Ask a Question forum: Citrus Tree (Calamandarin) damaged by below freezing temperatures

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Name: Pat Morris
Augusta, GA, Zone 8b (Zone 8b)
I love gardening & love to share.
Apr 9, 2019 3:46 PM CST
I have two Meyer Lemon trees and this Calamandarin tree. I live in planting zone 8b; and have been faithful about covering and/or bringing my citrus trees on the patio when the temperatures are low -except for one of the nights when the temperatures were between 21 and 25 degrees. I had some health problems and couldn't pick up the container with my Calamandarin tree in it. And this one night; I didn't feel like going out and covering it. BIG MISTAKE!!

I am attaching a picture of the damaged limbs and another picture that shows where I plan to cut it back in hopes of it rebounding (If you cannot see the markings well; I can save it in Paint and draw them darker). This particular tree, unlike my Meyer Lemon trees (propagated by cuttings) was propagated by seeds; and purchased from a nursery in February 2017. It has always been healthy looking - it just has not bloomed yet.

I have two questions: (1) Will I be cutting the tree back in the correct places; and will it rebound from the damage? (2) How long will it take a Calamandarin tree propagated by seed to bloom and produce fruit?

Thumb of 2019-04-09/patmorris1/b4edc9

Thumb of 2019-04-09/patmorris1/275c70

Bringing more beauty to the landscape.
[Last edited by patmorris1 - Apr 11, 2019 5:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Apr 9, 2019 9:11 PM CST
Do you mean Calamondin? A hybrid between Mandarin and Kumquat? Seed grown citrus from a hybrid tree will not necessarily be whatever the parent tree was. Hopefully, whoever grew this tree knew the difference between a monoembryonic and a polyembryonic seed. Does your tree have multiple trunks?

All you can do now is wait and see how much damage your tree suffered. Don't do any pruning - let the tree recover. After it actively begins to grow and you can see what's dead and what's alive, you can decide where to prune. Pruning now may cause even more die back. Its best to let the tree decide. Leave about an inch or so or dead stem above each live branch. You can shape it later, after it has recovered.

Citrus grown from seed can take as little as 3 years to bloom or as much as 20. You will know when the tree is getting close to bloom age when new growth comes out without thorns.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Name: Pat Morris
Augusta, GA, Zone 8b (Zone 8b)
I love gardening & love to share.
Apr 10, 2019 1:31 PM CST
Thank you Daisy. I am sure that the person who propagated this tree (and told me it was grown from seed -while the Meyer Lemon trees were propagated from cuttings) knows the difference between a monoembryonic and a polyembryonic seed. He owns a nursery (and ships in addition to allowing people to pick them up). He has it labeled as a 'Calamandarin' -more specifically:

Citrus(Citrus reticulata x Citrus mitis 'Calamandarin'.

You asked if it has multiple trunks? It does not. What you see in the picture is the trunk and there are shoots off of the trunk. You may be able to tell better from the first picture. The shoots have unharmed leaves on it -but the leaves that were affected (on the trunk) were frozen and have fallen off.

Last year I emailed the nursery owner asking him about the Calamandarin tree that I purchased in February 2017 (the same time I purchased two Meyer Lemon trees that have produced fruit). I have all three trees in containers. Should I put the Calamandarin tree in the ground -even though it will be harder for me to protect it from the low, low temperatures in the winter? Confused

Here was his reply in October 2018: "The Calamandarin you got from us was grown from seed so is still too young to flower. Hopefully you have it planted in the ground in a suitable spot. The Meyer lemons, which are probably best grown in containers were cutting-grown so are from mature stock."

Thanks, Daisy for your feedback. Thank You!
Bringing more beauty to the landscape.

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