Extending my satsuma mandarin season?

I’d like to extend my mandarin season and am looking to possibly graft some new varieties next year. I currently have Owari and would like to add a few others that ripen at different times. I think I remember reading a post by @hoosierquilt about this but can’t find it. Some varieties I’m thinking about are:

Seedless Kishu
Gold Nugget

Any thoughts or recommendations of other varieties?

I vote for Seedles Kishu and Pixie. Tango and Gold Nugget are patented, by the way. I think Page contains too many seeds, especially when pollinated well.

Thanks Vin. Do you have the patent number for Gold Nugget? I found Tango and its patent actually mentions Gold Nugget and refers to it as unpatented.

Interesting. I was going off the fact that Four Winds sells them with a $2 patent fee included!

Maybe @Richard has some info

Ponkan is another really exceptional mandarin, although it probably won’t extend your harvest much. And, I will say Page is probably the best tasting squeezed juice in my entire citrus orchard, bar none. I grow it for juicing, so seeds are moot. It is out of this world. Nothing but nothing tastes as good, juiced. Gold Nugget is late - Feb to June, and does keep on the tree very well, so it’s your “season extender” for sure, as is Tango (Feb-April). Page will overlap with Owari, as it is Nov-June. Kishu is Dec-Jan. Pixie is Nov-Jan, and if I had to pick between Kishu and Pixie, I would pick Kishu. I think it is just a tad better, but for some, it is a hairsplitter. Ponkan is a delicious, rich, complex mandarin. Once of the very best. Again, typical season, Nov-Jan. But worth the duplication as it is so exceptional in flavor. And, you would want to obtain your budwood from the CCPP. http://ccpp.ucr.edu/ They do provide patented budwood.

Patty S.

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Thanks Patty. Now stop raving about any more new varieties. I got Tango and Gold Nugget already based what you’ve been saying… :smile:

Hah, Vin, sorry! Ponkan is actually a classic. Been around a while, just not that well known here in the USA, which is unfortunate. If you went to China, you’d see it everywhere. I actually think Ponkan is the most widely cultivated mandarin in the world, in fact. It is one of the parents of the new Sumo (Dekopon/Shiranui) mandarin. It is used frequently in other hybrids or crosses. Tango and Gold Nugget are really good to have because you can extend your harvest into early summer. And, if you have a very early satsuma, you will only be without a mandarin in your yard for about 3 months. Not bad. And, if you’re interested, the CCPP does now have Shiranui budwood available in limited quantities in their Early Release Budwood section.

Patty S.

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Thanks Vin and Patty! I’m looking forward to expanding my collection so these suggestions are very helpful. Do you know if these are commonly grafted early spring or is it mostly budding in the summer (I’ve summer budded citrus but haven’t grafted citrus scions during the spring).

I’d definitely have a happy wife if I could even get close to this :smile:.

@bradkairdolf, your profile says that you’re in zone 7b. Am I correct in assuming that you are growing citrus in containers? If so, you may want to double down on varieties that ripen at the same time, as well as extending the season. That way you can compensate for light or alternate bearing years.

As an in-ground grower of fairly heavy bearing citrus trees, come March I’ve had enough apples, oranges and mandarins. Stone fruit starts popping here in April! I love my citrus but enough is enough and any mandarins at that point would get lost in the shuffle. Extending the mandarin season would be a bad idea for me. Loquats and berries are such a welcome sight when they start coming in. Lemons and limes on the other hand are always welcome, and the more the merrier.

Hi @MrClint, yes, I’m 7B although it seems like many gardeners in my area say we are 8A. I’m skeptical about that but in the time I’ve lived here, we’ve never hit those lows. I’ve heard that a few people have planted satsuma in ground in protected areas but I haven’t wanted to push it yet so I do keep them in containers.

Thanks for the suggestion. Some of the varieties Patty mentioned may overlap with my Owari or each other but I’ll probably give them a try anyway (especially if I am able to get cheap scions or get some for trade/postage). I have a number of P. Trifoliate rootstocks growing so I should have plenty of places to graft to and it will be worth a try. I do have a Meyer lemon and a key lime as well and agree that they are great and see use year round.

Brad, if I may, I suggest NOT getting budwood from friends. I don’t care what state you’re in at this point. It just isn’t a good idea. The safest place to order budwood is from the CCPP. You can be 100% assured it is disease free. Just not worth it with citrus budwood, even in non-quarantined states. Folks sharing budwood may have gotten it from “somewhere else” years ago, and you never know what disease were brought with. And, you can never have enough mandarins :slight_smile: I love them, my very favorite citrus, and probably my very favorite fruit, period. If I could eat mandarins all year 'round in my yard, that would be perfection. Guess it depends on what you like!

Patty S.


Thanks again Patty. I’m not in California and saw that they send budwood to others after they meet the demands of California nurseries and growers. Do you know if they typically have buwood left over for out of staters?

Brad, I don’t know, but you could drop them an email to check. Since I live in Calif, that hasn’t been a concern for me, sorry! They’re very nice folks.

Patty S.

I hear you, that’s how I feel about tomatoes, greens and zucchini. Fortunately I’m able to pull that off.

It becomes an embarrassment of riches here sometimes. My family can only eat so much fruit, and much of the time I’m overloaded as it is. Even though I keep my trees small, they still pump out a fair amount of fruit. That’s the challenge of my plan --a steady supply of produce for fresh eating, grow enough but not too much.

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Yes, we are so very fortunate here where we live - plants and fruit trees can be very, very productive due to our lovely weather and growing conditions, with relatively low pest pressure. I have more Fuji and Cripps apples this year than I know what to do with! Have to make applesauce, juice, applejack, etc.!!

Patty S.