Orange tree coming back

I have a Satsuma Orange and a Ponderosa Lemon that died back during a freeze this year. I built a small greenhouse over them to try to save them. It got down to 14 for a few hours. I thought they were both completely gone bu they are both starting to come back out today.

Jeff, all you may have is rootstock, if both trees died back to the ground. So, do not be surprised if you end up with trifoliate leaves on your Satsuma madarin (it is a mandarin, btw, not an orange), and you may have some unknown lemon rootstock coming back from your Ponderosa lemon.

Patty S.

If so, look out for thorns!

Yes, trifoliate will have thorns, but so will the Ponderosa lemon rootstock. The overarching point, however, is: You may just have (inedible) rootstock.

Patty S.

If it is just rootstock you could always let it grow a bit and then graft again…

If it did die back to the rootstock I have some Meyers Lemon I can graft to the Lemon. For the Satsuma I would like to find some cuttings from Artic Frost. I figure worst case I have a head start on the rootstock. The roots should be well established by now.

Whereas my point is to beware of the thorns, they are dangerous

Lois, just about all citrus have thorns :slight_smile: Some longer than others. So, worthy warning applied to all citrus, especially young citrus, which tend to have more/longer thorns as a protective mechanism.

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The longer ones are safer, you see them. And they flex initially. The short, stubby ones are killer!

I have many freeze-damaged citrus ranging from ‘babies’ to very large, 1/2" lower trunk to 5" lower trunk. After 2 months post freeze there is much new growth on branches that were not already frozen back. However, as the dying back is not yet all done, some branches that had been alive enough to sprout replacement leaves…are now sporting shriveled up new leaves that die as the branches continue to croak farther down the branches. I have been fertilizing each of them to fuel the comeback where there will be a comeback, and each batch of sprinkled fertilizer gets sprayed with water every few days to give regular doses of the food sitting on top. As for the Arctic Frost semi Satsuma orange ( as viable a term as “auto” can be used to describe an SUV, school bus, or 45 year old VW Beetle), my 2 ungrafted young trees in 10 gallon and 15 gallon pots did have some minimal cold damage (defoliation and some dead twig tips). Between the Changsha and Satsuma co-parents, they indeed may be a bit more cold hardy than 100% satsumas, but I don’t expect them to be at full cold hardiness until they get pretty big. So far though, so good on the cold hardiness. They definitely do taste good, and the peeling smell is really nice,

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I have two artic frost trees that I planted last year. All my citrus sailed through our 26F low this year including the Lemon Frost. Unfortunately, that series is being discontinued by the nursery that introduced them due to some changes in federal regulations coming down the pike. Citrus growing is about to become much more regulated everywhere in the US pretty soon so it seems. Some very good varieties are going to bight to dust on account of it because supposedly its soon going to be illegal to propagate any citrus anywhere in the US outside of a federally approved quarantine facility using budwood from a federal repository. I hope that’s a rumor but I don’t think it is on account of the source.

And yes, Arctic Frost is very, very delicious and does have a distinct smell. Lemon Frost may be the most delicious piece of citrus I have ever tasted. Its as tart as a Myer Lemon but a lot sweeter and has the flavor of a sour lemon lollypop. God bless.


No, not a rumor. This is already the case in just about all “citrus states”, Marcus. And to add, all propagation must also occur under screen (in properly built screen houses). This is all due to HLB (Huanglongbing, or more commonly known as Citrus Greening).

Patty S.