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Name: Dannie Mansfield
Mobile, AL (Zone 8b)
May 25, 2016 1:27 PM CST
|I started 2 Satsuma tree's from seeds. Both have been planted in the ground and one is doing good and the other not so much. The one that seems to be doing well has very large thorns throughout the entire tree. They are about 6 years old and have never had blooms of any sort. is there something wrong with the tree or is it just to early to expect anything out of it
May 25, 2016 1:41 PM CST
|Hi Dannie, welcome to garden.org.
Yes, some citrus are very thorny. If you have the patience you can clip off the thorns that are in your way.
Most citrus are grafted onto a sour orange root stock. I'm not sure you'll get a Satsuma from the seeds of a Satsuma orange, necessarily. But in any case it does usually take between 4 and 6 years for a tiny plant to grow to fruiting size. Hate to say it but to be sure of getting the oranges you want, within your lifetime you really should probably go to a nursery and buy a small grafted tree.
Here in Florida we're advising people against planting any citrus trees of any kind until the Citrus Greening disease epidemic is under control. The UF boffins have hopefully found a silver bullet for it, but it's not for sure yet. You should find out from your County Extension service if there is Citrus Greening disease in your county.
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
May 25, 2016 1:50 PM CST
|Dannie, to NGA!
Satsuma Mandarins are amoung the oldest varieties of citrus - they have been grown for over 700 years. So, the parentage is up to debate. Anytime you grow a plant from seed, you will get a lot of variability in the resulting plants but Satsuma should be pretty consistent after all these years.
I suspect its just not old enough yet. Satsuma often have thorns and winged leaves while immature but they disappear with age. Usually, when the thorns and winged leaves disappear, the tree is old enough to bloom but there are a lot of varieties of Satsuma and some take 3 years and some take 20 to bear fruit.
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