Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sunshine on a Tree

They are orange and shining like Christmas ornaments: the satsumas are ripe! Satsuma mandarins are my favorite citrus to eat. The trees are scraggly and grow in unpredictable directions but they makeup for these landscaping deficiencies by bearing the tastiest fruit.

My 5 year-old grafted tree has hundreds of fruits hanging on it- the second year with an abundant harvest. The Kimbrough scion is grafted on a Poncirus trifoliata root stock which dwarfs and adds cold hardiness to an already cold-tolerant variety.

Two months after being planted the tree endured a 15 degree temperature in my zone 8 yard without damage, nor did a 103 temperature bother it. The tree took three years to produce its first fruits, a harvest of a mere two. But by year four the bounty was so generous that I had to support the branches to keep the fruit off the ground.

My mother in Ohio will be waiting for a box as will my carnivorous sister who was shocked by how good fresh fruit can taste.

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