The vibrant dark-green foliage of Owari Satsuma Trees make a great backdrop to the delicately, beautiful white blooms that emit a desirable fragrance. The Owari Satsuma tangerine tree produces medium-sized, easy to peel fruit that have zesty, sugary-sweet flavor.
The most common of all Satsuma mandarin trees, the Owari Satsuma Tree with botanical name Citrus reticulata ‘Owari’ of the flowering family Rutaceae, first arrived in Florida, United States in 1876. The tree was introduced by George R. Hall. It is an evergreen, drought-tolerant, cold-hardy, disease resistant citrus tree that is best suited to outdoor planting in USDA growing zones 8 through 11. It can tolerate temperatures below 15ºF, although if you live in colder areas or zones 4-11 in Northern regions you can plant Owari Satsuma trees in large pots and move them indoors during extremely cold temperatures or extreme weather.
The Owari Satsuma mandarin trees are vigorous and productive fruit trees that mature to a small size; standard trees reach 6’ to 8’ in height while Dwarf Owari Satsuma mandarin trees reach up to 4’ to 6’ with their width almost comparable to their height. The Owari Satsuma citrus trees have low-spreading, rather droopy, form. Moreover, they are nearly thornless making it easier to harvest the delicious, sweet fruit. Compared to other oranges, these small mandarin trees do not have dense or extensive foliage to generate energy thru photosynthesis to grow any taller.
The vibrant dark-green foliage of Owari Satsuma Trees makes a great backdrop to the delicately, beautiful white blooms that emit a desirable fragrance sure to attract bees and butterflies. Because of its attractive, bush-like appearance, it makes a great specimen plant in your backyard or a potted fruit tree to grace your patio.
The Owari Satsuma tangerine tree produces medium-sized, easy to peel fruits that have zesty, sugary-sweet flavor. They are available from October to December.
Citrus Tree Care
Seasonal Information – Owari Satsuma mandarin tree is a cold hardy tropical citrus tree that grows well in warm climates found in zones 8 through 11. However, you can still plant them in a pot if you live in colder areas and move them indoors when the temperature outside drop to levels that can cause damage to the citrus tree.Moreover, if you are planting outdoors, make sure that you get mandarin trees from spring to fall, since mandarin trees are more sensitive to colder temperatures.
Purchasing –It is highly recommended that home growers purchase their mandarin tree from a reputable nursery to ensure that they get healthy, disease resistant citrus trees. Nursery grown Owari Satsuma trees are typically grafted onto trifoliate orange to make them cold tolerant and highly resistant to soil-borne root rot.
Watering – Like other growing citrus trees, Owari Satsuma trees like moist, well-draining soil and do not like wet feet. Deeply water your trees to penetrate the root system and at the same time stimulate the roots to dig deeper into the soil and get established. Do not water until the top 2-3 inches of soil has dried out to avoid over-watering. Over-watering can cause growth stunting, limb dieback and root rot.
Fertilization – Fertilizing should not be done until the transplanted citrus trees begin growing. Once you notice any visible growth you can start feeding your growing citrus trees specific fertilizer for citrus trees. Feeding should be done in spring and summer seasons once every six weeks. For fall and winter season, you can cut back to fertilizing once every 2 or 3 months. Make sure to follow the citrus tree fertilizer instructions on the fertilizer bag to avoid burning the roots or cause damage to your trees. Once your citrus trees have matured you can skip fertilizing them during the cold seasons.
Pruning – Satsuma trees do not need elaborate or complicated annual pruning. You do not need to cut away the limbs unless they are damaged, diseased or dead since they would develop their shape naturally, plus they would have a better chance of reaching their full potential height. Another reason for pruning Owari Satsuma trees is due to limbs outgrowing their space causing them to shade the lower limbs that may lead to less fruit production.
If pruning needs to be done, do not prune in winter as it may promote new growth, which can get damaged by cold temperatures. Make a 45-degree angle cuts to get rid of dead, damaged, diseased or crossing limbs. Furthermore, remove any suckers that grow from the base of the tree since they will steal away nutrients from the primary trunk of your tree.
Fruit & Harvesting
Owari Satsuma trees produce abundant, irresistible, palm- sized, seedless bright-orange fruits that average 1.8 inches in diameter. The fruits are mostly oblate to round that becomes pear-shaped after passing maturity. They are in season from early December to January.
Owari Satsumas are often mistaken for Clementines because they look and taste almost the same. Furthermore they have thin, leathery, slightly rough loose rind that is easy to peel earning the name “kid-glove or zipper-skin citrus”.
The tender flesh with orange-colored melting sweet pulps are segregated in 10 to 12 easy to separate segments, are a tad sweeter than Clementines, juicy and low in acid and are of superior quality.
Owari Satsumas are great eaten fresh and are highly suitable to kids or people who find it taxing to peel other types of citrus fruits. They are also of high quality and have tough carpellary membranes and flesh that have firm consistency making them especially suitable for canning.
Nutritional Value: 100 g of Satsuma contain about 25.6 calories, 9.5g carbohydrates, 0.6g protein, 0.2g fat and 1.3g fiber and 110% daily value of vitamin C. It also contains folic acid (Folate), pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, calcium, vitamin A, iron and copper plus potassium.
Owari Satsumas are in season from December to January. Unlike other citrus fruit Owari Satsumas do not hold well onto the tree and if left unpicked for too long they become puffy and tasteless. Knowing the harvest season in your area can give you a general understanding on when to harvest your fruits. Also taste test is the best way to determine if the fruits have reached their peak sweetness. Furthermore, keep in mind that Satsumas bruise and its skin gets damaged easily so cut the stems when harvesting instead of twisting the fruits off.
The Owari Satsuma is a mandarin that is sometimes referred to as tangerine. It is a bush like tree that reach the maximum height of 6’-8’ upon maturity. Its usual bloom season is in spring and its fruits are in season from December to January, which by the way needs heat to become sweet. Also, although cold hardy this citrus tree needs to be protected from cold when the temperature goes below 28º.
Satsumas are great eaten fresh but can also be canned. They can also be added to salads, used in baking, and as an ingredient for other desert recipes. You can also use them to make cocktails, smoothies, or mix the juice with other fruits to make refreshing cold drinks.
Pests and Diseases
The citrus trees you can find in nurseries are typically disease resistant.However, this does not mean that they will never get infected if basic hygiene and proper care are neglected.
Mandarin Rind Disorder – especially damaging to Satsuma Mandarins, this disorder strikes during heavy autumn rainfall and causes brown, sunken areas on the rind. When the fruits get soaked, the oily glands on the rind erupt.
Recommendation: spray copper fungicide or oil with water before autumn rain to repel water and prevent this skin disorder.
Citrus Blast – this disease strikes in spring and winter when citrus trees are mainly growing in cool, wet and windy conditions. You will see black spots on the leaf stems and also causes leaves to curl, wither and drop. The most common part of the tree that gets attacked and damaged is the side that is exposed to winter winds.
Recommendation: Use copper spray fungicide before the start of wet and cool weather. Make sure to follow the label instructions to ensure optimal use.
Alternaria Rot – Alternia alternate pv.citri is a variant disease of A. citri that typically infects lemon trees and navel orange trees. This disease may infect Satsuma oranges during harvest and storage. Infection causes brown or black spots on the opposite end of the stem.
Recommendation: When harvesting Satsumas, clip the steam instead of twisting it off and ensure proper handling and storing to prevent infection. You can also treat the harvested fruits with imazalil or 2,4-D. Apply according to label instructions.
Can an Owari Satsuma Citrus Tree be grown in a container?
Yes. The Owari Satsuma Citrus Trees can be grown in a pot. Start in a 5 gallon pot, increase the pot size each year, until you reach a size of 17 to 20 gallons.
Do Satsuma trees come in a dwarf variety?
The Owari Satsuma trees are a semi-dwarf variety. The trees will grow up to 12 feet tall and as wide as 10 feet.
Do I need to buy more than one tree to grow fruit?
No. The Owari Satsuma Citrus Trees are self-pollinating, so you only need one tree to produce fruit.
Is the Owari Satsuma Citrus tree self-pollinating?
Yes. The Owari Satsuma Citrus Trees areself-pollinating, so you only need one tree to produce fruit. But two nearby trees will often produce more fruit than a solitary tree.
Is the Owari Satsuma Citrus fruit seedless?
Yes the Owari Satsuma Citrus Tree produces fruit that is categorized as very seedless. While it is possible in rare cases that some individual fruit may have a small number of tiny seeds, the vast majority of the Owari Satsuma Citrus fruits are seedless.
Why do small immature fruits fall off?
Young citrus fruit can fall off for a number of reasons. Young trees may not have the resources (roots, leaves, and trunk size) to support numerous fruit, so fruit falling from young trees is a normal part of the growing cycle. Also, some pests and fungi may cause premature fruit drop. Even when a tree is fully-grown and healthy, it is not uncommon for some fruit to fall away in the course of a growing season.
Will the Owari Satsuma Tree grow outside in cold climates?
The Owari Satsuma Tree will grow best in USDA Zones 8 through 10. In colder climates it is best to grow the tree in a container, so you can bring it indoors in colder weather (consistently below 40 degrees F). The older the tree is, the more it will tolerate colder temperatures.
Must Orange Trees be pollinated if grown indoors?
Hand pollinating an indoor tree can increase fruit production. Whether grown inside or out, citrus trees are self-pollinating and will produce fruit without a second pollinating tree or hand pollination. At the same time, most will also produce more fruit when grown near another tree, to facilitate cross-pollination.
What size pot should I use for my orange tree?
Begin by potting your new tree in a container that is about a 5-gallon size with holes for drainage. Repot the tree in a larger, well-drained container each year, until you get to about a 17-gallon pot that is about 21 inches in diameter. Your tree can remain in this largest pot for life, but root pruning every two years will encourage healthful growth.
When can I expect blooms on my Mandarin Orange Trees?
Mandarin Orange Trees typically bloom in March and April. Fruit will usually appear in May and will take about 6 months to mature.
Why can’t Orange Trees be shipped to Florida?
Federal and/or state agricultural regulations prevent shipping some citrus varieties to certain states. While we would like to be able to ship all products to all areas, we recognize and respect the need for restrictions in some instances, and always comply with current agricultural regulations.