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Zone 8b/9a Beaumont, TX 77707

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Citrus

Mineral Deficiencies

 

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Tips on how to t-bud citrus/pear/apple/persimmon in the Houston,TX area

Citrus
- Harvest trifoliate fruit when ripe. Wash and then seeds soak in 120F water for 5-10 minutes to kill molds. Dry seeds on paper towels over night, add a little powdered fungicide, put in closed zip-lock bag in refrigerator until ready to plant in the spring.
- Grow the trifoliate rootstock the first year in a 3 gallon pot

- Grow the trifoliate rootstock in the nursery row the second year to pencil size.
- Avoid sour orange as rootstock since it will not be as hardy.

- Trifoliate rootstock won't slip bark until April

- Collecting wild trifoliate trees won't get you many that the bark will slip on since they are probably 3 or 4 years old, a good trifoliate for t-budding needs be a 2 year seedling that is growing vigorously about pencil thickness.
- Even in the spring, if the trifoliate is not growing rapidly, the bark will not slip well enough to t-bud.

- Budwood should have some woody streaks but just a few, too many and the bud might not force easily.

Budwood
- Budwood should be from a tree that is mature and bearing fruit.
- Budwood from the top of the tree is best.
- Use 2nd to last growth flush wood
- Budwood should not easily bend between your fingers or be springy
- Budwood should be round and about same size as rootstock or pencil thickness.
- Don't use first bud closest to 3rd growth flush, it may not have a bud or is a  blind bud. If you look carefully you can see they may not have a bud.
- For best results the bud should be in a chip that is about an inch long even though it may be pretty narrow.

- Leave bud wrapped at least 3 weeks in spring and 6 weeks in the fall at least. If bud stayed green then it took.

- Keep budding knife razor sharp.

- Dip budding knife/clippers in 10% clorox solution when changing scions to avoid spreading viruses like tristezia.

Bark Slipping

- Temperature must be below 90F in the fall, but before two nights in the 50sF stop the bark from slipping

- September 15-October 15

- Start budding in the spring when the bark slips but before temperatures get to 90F.

- Bark must be slipping on rootstock very easily or even a good bud won't take.
Forcing the Bud

- Force the bud in the spring.

- Buds forced in the fall will be tender all winter and won't grow much anyway during the winter.

- When forcing the bud, leave a few trifoliate leaves above the bud. This will ensure you donít lose the rootstock if the bud fails.
Cleft Grafting

- Don't use a budstick that has more than 3 buds on it. Wrap the graft with grafting tape and then cover the scion wood with parafilm or cover with a polyethylene baggie and use a twisty to seal it off.  Poke a few small holes in the bag to avoid excess moisture.

Growing Notes

- Too low of pH Tree has healthy green leaves but does not grow

- Too high of pH Tree has sickly looking leaves and does not grow

- Use a good potting mix=> 1/2 coarse river sand, 1/4 composted pine grit, and 1/4 sandy loam.
 

If you follow the tips for t-budding you should get close to 100% take!

BuddingNotes.htm