Citrus - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, AZ
Question by evergara3
August 22, 2007
When is the best time to plant citrus trees in Phoenix, Arizona? How do I prepare the soil, what size hole, and how far apart should the trees be planted?


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Answer from NGA
August 22, 2007

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Citrus are frost tender, so the best time to plant them is in early spring after the last possible frost date, usually mid-March. Alternatively, plant in mid-Sept. after the worst of the heat is over, but be prepared to protect them through the winter. Remember our freezing temperatures this recent winter? Young citrus would have a difficult time with a repeat of that! There is no need to amend the backfill. Roots will soon spread beyond it. Loosen soil 3 to 5 times the width of the rootball, but only as deep as the rootball. This loose soil allows roots to spread easily. Space them for the mature size of the tree (which should be on the nursery tag) so branches can reach their natural size without pruning back. Allow low branches to remain on the tree, rather than pruning them up into lollipop shapes. Citrus bark is susceptible to sunburn, and leaving as many branches with foliage on the tree as possible shades the bark.

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