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Zone 8b citrus advice?

 
pollinator
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Location: near Athens, GA
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I'm not sure yet, but I am considering moving down the mountain... all the way down to USDA Hardiness Zone 8b. It seems the recommendation for most citrus is no colder than zone 9... So, can anyone recommend some good varieties for 8b? Or, can you recommend some strategies to, as David The Good says, "push the zone".... half a zone should be that big a deal... heck, Sepp Holzer grows citrus in the Alps! Am I correct in thinking that some deep mulch and a sunny, wind protected location would probably be sufficient?
 
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Location: Chipley, FL
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Wj Carroll wrote:I'm not sure yet, but I am considering moving down the mountain... all the way down to USDA Hardiness Zone 8b. It seems the recommendation for most citrus is no colder than zone 9... So, can anyone recommend some good varieties for 8b? Or, can you recommend some strategies to, as David The Good says, "push the zone".... half a zone should be that big a deal... heck, Sepp Holzer grows citrus in the Alps! Am I correct in thinking that some deep mulch and a sunny, wind protected location would probably be sufficient?



I have been told several times by people who should know that Satsumas are a good bet.  They might have trouble with hard freezes the first few years, but after that should be fine.  I plan to put in some and protect them during the occasional freeze here.  Another is... loquats?  One of those quat jobs.  I'll probably try some of those too.

This info came from my local county extension horticulturist and two different nurseries fairly local to me.
 
pollinator
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Wj Carroll
pollinator
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Location: near Athens, GA
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Very cool!  I was planning on doing that in the mountains... might be too hot in 8b though.
 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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For years when I lived near Americus, GA (which I think is a zone 8a or 8b....I remember occasional freezes in the teens) I grew a Meyer lemon and a satsuma mandarin orange up against the south wall of a cement block building.  I had the area nearly covered in big chunks of concrete scraps (urbanite) with the idea that this would absorb solar heat, and I also kept four metal stakes around the trees (they never got over five or six feet tall) and in a hard freeze I would throw a piece of plastic or cloth over these, making a tent over the trees.  As I recall I would do this on any night supposedly below about 25.  I don't know if it made that much difference, but they thrived and produced, and after I left that farm, and then visited afterward, they had obviously frozen to the ground and were resprouting....likely enough because they had gone uncovered in the intervening winters.
 
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One thing you should consider is the rootstock on which your citrus is grafted upon.  Check out citrus that is grafted onto "Flying Dragon" rootstock.  Yes, that is its name and it is a selection of Trifoliate Orange.  It is a dwarfing variety, which makes for a smaller plant and the most cold hardy citrus grown.  There are pictures of it growing in Tennessee, but as a tree in and of itself, the fruit is bitter and inedible!  As a rootstock it helps the grafted fruit variety handle the cold better.  When placing against a south facing wall or using a favorable micro-climate the smaller tree may be advantageous?  South Georgia and South Alabama are being planted with Satsuma groves and I've heard that Satsumas, like greens (collards, turnip & mustard) taste better after being kissed with a frost!  Try these nurseries for cold hardy citrus, https://www.mckenzie-farms.com, https://www.lochlaurelnursery.com and https://justfruitsandexotics.com.  Hope this helps and home grown citrus is just amazing!  
 
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the only cold hardy citrus i know of that cna be planted in ground in pnw zone 8b is yuzu quite beauitful and productive with no protection what so ever. all other citrus will generally need to be brought indoors to prevent frost.
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This will be my 2nd year growing citrus in ground here in 7b-- so 8b should be a lot easier! Some of the citrus I am growing is a little more cold sensitive so it is sheltered on the south of my house against the brick wall and fireplace. Just fruits and exotics I've purchased from before but unless you are in FL you'll need to drive down for a pickup. Mckenzie farms is also good and the owner is a great person to chat with-- I think they may ship(?) but their listings online are seriously lacking. The other site that was mentioned, I've not looked at previously.

I've purchased a number of citrus from one green world and they are great as well.

I would suggest some reading Cold Hardy Citrus for the South East. It is a little painful due to formatting (scanned from hard copy) but it is the only one I've been able to find. It will break down a number of varieties that can be grown. The list given there is pretty surprising at least to me and I'll be expanding out greatly with them.

California's Citrus Clonal Protection Program seems to also offer good grafting material. I've not purchased from them yet however.

Fruitwood Nursery has also started offering cuttings and I have a lot from them under light/heat now trying to get them to root.

Good luck-- cold hardy citrus can be an addicting hobby!
 
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Location: Atlanta, United States
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You should check out leadfarmer73 on youtube. He's growing all kinds of fruit trees, including bananas and citrus, in South Carolina and has lots of videos about them.  https://www.youtube.com/user/leadfarmer73
 
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