Sunday, March 21, 2010

Semi-Dwarf Citrus Trees

Bearrs Lime
Lisbon Lemons
Today was a major disappointment. It was a work day for all HOA people, but it just seems that no one cares about anything around here. The President was out and did some stuff around the windows, but as for everyone else, they had plans. I really do have plans myself but I took today off to help where I had little projects planned around the property. But....on the bright side, I am left alone to help restore the Presidio gardens back to her original design. I have to admit that there is progress now and the property is SLOWLY making its' way back to her former self. When I moved onto the property 3 years ago, there were dead trees, tree stumps, weedy out of control succulent plants filling poorly used spaces and trees/palms that needed trimming badly. With all of those things out the way, it has allowed me to move forward with the hardscape portion of this project.
Tucson. Spring. Projects. Do it now or die in the summer when it's hot. I HATE working outside in the blistering afternoon sun. I love the mornings and evenings but summer really isn't the time to work on's about enjoying the labors of your work during spring. I have the remaining part of March and all of April to get my stuff ready and that's it. May can be nice, but by June, we have extreme hot and dry weather and in July we have mosquitos and hot and humid weather...this will then last until mid September when things "start" to cool down a bit. It's amazing to me how plants can survive the brutal sun....but there are tricks to desert gardening.
Zero. Observe observe observe the light intensity for the first year in all parts of your home/property.
One. Create native or near native tree canopies.
Two. Plant appropriate species in the right spot for maximum absorbtion of the sun.
Three. Maintain water lines so that you won't die in the heat watering plants and you'll actually minimize water usage.
Once this is completed, you may then get your veggie garden going, plant your tropicals, and if possible....a shade garden!! Of course it is possible, but planning is everything.

So today, back again to the "workday", I put in two semi dwarf citrus trees. A Lisbon lemon and a Bearrs lime to be exact. These two trees were put in for the ladies that live in that part of the property because they enjoy lemons very much. The lime, I added, because I thought it made a good companion to the lemon tree. Lemons and limes. I feel bad because one of the ladies purchased a lemon tree for me to plant by the window, but unfortuneatly it does not get enough sun to produce lemons so hopefully this will make up for her purchase. Why did I suggest a lemon tree for that area then? In the stairway well by my place, I planted an orange tree(that I started from seed 10 years ago in WI!!) and it's doing very well so my thinking was that the lemon tree she purchased would also do well....wrong on my part. But they will get a great crop of citrus this year and into the future....I can't wait to see how the trees perform. They are really quite beautiful.
On juniper plantings. I am not having much success with both Junipers planted. I don't think they are getting enough sunlight.....but the areas do receive about 7-8 hours!!?? I think junipers like to be left alone and forgotten about and unfortuneatly, they are in areas that need a bit more water.
Budding. The Satsuma plum is doing well and growing, but my Santa Rosa plum is just showing a tiny little bud on the bottom....I'm not sure what this means, but I have been advised that the Santa Rosa plum buds at a later time than other plum trees. The branches are also very brittle....and I have to admit that I snapped a couple branches off. However, the trunk area is green and I am hoping that it will take off soon.
The old live oaks are shedding like crazy still, but the buds are getting larger and that means pollen season is here....lots of allergies for everyone:) I called my Grandma today and we chatted about a lot of things relating to a mislabeled plum tree in her yard. As a kid growing up in Wisconsin(aka the Shire), I ate a lot of those plums off of her tree. They were so good and I remember the skin being very tart, but they were so sweet and juicy inside. She is my inspiration for those plum trees.
The chitalpa trees are also beginning to bud and this is very exciting.
Future projects will include the living walls sections covering up old fences and walls, the artsy pot collections for those who love color and artsy design, more citrus planting of kumquat, blood oranges, jacarandas, etc, and finally bushes to fill in dead space. The one overwhelming piece for me are the planters along side the buildings....I don't know what to do with them. Well I do, but I don't want to do it because of water damage. Planters alongside a house are a bad legally, I don't want to touch them. I don't think anything like a tree or water line should be put against a stucco wall. We had major water issues from those stupid planters and we had wood rot really bad along with drywall damage. We took them out and now life is good was quite a stress. But other residents still have those planters and I can only imagine the damage happening to those lower units.
Well that's all for now. I'll write again soon:)


  1. Hi, are you able to tell me what rootstock the semi-dwarf citrus trees are grafted onto?

  2. Oooooo....that's a great question. The rootstock may vary from place to place and country to country.....there are several different grafts that can happen from several varieties. My recommendation....if you are looking into placing a citrus dwarf into your yard, speak with your garden center about their specific citrus trees. They should have the grafting location and information from the place they purchased their citrus stock from.....every tree is different. I know several of ours are grafted from a sour orange stock out of California. So for your area, head over to your garden center you purchased the tree from or thinking about purchasing from and speak with your garden specialists. Good luck!!

  3. Lemon is coming back after severe freeze. However, new growth appears below the graft.


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