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Citrus in the Pacific Northwest

 
pollinator
Posts: 822
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Thanks!  I'll definitely try to get a yuzu next spring   BTW, I did get a kefir lime plant, but discovered it had the lemon balm flavor that I don't care for... I much prefer lemon verbena and lemon grass. 
 
Posts: 102
Location: Tampa, Florida zone 9A
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I once saw a documentary somewhere about somebody in the Swiss Alps growing a lemon tree...outside even.

As I recall, his method was to grow it in a hot compost pile which created a microclimate that stayed warm even in the winter snows.
 
Posts: 298
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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I just got back from a trip to Japan and it is definitely yuzu season there! What a wonderful fruit. I had yuzu rind as a flavoring in many soup broths, candied yuzu peels, and an excellent yuzu stuffed with canten for dessert! In Japan they even use it to add a delicious aroma to bath salts. From talking to other folks in Western Washington yuzu sounds like one of our most promising citrus in that they are quite hardy and actually taste wonderful (unlike Flying Dragon or Trifolate Orange).

Dave
 
Posts: 183
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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John Polk said:

My take on citrus trees in the PNW, Zone 8, is that a mature tree will survive the winters with minimal care, but we generally lack sufficient heat/warmth in the summers to make them productive.



This is pretty much what I have come to think. Also, aren't the summer temperatures quite a bit higher on average where Sepp Holzer is?

I'll stick to my hawthorn and rosa rugosa as a source of homegrown Vitamin C, and I hope to expand them greatly and add a lot of sea buckthorn and elderberry for next year. Maybe goumi and cornelian cherry down the line. Anyone have experience with them?
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 298
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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ivan. wrote:
Maybe goumi and cornelian cherry down the line. Anyone have experience with them?



Goumi and Cornelian Cherry are both winners for this climate. For the Cornelian Cherries I suggest getting the named varieties as they tend to be much better than the seedlings. Make sure you get two different types for pollination. Also, we've found that planting them close together will make that pollination happen much better than putting them on opposite ends of the yard. We had a bumper crops this year. one of our trees got dragged down to the ground under the weight!

Goumi is easy and good. A winner for sure. I think there is a new variety hitting the market through Raintree Nursery or One Green World in 2012. Might be worth checking out.

Cheers!

Dave
 
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I've been growing citrus trees for about 30 years, but I do bring them in during the winter. Some years, if I fertilize well and pollinate with a brush or let flies do it, I get a pretty good lime crop. The best dwarf for indoors that I know of is Bearss. I know I'm not the only one growing Bearss around here. I used to work for lawyers, and one had his in a window year-round and got quite a few limes. These are really delicious fruit, but the flowers are not very big or fragrant.

I also have a grapefruit that makes unbelievable flowers--so fragrant. I can't remember the variety, but you can only get ones that work with in and out from local nurseries in Portland.

I also have a mandarin with edible skin. The cat has broken branches on it, but I taped it back up, and it bears.

Some citrus don't bear much inside unless stressed. Mine are frequently stressed, so they flower quite a bit. Getting the fruit to ripen, other than with the lime, is quite a bit trickier. Still, these are wonderful indoor/outdoor plants in my opinion.

I know people who have had Meyer lemons survive left outside, but I don't like them that much, so I don't grow them.
 
gardener
Posts: 891
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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I would have to say if I was limited to ONE type of citrus, and was looking for practicality and usefulness, it would be the Owari Satsuma mandarin.
It is hardy to the low 20's, sweet, rich flavor , seedless, and "zipper" skinned (very easy to peel), and they ripen in November before hard freezes come. They are also naturally small/dwarf trees.
Unripe Satsumas can be used like lemons.

In my opinion it is the PERFECT citrus, even including Florida sweet oranges and other non-hardy types.

My two trees have survived temps down to 11F inside a simple temporary row house / passive greenhouse. I do have a few light bulbs hanging above them that I turn on when the outside temps are below 25F or so. This little effort and tiny bit of electricity is completely worth being able to walk out in the front yard and eat a tasty mandarin right off a tree.

Sure, there are much more hardy citrus that could live in the same place completely unprotected (such as citrangequat), but the Satsumas are worth the little extra effort in my opinion. Some people in more Southerly zone 8 / 9 regions might get by with just throwing a blanket over Satsumas a few times a winter.

















 
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Totally possible and reasonable to do citrus and more in our climate. Just visited Bob Duncan yesterday at his nursery. Hundreds of oranges and lemons all over his trees. Also avocado, feijoa, olives, apricot, nectarines, etc. I am consulting for anyone who would like to design/install citrus or these other trees. I have been studying and working with this topic for years now. It is possible. Welcome to our new reality.

Steve Baker
nvrsummersteve@yahoo.com
 
steve barker
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Change your paradigm people.

Citrus are growing here outside or in an unheated greenhouse. they are planted in the ground and are full size and fruit prolifically. they are located at bob duncans nursery near victoria. there are no special tricks or varieties. Simply good design and time. Get out there and grow citrus, among other things, it is totally possible.
 
nancy sutton
pollinator
Posts: 822
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Yes, Jonathan.. it's now Jan 2020, and that original Meyer lemon finally died 3 yrs ago or so.   I began leaving it in a wind-free corner on the back, south facing deck, instead of in the greenhouse.  And it seemed ok, but out-of-sight-out-of-mind... I really failed to water it, and I think I killed it.  But, got another one!  and for the last 2 years it has survived outside, in the same sheltered corner, BUT religiously watered... and poorly covered with sheet or bubble wrap when under 35 degrees were coming.  It's leaves did start yellowing on the edges, but think urine is helping.  (In spring, I drag it out into bright sunny warm deck area.)

And, I did get a yuzu which is chugging along OUT in the yard next to the pineapple guava, with no protection.  Also got a loquat many years ago, which has grown - fortunately, not fast - as 'fill' in a north facing part of the yard.  (I had noticed it was growing in Seattle in a couple of places - but cities are 'heat sinks' with all the concrete and wind protection, I think.  BTW I found this info in Arthur Lee Jacobsen's 'Trees of Seattle' ... he's got other great books for us PNWers : ).  The loquat won't fruit, but I think the leaves may be medicinal... and it's tough and handsome : )   Looking forward to that Montana lemon tree on the Lab!  Paul might try more than one in various locations (with maybe various winter 'protections').  
 
nancy sutton
pollinator
Posts: 822
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I have to add, thanks to posters here :), I now have a Bearss Lime, and, on order, an Otawri Satsuma : )  I going to grow them, potted, in the 'niche' location on the south facing deck all year and see how they do.  BTW, I got them from a local nursery - Restoring Eden, located in south King County (Seatac location).  It is fairly new and carries a wonderful assortment of unusual fruits, plus lots more - https://restoringeden.co/     (Glad to find it after Furney's left ;)
 
Posts: 9
Location: Seattleish, WA
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I have a meyers lemon, lime, and pink lemon tree in pots in my bedroom at the moment. My goal is to grow them in an unheated greenhouse at the property when we get one in a year or so. They first need to grow up a bit.

I am going to have to look into Owari Satsuma mandarin, my partner was asking about orange. I love citrus for cooking hence the lemons and limes but a mandarin - hmmm. I wonder if my cedar chest can hold another potted mini tree.
 
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