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mandarin fruit

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Denise starts with ...
I bought a young mandarin tree from bunnings. Not sure but thought it was an imperial. Its fruit has only just ripened enough to eat (a few fruit as its only a young tree) and the month is now July. The fruit is small with thin skin, hard to peel and the fruit are full of seeds. Im really disappointed and dont know if I should just pull the tree out and start again. Dont think I will go to bunnings again for a tree though. Does anyone have any advice/ideas and have they had a simimlar experience? would be thankful for some directions. :)
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Barrack Heights
11th July 2018 11:29am
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Manfred says...
Bunnings isn't all that bad, though they do sell something as "e;lemon grass"e; which is not Cymbopogon citratus and will someday be reported to the ACCC for it. (I think it's a genuine mistake because I warned their previous supplier and they stopped doing it, but Bunnings now have a different supplier.)

Young citrus trees do produce seedy fruit but the problem reduces as the trees age. By the time your tree is ten years old it will only have a few seeds in a few segments, so be patient. As to the thin skin and hard to peel, I can't provide any useful comment. Perhaps it is because of conditions during the ripening period, If it tastes OK, perhaps live with it for another season and see what happens.
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12th July 2018 8:26am
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Denise

You can use the young mandarin tree as a root stock. You can graft a few different citrus varieties on it, instead of discarding the unwanted tree.
If you haven't done grafting trees before there's a lot of tutorials on you-tube.

Happy gardening :-)
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12th July 2018 10:20am
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Original Post was last edited: 12th July 2018 10:20am
brad16 says...
Hi Denise,

Yes, I've had similar experiences with Imperial mandarins. They are the most commonly available mandarins at nurseries and although they can be nice, they are usually somewhat more disappointing than some other varieties.

Size doesn't bother me too much because I can always eat 2 ... (or more!), but they do have a tendency to be dry and bland. Same season, same tree and some of them can be quite nice.

Generally speaking though, if I was only going to grow one mandarin tree, it wouldn't be Imperial. Of the common ones that are readily available at nurseries, my choice would be one of:


For my taste, they are delicious mandarins, juicy and nice flavour.

The Freemont can be 'tight skinned', like I think you are describing as 'hard to peel'. The peel is thin and isn't 'puffy' like people think when they think of mandarins.

The peel becomes more 'puffy', the longer the fruit stays on the tree. The drawback is that they also dry out at the same time.

I don't think all Imperial trees being sold are all the same thing. I've heard differing things about them, and your tree seems identical to the Imperial I know.

I have an Imperial tree that has been in the ground at least 15 years. It ALWAYS bares fruit, but some years I couldn't be bothered eating them.

Here's a good suggestion for those types of mandarins:

* Peel them
* Pull of the white pith
* Get a pointy knife, stick the point in beside the seed and pop the seed out through the slit the knife made
* Put the segments into a bag
* Freeze them

When the weather warms up, those frozen treats are UNBELIEVABLE! Even the dry-ish ones are pretty good like this.

My 'only one tree' suggestion for you: Hickson

If you like things sweet, Afourer Murcott and Honey Murcott have a good following, but in my opinion you gain sweetness at the expense of the tang that make a mandarin ... well, a mandarin. I grow them, but they aren't the ones I look forward to.

What I like may not be what you, nor everyone else, likes. So please, this is just my opinion.

Just adding in: On the seeds issue. Please excuse a few seeds from a nice mandarin. Yes a dry one, 'full of seeds' makes you wonder why you bother growing it, but a nice mandarin is well worth a few seeds. You get used to them after a while and develop a technique for eating them. I would prefer a nice mandarin with some seeds, over an ordinary one which is guaranteed 'seed free'.
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12th July 2018 12:18pm
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Original Post was last edited: 12th July 2018 12:29pm

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