Fruit Garden Satsuma Trees
Want to plant fruit trees in your garden? Try satsuma trees. Satsuma trees are tropical to sub-tropical citrus fruits of the mandarin orange variety that originated in Japan. There are several cultivars of satsuma oranges, all of which are valued for their cold tolerance relative to other orange varieties, as well as their thin, easily-peeled skin and few seeds. Like other members of the citrus family, the satsuma has simple dark green glossy leaves and aromatic white flowers. The flowers mature into fruits which range in color from green to orange. Although a green satsuma might at first glance seem unripe, it is actually not unusual to encounter a sweet and flavorful version of the fruit in green. Unfortunately, many producers dye their green citrus fruits orange to make them more appealing. The attractiveness of the satsuma trees makes it a great ornamental tree. The skin of a satsuma is slightly leathery, and tends to pull away from the fruit as it ripens. This can make it difficult to discern the quality of a satsuma, since the fruit could be bruised or dried out under the skin. As a general rule, try to aim for firm fruit with a strong citrus aroma. In addition to being sold fresh, satsumas are also canned for sale year round.
Satsuma trees are one the most cold-tolerant citrus trees, but you may want to wrap your trees in plastic in the winter. Some growers place a space heater outside to use when the temperature drops near 15 to 20 degrees F. Many others prefer starting their satsuma trees in containers so the trees can be set on a dolly and wheeled indoors during cold periods. Satsuma require full sun to thrive and must get at least 8 hours of sun a day Planting a satsuma in partial shade reduces its fruit crop and affects the flavor development of the oranges.