A Resilient Citrus Tree Rebounds

Cit3Spring1

Sad Citrus

The last two winters have been pretty brutal on my citrus trees.  Their winter home is the enclosed, but unheated, south facing entrance foyer.  Usually, this is a perfect spot.  Sunny, and with temperatures usually in 45-60 degree range.  But when the polar vortex brought record cold to the Mid Atlantic region back in February, they were hit hard, and I had my doubts that this 13 year old specimen would survive.

Cit3Fall1

Happy Citrus

But it bounced back pretty well, after a season in the sun, so I figured it should be rewarded … I’d give it a new home, replacing its split container … and document the process here.

process1

Prep Area

drill

Drainage Holes Drilled

Process2

Whew! No Pebbles in the Bottom!

Parsley

Rescued Parsley

girdle1

Uh Oh, The Dreaded Circling Root.

girdlecut

Snip Snip

DoneChips

Wood Chip Mulch, of Course

DoneDone

Voila!  Ready to Move Inside

 

4 thoughts on “A Resilient Citrus Tree Rebounds”

  1. Is the wood chip for ornamental purposes Ray?It is very common to mulch alpines in pots over here, I sometimes do so myself.
    I would have thought that any water conservation by the mulch in a pot would be pretty small compared with transpiration loss.
    I find myself that my alpine mulch in pots disguises when I need to water and there is a danger of overwatering.

  2. Yes, primarily ornamental. Plus a little insidery teasing of my colleague, Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, who extols the virtues of coarse, arborist wood chip mulch often.

    These came from a log that has been rotting out in my woods for several years. I like the color, and the mulch, even in a container, does keep weed seeds out, and provide some water retention by reducing evaporation. I don’t know how much nutrient benefits there are.

    Aside from watering, the trees get one treatment of a slow release fertilizer in the spring when I put them outside for the season … in my area, late May or early June, after the last spring freeze date.

    And you’re right about overwatering. I tend to be sparing on the watering, since most plants are adapted better to drought than flooding, and the size of these containers (21 inch diameter, and about 32 inch deep) gives some flexibility in the margin of error.

  3. BTW, I had planned on root washing the tree before re potting, but the durn thing was too heavy for dipping, and it was too cold to use the hose, so I knocked off as much of the old soil, roughing up the roots a bit, before setting it in the new container, and adding the new potting mix, along with some of the old soil.

    The thought process was a kind of emulation of the best practices I’ve learned from the GPs when planting a tree outside, but constrained by the container aspects, along with the fact that these are not hardy in my zone.

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