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!
Wise Nurseries, LLC.
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