ground stimulates their roots which results in developing a larger root structure. This makes them more drought resistant, disease resistant, cold resistant, larger top growth, more blooms, and a more vibrant appearance.
Planting in fall and winter makes the transition so much easier for you and the plants, giving both of you a healthier start. So what will you do in your yard this fall? Take advantage of this weather and don’t put off that project any longer. Whether you are looking to install some shade trees, shrubs, fruit trees, or some fall annual color, now is the time to make it happen. Getting a plant off to a great start in your landscape is what we call “an idea that grows.” Call or come by so we can help you choose a terrific tree or shrub for your landscape!
We are constantly looking for ways to set you up for success in your yard. Hopefully this article did just that by equipping you with more knowledge to master your southern landscape. Thank you for continually allowing us to provide you with the plants and ideas that make your yard a home.
Wise Nurseries, LLC.
All rights reserved.