Ask a Question forum: Clementine Tree Question

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Lynchburg, Virginia
snattsas
Dec 3, 2016 10:44 PM CST
I am a neophyte gardener at best but I read an article about starting citrus trees from their seeds and tried it as an experiment. The attached photo is the result a couple of years later. It is a beautiful Clementine plant and I have become quite attached to it. It is 3 feet tall and still growing, but only growing straight up. Should I do something for the plant to start growing branches? It lives outdoors until temperatures start getting close to freezing and then I bring it in.
I have plenty of patience and am quite happy waiting for it to decide to spread out. I just want to be sure that I'm not neglecting an important aspect of care.
Your comments will be much appreciated.
Thumb of 2016-12-04/snattsas/c3bebb

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Dec 3, 2016 11:13 PM CST
Welcome!

Citrus are funny plants. The seeds are either polyembryonic or monoembryonic. The polyembryonic seeds come true to the parent but the monoembryonic seeds revert to a grandparent. Clementines are natural hybrids - their parentage is mandarin oranges. I'm not sure what your Clementine will eventually be.

You didn't mention where this tree is growing but Clementines are not frost hardy. If you plan to keep it in a pot, then you will need to limit its size. How big do you want your tree to eventually be? If you want it to be 3 or 4 feet tall, then cut it off. It will branch at the leaf nodes just below where you make the cut. So, if you want a 4 foot tree with 2 feet of trunk, cut the stem at just above two feet. If you want a 3 foot tree with a 1 foot trunk, cut it just above 1 foot. Leave two or three leaf nodes evenly spaced around the trunk because they will be the basis of your tree canopy.

By the way, citrus from seed produce in 3 to 20 years and some never produce. But they smell awfully nice. Smiling
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

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Lynchburg, Virginia
snattsas
Dec 8, 2016 11:24 AM CST
Thank you Daisy! The plant is in a pot indoors in Virginia. The seed came from a "seedless" variety either a "halo" or "Cutie", can't remember which. It would be nice if it produced fruit but it's just a beautiful specimen and it won't matter to me if it doesn't. I am thinking that I would like the tree to be 5-6 feet tall. Although it's already 3 feet tall there is one branch (stem from the trunk with 3 leaves while all others only have one leaf) but it about 6 inches from the bottom of the tree. I don't know what to make of it. I believe it to be a branch.......... but why at the bottom of the tree?
Thumb of 2016-12-08/snattsas/e026e1


Thumb of 2016-12-08/snattsas/91c227

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 11, 2016 2:34 PM CST
Citrus trees branch very low. You can leave that branch if it fits your greater scheme of things. To force it to branch, cut the top off. It will grow branches from the nodes below the cut.

Don't let suckers grow from the soil - try to pull them off as soon as you see them. If they don't pull, cut them off below the soil surface.

Be sure to use especially formulated citrus food in the spring and then again in the late summer.
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

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Dec 12, 2016 10:53 PM CST
Next time you grow from seed - ala after dinner planting - cut the stem early! Don't wait a year or two. It branches much better and has far better form. Try it with an two avocado - cut one at ~ 6 months and let another just continue growing for a total of ~ 18 months. Then cut it. The first will look much better a year later than the second.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Lynchburg, Virginia
snattsas
Dec 17, 2016 11:06 AM CST
Thank you very much for your inputs! I do have a young lemon tree that is also very healthy. It is only about 6 inches tall, I think that it is around 6 months old. Would you suggest topping it now or waiting a while? Another question, what is likely to happen to my Clementine if it isn't topped?

Thanks again folks,
Steve
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Dec 17, 2016 4:47 PM CST
I would probably wait a while on the Lemon. Maybe let it get to a foot or so.

The Clementine will just keep growing, limited by pot size and plant health. nodding

I too love to grow after dinner stuff like this and now have:

Clementine
Lemon
Myer Lemon
Avocado
Kiwi
Key Lime
Medjool Date
Starfruit
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

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