Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Well interesting developments.  All three citrus trees that had "died" in the freeze, weren't so dead after all..."Walking Dead Citrus" anyone?

This is the Persian lime...

This is the Owari Satsuma...

This is the Meyer lemon...

We're glad they are coming back but curious about what we should do now?  I've read about trees coming back above or below the graft bud union but these don't seem to have that.  They are just coming back from further down the trunk, probably where it was the least freeze damaged. 

Meyer Lemon bush, image via Wikicommons.com
I'm more than a bit curious to see how these end up doing now.  The image above is a Meyer lemon grown as a bush.  We're not sure if we'll end up with a tree or a bush but if either produce fruit, we'd be OK with that.  I'll be honest, not sure I have it in me this season to work on replacing them.  Too much else to do and it's getting a bit warm for fruit tree planting. 

I realize I do need to cut off the dead wood that didn't come back, just didn't have time this past weekend what with moving and all, but that will be on the agenda this coming weekend. 

Any suggestions on keeping them like this?  There isn't much I could prune that would make it look like a tree at this point, it's just going to grow up and out like the pictures we showed you.  This means at least the root system is developing and expending energy to make a comeback so maybe we just wait and see?  


  1. So happy for you that your citrus trees have come back and rose from the dead.
    The sooner you cut off the dead twigs; branches the better as it will then concentrate on producing much more foliage.
    My Meyer lemon didn't make it through the winter as I forgot to put inside. Had it planted in large container. If I had thought about it at the time; I would had wrapped in in burlap.

    Remember the old saying; When it comes to planting trees, shrubs, roses, etc; "The 1st year they sleep, the 2nd year they creep, and the 3rd year they leap'. :}

    1. They have risen for sure, ha. I will cut the dead stuff back. Honestly I've just ignored them the last few weeks because I thought they were dead and/or I would be replacing them. But I think we need to give them this year and see what happens.

      I like that saying, The fruit trees behind the house are in 2nd year and they are creeping for sure. Hoping for the leap next year.

  2. Great news that your "walking dead citrus" is actually alive! I enlarged your pictures and it looks like they are producing leaves several inches above the ground - so if there is a graft, these leaves appear to be above that.
    I don't think I'd concern myself about shaping them into trees this year - they are doing good to just be surviving at this point. I never shape my citrus into trees, I let them grow as bushes and just trim enough to be able to mow under them. I think this gives them more branches to produce fruit. They look like your picture of the Meyer lemon.

    1. Yep, it's a few inches above. You know, in a way I don't mind the bush look. When we lived in California (I was a child) we had a lemon tree and a lime tree, right by the front door, and they were just like the pic above, large bushes COVERED in fruit all the time (of course it WAS California, ha). Anyway, we can have the trees behind the house I think bushes for the citrus works.

  3. Woo hoo. I wouldn't rush to trim them. You can always prune, but restoring a branch you have cut off is a different matter. And if the branch is dead the tree will not be pumping sap into it and wasting its energy.

    1. Thanks for this info. I'll check them out this weekend.

  4. What a good result, they must have healthy root systems to come back so well.
    Some grafting is almost imperceptible so I would take some good close-up pics of the first 2 feet of trunk from the ground and take in the plant info cards if you have them and talk to your local plant nursery.You don't want to be nurturing a big plant of useless root stock .
    These wonderful survivers will be helped by a good feed if they are productive trees and not root stock.

    1. That's sort of what I was thinking too. I planted them last year but they must have really gone down into the ground well to survive those temps. I will try the pictures, thank you.

      Any suggestions for a good feeding?

  5. We fertilize with fruit tree spikes - you drive them into the drip line and then they slow release with rain (or watering probably in your case).
    Wrap your trees in burlap for winter weather - unusual weather patterns and all. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  6. I'm glad your trees are coming back! Happy growing!


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