The Brown Select Satsuma Tree has a crown covered with glossy, dark green, broadly lance-shaped, fragrant leaves and is cold hardy. This citrus tree produces fragrant white blooms with fruit concentrated in clusters on or along the branches. The satsuma fruit are medium to large sized, sweet tasting, and juicy.
The Brown Select Satsuma Tree with the botanical name Citrus unshiu ‘Brown Select’, is an evergreen mandarin tree of the family Rutaceae. This citrus tree has a dense growth habit and is less weepy than other Satsuma varieties. It has a crown covered with glossy, dark green, broadly lance-shaped, fragrant leaves. This medium-sized Satsuma tree has droopy branches that are nearly thornless.
The Brown Select Satsuma mandarin trees are originally from a group of open-pollinated ‘Kimbrough’ seedlings gathered at the Citrus Research Station in the1960s and chosen during post-freeze appraisal after 1983. The variety was field tested under the label LA 4-40 at Louisiana State University’s AgCenter and was later named Brown’s Select in honor of Ralph Brown, citrus researcher and head of the Citrus Research Station from 1948 until 1977.
Like other Satsuma trees, the Brown Select fruit trees are cold hardy; they flourish in full sunlight but can tolerate temperatures below freezing for a couple of hours.
The Brown Select tangerine tree produces fragrant white blooms that turn into fruit buds with fruits concentrated in clusters on or along the branches. The satsuma fruits are medium to large sized, sweet tasting, and juicy. The fruit is mostly seedless and can be freshly eaten and enjoyed slice by slice right after picking from the tree.
Citrus Tree Care
Standard sized and dwarf mandarin trees require almost the same type of care; they need full sunlight, adequate water, well-draining soil, the right amount of fertilizer, and protection from frost damage and extremely cold temperature.
Tangerine trees are classified as tropical fruit trees that are best planted outdoors in USDA growing zones 8 through 11. For home growers and citrus tree enthusiasts who live in areas with reliably cold winters you can still grow a containerized Satsuma fruit tree at home. Just make sure to move your tree indoors when the weather gets too cold.
Citrus trees come in varying pot sizes and should be removed from the pot they arrive in and planted either in the ground or in a bigger planting container.
If planting in the ground, make sure that the hole you make is twice as big and deep as the root system. Place the tree in the center of the hole, and fill the hole with sandy, well-draining soil. Tamp down the soil to avoid formation of air pockets. Right after planting, give your newly replanted mandarin tree a deep watering for about 5 minutes.
If replanting in a pot, make sure that you use a container that is 2 to 3 times larger than the pot the mandarin tree arrived in. Also be sure the new container has adequate holes for proper drainage.
Fill the container halfway with soil and place the citrus tree in it. Fill in around the tree with the remaining potting soil meanwhile patting down the soil to ensure no air holes are created. Deeply water the tree right after repotting and when indoors, place the tree in front of a south-facing window to supplement it with enough sunlight.
Most citrus trees do not need elaborate pruning or judicious pinching. However, if you wish to maintain a certain height for your tree you can prune it anytime of the year except in winter. Cut the limbs at 45-degree angles to remove any crossing, diseased, or dead branches. Prune suckers that grow at the base as they will only take away the nutrients that growing mandarin trees need to be healthy and established.
All growing citrus trees, including mandarin trees, are heavy feeders. You should feed your Satsuma tree in spring and summer season with fertilizer for citrus trees once every six weeks. You can use granulated, slow-release, liquid, organic, or synthetic citrus tree fertilizer that is nutritionally balanced and designed especially for fruiting trees and shrubs. Follow the package instructions provided for application rates and scheduling to optimize the use of the citrus tree fertilizer.
Fruit & Harvesting
Brown Select Satsuma mandarins are available from October to November, about 2 weeks ahead of Owari Satsuma. They are medium to large sized fruits that are round with slightly flattened ends. They have easy to peel, smooth, thin, glossy yellow rind with evident oil glands which release an aromatic citrus scent. Brown Select tangerines are considered seedless, but an occasional fruit may have one or two seeds. The flesh of Brown Select is red-orange and firm, the carpel walls are tender and the juice sacks are juicy and melting. The fruit that separates easily into segments are great for juicing and eating out of hand and can also be added to salads, gelatin, pastries, and can be used as substitute for dishes that require orange ingredients. The peel of Brown Select Satsuma mandarin can be used fresh, dried, or whole. It can be used for baking, cooking, making candy or when concocting drinks.
Brown Select Satsumas are in season in October to November, ahead of Owari Satsumas and Navel oranges, although may vary due to condition of tree, drought and other weather conditions. You can determine the ripeness of Brown Select fruit by looking at the rind and doing a taste test. Look for a fruit that has changed its hue, is smooth and somewhat glossy. Lightly squeeze the fruit and check if it gives a little indicating ripeness. Pick the fruit from the tree and taste it. If it has enough juice and has reached a desirable taste you can start harvesting the rest of the fruits. Make sure that all fruits are harvested before the end of the year to allow the tree to prepare for next year’s blossom production.
Brown Select Satsuma mandarin trees can grow up to 6’ to 8’ in height when planted in the ground but tend to be smaller when planted in a pot. The usual bloom season of Brown Select tangerine trees is in Spring and the fruits that need heat to sweeten are in season from October to November. Although somewhat cold tolerant like other Citrus trees, the Brown Select Satsuma tree needs to be protected when temperatures dip below 28º.
Pests and Diseases
Most citrus trees are grafted from other hardier Woodstock to make them disease resistant. However growing citrus trees are a bit susceptible to certain citrus tree diseases.
Bacterial Blast (Pseudomonas syringae) – also called citrus blast affects citrus trees during winter and spring when the weather conditions are wet, cool and windy. It typically starts as black boils in the leaf petiole that progress into the leaf axil. Further progression results to withering, curling and dropping leaves and twig die back. The bacterium infects minor injuries caused by thorn punctures, insect feeding or wind abrasion.
Preventive treatments include cultural practices and copper fungicide spray before the beginning of wet, cool weather.
Mandarin Rind Disorder – occurs during high rainfall in autumn when fruit rind becomes water-soaked and the oil glands rupture. Symptoms include brown, water-soaked blotches on exposed surfaces of fruits that developed on the outer canopy of the citrus tree. The fungi develop in the discolored sections and the flesh inside softens and rots.
Treatment includes one or two foliar applications of horticultural oil or anti-transpirants that repel water before forecasted heavy autumn rain.
Citrus Rust Mite is the common citrus pest that attacks Satsuma trees. They are small, yellow and wedge-shaped pests that are responsible for leaf injury that appears as yellow, necrotic patches.
The natural cure for citrus mites is the use of predatory birds or garden insects like Ladybird beetles that feed on them. Major infestation can be managed with the use of miticide spray that should be used to cover all parts of the citrus tree.
The leaves on my tree are falling off. Why?
Many circumstances can cause falling leaves on a citrus tree. One is overwatering. A second is adequate watering, but poorly drained, or saturated soil. Also, some pests or diseases may cause yellowing leaves that fall away, such as aphids, canker, or some fungi. Finally, it is possible that a lack of nutrients is causing the falling leaves.
Can a Satsuma Brown Select Tree be grown in a pot inside?
Yes. A potted citrus tree can grow indoors if it is placed in a location that gets plenty of sunlight, or is supplemented with growing lights. One option is to move the container grown tree outside in warmer months, and overwinter it indoors. If the tree must remain inside, place it in a bright window, and turn the container monthly. The best citrus to grow indoors are the smaller or dwarf varieties.
The leaves on my tree are turning yellow. Why?
A few things may cause yellowing leaves on a citrus tree. One is overwatering. A second is adequate watering but poorly drained, or saturated soil. Also, some pests or diseases may cause yellowing leaves, such as aphids, canker, or some fungi. Finally, it is possible that a lack of nutrients is causing the yellow leaves. However, too much nitrogen can also cause this condition.
Can a Dwarf Satsuma Brown Select Tree be grown in a pot inside?
Yes. A potted citrus tree can grow indoors if it is placed in a location that gets plenty of sunlight, or is supplemented with growing lights. One option is to move the container grown tree outside in warmer months, and overwinter it indoors. If the tree must remain inside, place it in a bright window, and turn the container monthly. The best citrus to grow indoors are smaller or dwarf varieties.