How long does it take to grow a mandarin tree?

Be Inspired Blog – Arizona

Posted on: February 07, 2018

One of the most popular citrus fruits is the mandarin orange, more commonly known as a Cutie or Halo. These small, flavor-packed oranges are a favorite among kids and adults alike. There are so many varieties and tips to growing your own mandarin tree; first, let’s start with the difference (if any) between a Cutie or Halo. You can also keep reading to learn about the different mandarin tree varieties, tips for growing them indoors and outdoors and how to maintain and grow a healthy tree.

What’s a Mandarin? The Difference Between Cuties and Halos

To start, Eat Like No One describes them as a, “…Cutie or a Halo, it is a mandarin. A mandarin is ‘a small flattish citrus fruit with a loose skin, especially a variety with yellow-orange skin’. It does not have to be seedless but in the case of Cuties and Halos, it is.”

The University of Arizona- Tucson Arizona also explains, “Mandarins are popular because most of the varieties are easy to peel and section well. The fruit has a thin peel which when ripe may ‘plug’ (a section of the peel where the stem was attached is removed if the fruit is pulled from the tree). If you are going to store mandarins it may be necessary to “clip” the stem of the fruit from the tree to prevent ‘plugging’ that otherwise may lead to desiccation or decay.”

Eat Like No One also notes, “Cuties and Halos are different types of mandarins depending on what time of year it is. They are not always the Clementine variety. In fact, Clementines are only available during the beginning part of the citrus season (from November to January). The other mandarin commonly used is the W. Murcott.” Either way, they’re delicious right?

Available Mandarin Tree Varieties

At SummerWinds we are happy to offer a variety of mandarin tree options; here are a few different types you can find in our stores:

  • Owari Satsuma: These are the hardiest of all the mandarins. They are seedless and are slow to grow, but well worth the wait.
  • Kishu: This Japanese variety is small, seedless and easy to peel.
  • Clementine: When planted with other mandarins, they can have seeds and are sweet and juicy.
  • Murcott: Originally from Morocco, this clementine type ripens in the spring and is sprightly in flavor.
  • Encore: This is a deep colored fruit that has some seeds in the plant.
  • Fremont: This is a deeply flavored mandarin and is also deep in orange color.
  • Page: This mostly seedless fruit is a cross between the clementine and the Minello Tangelo.
  • Pixie: This small, seedless fruit does well in inter-coastal regions.
  • Tango, Tahoe Gold and Yosemite Gold: These UC Patented Mandarins are mostly seedless even when they are planted next to other mandarins. These have a sweet-tart flavor and are deeply orange.
  • Gold Nugget: Another UC Patented Mandarin is rick in a gold color, are easy to peel and seedless.

How to Grow Your Own Mandarin Tree Indoors

The conditions of growing mandarins from where they originated (tropical climates in Asia) are easily duplicated in greenhouses or solariums. If you want to grow a mandarin tree in your home, follow these tips for success from one of our favorite partners, Four Winds Growers.

Lighting: Mandarins prefer 8-12 hours of sunlight a day. If you have a limited light area, use full spectrum grow lights.

Temperatures: These plants grow best when the temperature averages 65 degrees; the preferred range is 55 degrees to 85 degrees.

Soil: The best soil option for your mandarin tree is a well-draining, light “garden grade” soil mix. If possible, pick one without wetting agents or fertilizer. Choose a container with proper draining holes and use pebbles in a container for air and water flow. The best fertilizers for mandarin trees offer a slow release, low nitrogen nourishment. Fertilize your mandarin every two months during its first growing season. After that, you’ll want a citrus tree fertilizer with a 2-1-1 ratio and we recommend that you fertilize three times a year—preferably in February, May and October.

Water: The water in the soil needs to be moist, but not wet.

Humidity: When growing in the winter, you may need to add humidity around the plant. To keep leaves lush, use trays of pebbles and water and place them between the tree and your light source.

Growing in Containers: As mentioned above, it is best to use a well-draining soil mix. You should plant two- to three-year-old trees instantly into a 10-16 inch pot with adequate drainage. Four Winds Growers notes that “Upper roots should be just beneath the top of the soil. Firm the soil around the rootball and water. Loosely tie tree to a stake. Repotting with fresh soil mix every 1-3 years will provide fresh nutrients to the roots.

Gardening Know How shares these helpful tips to plant your own mandarin orange tree:

  • Start seeds indoors and transplant them into a new pot or directly into your garden once they’ve germinated and grown into small trees.
  • Make sure your mandarin orange tree has full sun exposure.
  • If growing your citrus tree in a container, make sure it is three times bigger than the seedling’s root ball.
  • If using a container, use a well-draining potting mix with compost.
  • If planting in the ground, amend the soil with a 20-pound bag or organic material for each food of sail.
  • Drainage is important as mandarins, “Don’t like to get their ‘feet’ wet.”

How to Grow Your Own Mandarin Tree Outdoors

If you want to take your mandarin tree outdoors, that is perfect because they are great for growing in low deserts.

Before growing your mandarin tree, here are some things to consider from The University of Arizona- Tucson Arizona report:

  • Choose varieties that are sweet in flavor and easy to peel, which are perfect because that’s what Halos and Cuties are.
  • Did you know that the harvest time will have an impact on flavor? The report explained, “Citrus fruit will not ripen once removed from the tree. However, if the fruit is left on the tree it will continue to sweeten as the season progresses. For example, grapefruit is palatable in September, but most people prefer them in March or April when they are sweeter and have less acid.”
  • Mandarins can handle the cold; they are a great, hardy fruit for when the weather dips in the valley.

Mandarin Tree Maintenance

After you’ve planted your mandarin orange tree in a container or the ground, it is important to know how to maintain and take care of it. Here are a few of our expert tips for citrus tree care:

Watering: Citrus trees do well with heavy watering. Avoid watering the tree for just a few minutes every day. Instead, give them a heavy watering every one to two weeks in the warm summer months and every three to four weeks during the cooler winters.

Pruning: Pruning can be done anytime of the year, except during the winter months. During the first year, it is best to pinch off blooms to allow the tree to mature before producing fruit. You can also pinch back tips of new growth to encourage branching. Prune your citrus tree to any desired shape and height. S

Suckering: It is important to remove the tree suckers as soon as possible.

These new growths take energy away from the healthy branches on the top of the tree. To remove a sucker, find the graft on your mandarin tree. This is usually 4 to 12 inches above the soil line and looks like a horizontal or vertical ‘V’. You will also notice an obvious change in the bark of the tree. Remove any growth below the graft.

Insects: Lady beetles, lacewings and praying mantis are frequently found around citrus trees and will not cause any harm, but do watch out for aphids, citrus whitefly and orange dog caterpillars as they can cause damage to your tree.

You can find more citrus tree care tips here.

Start Growing and Start Peeling

Are you ready to start growing your own Halo or Cutie tree? Mandarin trees are great plants to grow in our valley, both indoors in containers and outdoors in your yard.

We highly recommend these trees because they produce easy-to-peel, seedless, sweet fruit. Visit your local SummerWinds Nursery to pick out yours today.

Questions? Do you still have questions about growing mandarin oranges? We’ve got your answers! Stop by your local SummerWinds Nursery and speak with one of our Trusted Garden Advisors.

About SummerWinds Nursery—a leading high-end retailer of garden and nursery products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, SummerWinds Garden Centers, Inc. operates retail nurseries in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, and in Silicon Valley, California, making it one of the largest independent retail nursery companies in the nation. SummerWinds appeals to both the serious and casual gardeners, with a broad selection of premium gardening products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Cuties!?
Sophia Colombari Figueroa
Have you ever wondered why cuties are called cuties? The other day at the dinner table a group of Storey housemates and I were brainstorming food items to request for the open kitchen. Someone shouted “cuties!” and everyone agreed with excitement. There is something about cuties; they are convenient, healthy, and delicious. We were asking for cuties when we meant mandarin oranges, but where did that cute nickname come from? More on that later…
For now, lets focus on the origin of mandarin oranges and how they are related to other fruits in the Citrus genus. Understanding their origin and phylogeny is complicated by their high mutation frequency and cross-compatibility between species.(1) The most widely accepted systems have ranged from 16 total citrus species and 3 mandarin species (2) to 162 total citrus species and 36 mandarin species (3). More recent studies suggest that the Citrus genus is composed of four basic clusters: citron (C. medica L.), mandarin (C. reticulata), pummelo (C. maxima) and papeda (C. halimii) (4). However, there is still debate about whether papeda is a separate cluster or belongs with the pummelo cluster (5).

Mandarins are special within the Citrus genus for many reasons. Of the four basic Citrus species, mandarins are the only sweet one(4). Therefore, we owe the sweetness of other critic fruits to the mandarin. For example, oranges are thought to be a hybrid between mandarin and pummelo(4). Mandarins are also very diverse with a large number of varieties, cultivars, and hybrids including tangerines and clementines.
So, what is a cutie? Not all mandarins are cuties, and cuties are not the same variety throughout the year. Cuties are patented seedless, easy-to-peel mandarins grown in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. The rise of the CUTIES® began in 1990 when a freeze badly damaged California’s citrus (6). After confirming that clementines could endure the extreme weather, Sun Pacific partnered with Paramount Citrus to grow equal amounts of seedless clementines and sell them under a single brand name. CUTIES® consist of two varieties: clementines from November to January and W. Murcott mandarins from February to April (6).

Cuties are not without controversies. Many people worry that they are genetically modified, although they are not. Others worry that they are not organic. Legal disputes have arisen with beekeepers because bees pollinate the mandarin trees causing them to produce seeds (6). CUTIES® growers claim that they protect the trees from pollination with nets. However, they have not denied the use of insecticides (7). Despite controversies and disputes, CUTIES® are very popular. Mandarins are the most profitable citrus in America, and the way “cuties” have entered our vocabulary exemplifies the power of marketing(6). Perhaps this also reflects how much our society values convenience. After all, cuties are exceptionally convenient and also healthier than most sweet snacks.

Sources
1. Penjor T, Yamamoto M, Uehara M, et al. Phylogenetic Relationships of Citrus and Its Relatives Based on matK Gene Sequences. PLOS ONE. 2013
2. Swingle WT. The botany of Citrus and its wild relatives of the orange subfamily. The citrus industry. University of California, Berkeley, CA. 1:129–474. 1943.
3. Tanaka T. Fundamental discussion of citrus classification. Studia Citrologica 14:1–6. 1977.
4. Yingzhi L, Yunjiang C, Nengguo T, et al. Phylogenetic Analysis of Mandarin Landraces, Wild Mandarins, and Related Species in China Using Nuclear LEAFY Second Intron
and Plastid trnL-trnF Sequence. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 132(6): 796–806. 2007.
5. Jordan M. The Big War Over a Small Fruit. Wall Street Journal. 2012.
6. Cuties: California Clementines. Frequently Asked Questions.

Why You Must Eat One Clementine a Day?

Clementine or Kinnu renders a sweet-tangy taste as compared to other varieties of citrus fruits and is an abundant fruit of the winter season. The fruit comes loaded with fiber and essential nutrients like vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium, which transform into a surfeit of health benefits. Let us give you 7 reasons why you must consume at least 1, Clementine, a day, every day.
1. Brain Health

Clementine is rich in folate which improves brain health in children and adults while it is one of the first supplements introduced to pregnant women to minimize neural tube defects in a fetus. Several other biochemicals found in clementines keep a tab on depression and everyday distress.
2. Supple Skin
The vitamin C content of clementines aids collagen synthesis in our body which exuberates healthy skin. The antioxidants found in the fruit help protect skin against UV damage and revitalize skin cells thereby reversing the early signs of aging while keeping your skin young and healthy.
3. Strong Bones & Healthy Muscles
The calcium and phosphorous content of clementines strengthen muscles and bones. These compounds aid muscle contraction and give a boost to calcium requirement of your body which is important for children and adults, alike.
4. Oral Health
The vitamin C content of Clementines help keep your jaws in pink of health and keep a check on gum bleeding and fight germs, while the calcium and phosphorous compounds strengthen teeth.
5. Anti-Cancer
Clementines are full of antioxidants and vitamin C that keep a tab on cellular mutations. The bioactive chemicals like limonoids, quercetin, and pectin help guard against cancers of various types.
6. Heart Health
The potassium content in Clementines helps normalize cardiovascular disorders like arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, it stabilizes the blood pressure levels and helps immensely in hypertension or high blood pressure.
7. Digestion & Electrolytes Balance
Clementines are rich in fiber, liquid and potassium. While the liquid content helps to hydrate the body, potassium strikes the balance between electrolytes. The potassium content also normalizes muscle contraction and aids bowel movement. The fiber ensures better absorption of nutrients from food and also controls constipation.

9 Best Benefits of Clementines

Health benefits of clementines include relief from digestive troubles, better cardiovascular health, a strengthened immune system, and optimum balance of electrolytes in the body. The enriching nutrients present in clementines contribute to building strong bones and support muscle contraction and relaxation. Furthermore, the bioactive molecules present in clementines make it an anti-cancer fruit and also contribute to the smooth functioning of the brain.

What are Clementines?

Clementines are succulent fruits with a smooth and shiny appearance. They are generally seedless and are a cross hybrid between a sweet orange and mandarin orange. Clementine fruit is believed to have been discovered in the early twentieth century by a French missionary in Algiers and has been gaining a great deal of popularity since then. They are very easy to peel and disperse into multiple segments, just like tangerines. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as seedless tangerines. Apart from being valued for its delectably sweet taste, clementines offer a whole gamut of health-related benefits as well.

Clementines are great for dental health. Photo Credit:

Nutritional Value of Clementines

Clementines are juicy delights, rich in vital nutrients including minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Consumption of citrus fruits such as clementines provides essential vitamins such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and folate to the body. Clementines are a good source of helpful bioactive components such as limonoids, flavones, and glycosylates. In addition to this, it offers very few calories and also adds fiber content to the diet.

Health Benefits of Clementines

Numerous studies have time and again advocated the use of citrus fruits such as clementines for extending their protective effect against a range of health conditions which have been discussed as under:

Skin Care

Clementines are really good for the skin, owing to the presence of significant amount of vitamin C. Scientific studies have validated the role of Vitamin C in the synthesis of collagen, a structural component vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Antioxidant properties of vitamin C present in clementines help in protecting the skin against the damage induced by UV radiations and helps in revitalizing the aging skin. Furthermore, it aids in reducing the formation of wrinkles, supports in repairing damaged skin, and assists in keeping the skin healthy and youthful.

Good for Brain

As a source of natural folate, eating a few clementines regularly may prove helpful in the normal functioning of the brain, and also support in reducing distress and depression. Folate content present in clementines may even prove valuable during pregnancy, especially for the unborn babies by protecting them against neural tube defects.

Boost Immunity

Consumption of clementines helps in enhancing the disease-fighting ability of the body and strengthening immunity. A strong immune system aids in preventing the occurrence of a range of infections and helps in reducing the severity of fatal diseases. This attributes to the abundance of vitamin C and other phytonutrients in clementines which provides antioxidative protection against the damaging action of free radicals produced during energy metabolism.

Strengthen Bones and Muscles

Eating juicy clementines may also contribute to keeping your bones strong and healthy, attributing to the presence of the calcium and phosphorous content. These minerals are important for all age groups and also play an important role in muscle contraction.

Aid in Digestion

Clementines are a good source of fiber, which adds bulk to the stool and facilitates better digestion and keeps constipation at bay. Fiber present in clementine also aids in better absorption of nutrients from the food by slowing down the digestion process. Furthermore, potassium present in clementines helps in normalizing muscle contraction and relaxation, which stimulates a better movement of food and waste through their respective routes.

Improve Cardiovascular Health

Clementines are good for heart owing to the presence of potassium. Consumption of potassium-rich clementines helps in normalizing cardiac arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, and also assists in maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure and prevents hypertension. It even reduces the risk of fatal conditions such as stroke.

Electrolyte Balance

Clementines are valuable in maintaining the electrolytic balance of the body, again due to the presence of potassium. Eating potassium-rich clementines aids in maintaining a natural water balance amidst the cells and the body fluids, which is extremely critical for the healthy functioning of the entire system.

Anticancer Properties

According to Dr. Julia B. Greer’s book, The Anti-Cancer Cookbook: How to Cut Your Risk with the Most Powerful Cancer, the inclusion of citrus fruits like clementines in diets also helps in fighting various types of cancer. This owes to the presence of anti-cancer components such as vitamin C and powerful bioactive molecules such as limonoids and quercetin. Citrus fruits including clementines also contain pectin, which is another component that helps in protecting the body from developing multiple cancers.

Clementine Oil for Aromatherapy

Clementine oil is used in aromatherapy owing to its pain relieving and rejuvenating nature. It possesses purifying properties and promotes better and restful sleep. Massage with clementine oil aids in relieving stress, uplifting the mood, and enhancing mental clarity.

However, people with dry or sensitive skin should be cautious while using clementine oil and should consider using an additional carrier oil for its topical usage. Essential oils such as clementine oil may also cause phototoxicity and hence one should refrain from direct exposure to the sunlight for a few hours post the application of such oils on the skin.

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, clementines contain choline, which assists in the healthy functioning of the liver and helps prevent the occurrence of liver diseases. As a source of calcium and potassium, clementines help in reducing the risk of dental inflammation and avert tooth loss. Being a low-calorie fruit, clementine makes an excellent supporter during weight loss attempts. The fiber content in clementines contributes to keeping a check on the cholesterol levels of the body.

Word of Caution: Although clementine fruit is a healthy choice, citrus fruits like clementines may also cause allergic reactions in some people, with its symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Atopic dermatitis, mouth ulcers, lesions on the lips or tongue, tingling sensation inside the mouth area, on the inner side of the cheeks are some of the most prevalent indications of clementine allergy. Some people may develop itching or swelling in the throat or digestive troubles like nausea and cramps after eating citrus fruits like clementines. People with known citrus allergy may avoid or be cautious while eating clementines. Other than that, it’s always better to exercise natural vigil while trying something for the first time.

Summary

On the whole, clementines are citrus species with momentous nutritional worth and healing potential. They may be quickly peeled and eaten fresh or processed as value-added goods such as juices and essential oils. The quality of being seedless makes clementines a perfect snack for little children. You may eat clementine on its own or add a few clementine segments to your yogurts, salads, oatmeal or other breakfast cereals for a nutritional ‘zing’ factor.

Fruitscaping with Citrus Trees

There is something special about citrus. Beautiful, evergreen plants with lush bright green foliage and heavenly fragrant blooms. Tuck them around your windows so you can enjoy their sweet fragrance in the house. The Kumquats, Lemons, Limequats and Chinotto Orange grow densely and can be sheared into any shape or form. Use them for hedges or foundation plantings around the house or line pathways with them. Espalier them against a sunny wall. Oranges and grapefruit will grow larger so are best trained into small round trees. Making them excellent specimen trees.

Recommended Fertilizers

  • Starter Fertilizer: Plant with Espoma Organic Bio-tone® Starter Plus. This will increase root mass and help avoid transplant loss in difficult planting conditions.
  • Fertilizer to Maintain: Our varieties of Citrus Trees work great with Espoma Organic Citrus-tone Fertilizer.

Growing Guide

View Our Citrus Tree Planting and Growing Guides

Additional Information on Citrus Trees

Cold Hardy Citrus: Most people lose their citrus trees in the first or second year of the tree’s life. It pays to protect these small trees during 25 degrees F or lower freezes. Here are some things to remember:

  • Cover completely with a two-layer combination of a blanket and then plastic. Uncover the next day as it warms up.
  • Once established, citrus trees can tolerate lower temperatures and recover more quickly from freezes.
  • Keep your tree dormant. Never fertilize after July as this promotes late, tender growth that is susceptible to freeze damage.
  • Choose a micro-climate. Find an area that’s sheltered from northern winds for the more tender citrus varieties.

Container Citrus: For areas where winter temperatures drop too low for growing citrus outside, try growing your citrus in containers. Some of the more unique varieties like blood oranges, key limes, and citron can only be grown in containers north of the tropics. It’s the sure way to enjoy this fruit as well as giving you the ultimate access to the wide world of citrus varieties. Citrus trees are the perfect container tree. Their fibrous root system adapts well to a lifetime in a pot and their evergreen foliage and colorful fruits are the perfect accent to a patio or atrium setting. Every few years you should trim the outside of the root-ball about 1-2 inches, add fresh potting soil, and reset in your container.

Tango seedless mandarin released by UC

Tango, an irradiated, seedless version of the popular W. Murcott (Afourer) mandarin, has been released by the University of California’s Citrus Breeding Program.

The mid- to late-season, easy-to-peel W. Murcott has a global reputation for high quality. It has been widely planted in California, particularly near Bakersfield and Madera, during the past decade, with an estimated 2 to 3 million trees planted, more than half of them bearing.

W. Murcott, distinct from the Murcott also known as Honey in Florida and Arizona, has excellent production with little alternate bearing, and, provided it is isolated from other citrus, it produces seedless fruit.

But in California, where isolated commercial citrus orchards are becoming increasingly rare, many W. Murcott groves have developed seedy, lower-value fruit caused by cross-pollination by other mandarins, Valencia oranges, Minneola tangelos, lemons and other citrus.

The Tango was highlighted in a talk on new varieties by Tracy Kahn, principal museum scientist for the Citrus Variety Collection at UC, Riverside, during a recent citrus day at Tulare, Calif.

Kahn, who conducted field evaluations of Tango at Lindcove and Riverside, explained it was developed as a solution to the W. Murcott seed problem. Tango does not have seeds because it does not produce viable pollen.

The new mandarin, developed by geneticists Mikeal Roose and Tim Williams of the Citrus Breeding Program at UC, Riverside, was the most promising of several W. Murcott selections irradiated to induce mutations for reduced seed counts.

Tango was planted in replicated trials at seven locations in the state, including three fruiting trials planted in 2001 and 2002 and four trials planted in 2003 and 2004 that will bear in 2007.

Fruit sampled this year in locations where cross-pollination occurs showed an average of less than 0.2 seeds per fruit, while W. Murcott trees used as a check averaged 8 to 15 seeds per fruit, Kahn said.

At Riverside, Tango matures in late January and holds fruit quality characteristics through April. It has similar tree and fruit traits to W. Murcott except seediness, although this year Tango fruit had lower acidity than W. Murcott.

Fruit size is moderate at about 2.3 inches and 3.2 ounces, shape is oblate with a deep orange color, and the rind is easily peeled. The flesh is also deep orange colored and has a 12 percent to 14 percent Brix when mature.

Tree growth is upright and production begins the second year after planting. Alternate bearing does not appear to be a significant problem.

Since Tango is from mutation breeding, its genetic stability may be an issue, although more than 60 trees propagated from multiple generations of Tango buds have remained true to type.

The Citrus Breeding Program has received patent-pending protection for Tango. Citrus nurseries licensed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture may purchase a license to propagate the new variety.

Among Kahn’s 2005 citrus studies are solids-to-acid ratio evaluations of a group of satsuma varieties, mostly foreign in origin, compared to industry standards Frost Owari, Okitsu Wase and Kuna Wase.

China S-2 and China S-9, reported to have cold hardiness, were imported from Hubai Province in China. Aoshima is an Owari selection and one of the leading late-maturing varieties in Japan. China No. 6 and China No. 7 are two other cold hardy varieties from Hubai Province.

Iveriya comes from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Silverhill is a nucellar seedling selection of Owari made by W. T. Swingle in about 1908. Xie Shan is a Chinese variety said to ripen extremely early compared to other varieties grown in China.

Miho Wase is a sister nucellar seedling to Okitsu Wase in Japan. Armstrong is from a selection made at the Louisiana State University Research Station. Miyagawa is a limb sport of Zairai selected in Japan in 1923.

Kahn said those meeting the legal maturity standard for solids-to-acid of 6.5:1 at Lindcove as of Oct. 6, 2005, were Okitsu Wase, China S-9, Xie Shan, Miho Wase, Armstrong, and Miyagawa.

Those with soluble solids above 9 at Lindcove were Frost Owar, Okitsu Wase, Kuno Wase, and Miho. Miyagawa was the sole variety with percentage acidity below 1.0 at Lindcove in early October.

Kahn said all the varieties were found to be above the legal maturity solids-to-acid level by Oct. 20, 2005.

Anil Shrestha, IPM weed ecologist at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center at Parlier, urged growers to manage weed pests wisely to help limit the weed seed bank in the soil.

Las Vegas’ new Waldorf hopes to minimize disruptions during its transformation from Mandarin Oriental

Guests at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas are being assured that the August rebranding of the hotel to a Waldorf Astoria will not affect their stay.

The sale of the Mandarin, which occupies prime real estate along Las Vegas Boulevard in front of Aria, to an undisclosed buyer for about $214 million was announced April 26. Mandarin Oriental officials were then told their lease on the 392-room hotel would not be renewed.

Hilton, owner of the Waldorf-Astoria, announced May 16 that the non-gambling hotel would become a Waldorf. Hotel Management reported that a “$50-million renovation accompany the change in ownership.” Hilton would not confirm that figure.

“Waldorf brand enhancements will begin this summer,” a Hilton statement said, noting that the changes would be “gradually implemented as to not impact the guest experience.”

Advertisement

Hilton may be taking pains to avoid MGM Resorts’ costly experience during its recent transformation of Monte Carlo into Park MGM.

In an April 26 conference call with Wall Street analysts, MGM Resorts chief executive Jim Murren said revenue at Monte Carlo plunged $17 million, or 23%, during the first quarter because of major renovation work during that period.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Murren told investors that “his team ‘completely underestimated the financial impact’ the ‘brutal’ construction would cause.”

Just how different the hotel will be as a Waldorf-Astoria remains unclear. Neither Mandarin Oriental nor Hilton responded to requests for comment on the fate of the Mandarin’s Tea Lounge and Twist restaurant, both of which have stunning views of the Strip from the tower’s 23rd floor.

Advertisement

A publicist for Waldorf-Astoria said only that those public spaces would be used for “innovative dining concepts.”

The Mandarin Oriental’s booking calendar has several weeknight stays in July and August for $199, plus resort fee and taxes.

@latimestravel

Mandarin Orange Tree Care: Planting A Mandarin Orange Tree

If you celebrate the Christmas holiday, you may have found a small orange fruit in the toe of your stocking left there by Santa Clause. Otherwise, you may be familiar with this citrus culturally or simply because you were attracted to the trade name ‘Cutie’ at the supermarket. What are we talking about? Mandarin oranges. So what are mandarin oranges and what is the difference between Clementine and mandarin oranges?

What are Mandarin Oranges?

Also referred to as “kid-glove” oranges, mandarin orange info tells us that the scientific name is Citrus reticulata and they are members of a distinct species with thin, loose peels. They can be the same size as a sweet orange or much smaller dependent upon the variety, and hang from a thorned tree attaining heights of up to 25 feet. The fruit looks sort of like a small, slightly squashed orange with a vibrant orange to red-orange peel enclosing the sectioned juicy fruit.

Popular in the Philippines and throughout Central and South America and commonly grown in Japan, southern China, India, and the East Indies, the name “tangerine” may apply to the entire group of Citrus reticulata; however, usually this is in reference to those with red-orange skin. Mandarins include cultivars Clementine, Satsuma and other cultivars.

‘Cuties’ are Clementine mandarins marketed prior to Christmas and W. Murcotts and Tango mandarins after. The terms “tangerines” and “mandarins” are used almost interchangeably, but the tangerines refer to red-orange mandarins shipped out of Tangiers, Morocco to Florida in the late 1800’s.

Additionally, growing mandarin oranges are of three types: mandarin, citron and pummel. And what we often categorize as mandarins are actually ancient hybrids (sweet oranges, sour oranges, and grapefruits).

Planting a Mandarin Orange Tree

Mandarin oranges are native to the Philippines and south eastern Asia and have gradually developed for commercial cultivation through Alabama, Florida and Mississippi with some lesser groves in Texas, Georgia and California. While the fruit of the mandarin is tender and easily damaged in transit and susceptible to cold, the tree is more tolerant of drought and cold temps than the sweet orange.

Suitable in USDA zones 9-11, mandarins can be either grown from seed or purchased root stock. Seeds should be started indoors and transplanted once germinated and grown into a small tree either into another pot or directly in the garden in the hardiness zones above. Make sure when planting a mandarin orange tree that you choose a site with full sun exposure.

If using a container, it should be three times bigger than the seedling’s root ball. Fill the pot with well-draining potting mix amended with compost or cow manure, or if planting a mandarin orange tree in the garden, amend the soil as above with one 20-pound bag of organic material to each foot of soil. Drainage is key, since mandarins do not like to get their “feet” wet.

Mandarin Orange Tree Care

For mandarin orange tree care, water the little tree regularly, once or twice a week in drier climates. For container mandarins, water until the water runs through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Keep in mind, the mandarin will tolerate drought over inundation.

Fertilize the tree with citrus fertilizer around the drip line in early spring, summer or fall according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the area at least three feet around the tree weed and grass free and devoid of mulch.

Only prune your mandarin to remove dead or diseases limbs. Trim back frost damaged branches in the spring, cutting just above the live growth. Protect the mandarin tree from frost by covering it with a blanket, hanging lights off the limbs, or bringing inside if container bound.

Choosing Your Dwarf Citrus Tree

Imagine waking up in the morning to a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice from your very own orange tree, no matter where you live. Dwarf citrus trees can make this happy daydream a reality.

Citrus trees don’t require pollination to produce juicy fruit, making them the perfect container fruit tree. All you have to do is choose which dwarf citrus tree is the best for you.

What Are Dwarf Citrus Trees?

Grafting is an agricultural technique almost as old as agriculture itself. Fruit and vegetable growers use it for a variety of reasons, including, in the case of dwarf citrus trees, controlling the size of the plant.

Growers first select a “dwarf rootstock” with limited growth potential. Then they graft shoots or buds onto the root stalk to create the top part of the tree, called the scion. This is the part that bears fruit.

The limited growth potential of the rootstalk makes dwarf citrus trees ideal for container gardening as well as outdoor gardens with limited space. Some gardeners move their trees outside in the summer and keep them indoors in the wintertime, and others keep their fruit trees indoors year round. The choice is up to you.

Varieties Of Dwarf Citrus Trees

Most commercial dwarf citrus nurseries carry around 50 different varieties of dwarf citrus trees. Lemons, limes, oranges, kumquats, mandarin oranges, and grapefruit trees all come in several unique varieties. Some varieties require more care than others.

Four Winds Growers is a major dwarf citrus tree producer in the U.S. Their company website is a great resource for dwarf citrus tree care. Look for nurseries that offer extensive information about their varieties, as this will help you care for your tree for years to come.

Seeds vs Seedless

Some varieties of citrus fruits are seedless, others are not. Navel oranges, Midknight Valencia, Bearss Lime, Owari Satsuma, Gold Nugget and Tango Mandarins are the seedless varieties offered by Four Winds Growers. These same varieties, sometimes with different names, are also offered by other producers.

There are more seeded varieties than there are seedless. If seeds don’t bother you, the number of available offerings increases significantly.

Container vs Outdoor

The biggest factor to consider when choosing a dwarf citrus tree is location. Certain varieties grow better out of doors and others perform well in pots. I live in a colder climate, so growing citrus trees outside without a greenhouse is not an option. Instead, I look for varieties growers recommend for potting, although most dwarf citrus trees grow well in containers with a little pruning. I try and keep mine under 6 feet.

If you live in a warmer climate but have limited planting space, dwarf citrus trees are the perfect solution. They are also easier to protect when temperatures slip below freezing, due to their convenient size. When planted in the ground, most only grow to 12 feet, although some varieties can reach 15.

Temperature Requirements

Most citrus trees bloom in the spring and fruit during the winter, when temperatures are chilly outside. Some trees are especially heat sensitive and require warm temperatures in order to sweeten the fruit. Keeping your tree in a chilly room is not a good option, even if that room gets a lot of sunlight. If you keep your house cool during the winter months to save on heating, you might want to choose a variety that is not heat sensitive.

Light Requirements

Citrus trees ideally require 9 hours of sunlight each day. If your area receives less than 6 hours of sunlight during the winter months, you will need to supplement your tree with grow lights.

This is actually quite simple. Put your grow light on a timer so that it only emits light for a few hours before the sun rises and after it sets. This prevents wasted electricity and allows your tree to make the most of the available daylight.

Nurseries

Finding dwarf citrus trees is a little tricky. Lowes, Home Depot, and other chain home and garden centers carry limited varieties of dwarf citrus trees, but availability varies from store to store. Local nurseries carry dwarf citrus trees as well, and it is always a good idea to talk to your local grower to support local agriculture. It that fails, there are a few online growers with good reputations and reviews:

  • Four Winds Growers
  • Stark Bros. Nursery
  • Gurneys Seeds & Nursery

Online growers tend to have a wider selection of products. There are of course risks associated with shipping live plants, but most do an excellent job of packaging their nursery stock for a safe and speedy delivery.

How To Choose A Dwarf Citrus Tree

It would be wonderful it there was an easy way to find out which dwarf citrus tree works best for us. Unfortunately, like most things, choosing the perfect citrus tree requires a little research. Using these basic guidelines, search nursery websites to see which varieties they offer and which ones fit into your growing lifestyle.

Here are a few shortcuts to make the decision process easier.

Best Container Varieties

  • Meyer Lemon
  • Bearss Seedless Lime (most limes do well in containers)
  • Trovita Orange
  • Calamondin (miniature orange with very fragrant blossoms)
  • Washington Navel Orange
  • Variegated Pink Lemon
  • Oroblanco Grapefruit

Best Outdoor Varieties

Almost all dwarf citrus trees grow well out of doors and in the ground, provided growing conditions are right. Just remember to prune regularly and offer trellis support in windy areas, as the dwarf rootstock does not offer the same support as a full-size tree.

Most Cold Tolerant Varieties

In general, grapefruit, sour oranges, blood oranges, and sweet oranges are the most cold tolerant citrus fruits. Most are cold tolerant to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. These varieties can tolerate even more cold:

  • Gold Nugget Mandarin
  • Yosemite Mandarin
  • Nagami Kumquat
  • Indio Mandarinquat

Growing dwarf citrus trees is easier than you think. Use these tips to find which variety works for you, and be sure to let us know your favorites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *