A Brief Interlude (Planting Trees)

While I spend a day or so digging an enormous hole in the back yard (as you do), allow me to share the winter tree order with you.

I ordered some replacement and new citrus trees, because I killed our Cara Cara navel orange and the Mexican lime was suffering mightily (indeed, when I went out to dig it up, it had pretty much given up the ghost). I also was under the impression that the blood orange had died, but in fact it is doing quite well, so now we have two, so tragic.

Two new mandarin oranges

This time round, I got two one-year mandarin oranges, to be planted in containers. The varieties are Pixie and Satsuma, which are not coincidentally the two I see most often around here. I don't know how others would do, but these two do quite nicely. I'm considering these a replacement of the navel orange on the sweet citrus front.

Pummelo

New to the citrus lineup is a pummelo, which I got because we devour the ones we get in our CSA box every year. They are a thick-skinned, sweet and tart fruit much like a grapefruit but sweeter and more primitive.

Thai lime and Moro blood orange

Not so new to the lineup is a lime (Thai lime this time because Noel wants the leaves for cooking) and the Moro blood orange. I now have two blood oranges planted in a row, so maybe at some point I will chop one down. Not for ages, though, because even with one blood orange tree we have gotten a total of two blood oranges.

Whitney crab apple

And not part of this order but a hand-me-down from a friend who moved out of state, we now have this container-grown dwarf Whitney crab apple. I like crab apples for making pectin (they make a nice tart base for mint jelly if you swing that way).

Still to come (when I get my butt in gear and put in the order) are replacement blueberries for the ones I neglected to death over the summer (this summer I will run the irrigation lines to those back containers) and maybe a stop at the scion exchange to get some fig cuttings.

Also, check out this triumph of common sense over optimism:

Little nest on the blueberries

That's the beginnings of a hummingbird nest -- on a blueberry bush not eight inches from the ground. Looks abandoned, which is just fine by me. As interesting as a nest this observable is, it would not last long with all the cats around here.

posted by ayse on 01/05/11

4 Comments

Are those dwarf trees? Cause I'm thinking they are close together, even if you plan on pulling one out eventually. My mature orange and lemon in CA were about eight feet apart and had a pretty incestuous relationship. I don't know what varieties they were, since they were there when I moved in.

Where did you score the Pixie mandarin? I love that fruit and rarely find it at the farmer's market.

They're dwarf, which in the ground you can plant 8 feet apart and not prune, or you can plant them closer and prune heavily, which is what I'm doing. They all came from Four Winds (www.fourwindsgrowers.com) who supply most nurseries around here and have always done me good on citrus trees.

Mmmmm citrus. I'm so jealous of you Californians and your clement weather. I was once a Californian myself, memories of which remain somewhat faded beneath a haze of super-saturated Maryland humidity and stinging mosquitoes.

I did give up my common sense and order one Meyer lemon this year, actually - one I will have to baby through the winter in our sunporch and no doubt swathe with warming Christmas lights even so, but hey! The smell of lemon blossoms makes it all worth it. And oh yeah, there's the fruit too. And I've made wonderful Thai soups by substituting lemon leaves for kaffir.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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