VOLUME 36 NUMBER 2
FLORIDA QUARTERLY BULLETIN OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Commissioner of Agriculture
Artcraft Printers, Tallahassee
3~1. :-1'1 ~tP
SATSUMAS IN FLORIDA
Florida's annual production of citrus fruits has
reached 15,000,000 boxes, oranges 8,400,000 and
grapefruit 6,600,000 boxes. This is slightly more
than California's yield since the 1921 freeze.
The value of the 1922 citrus crop was $40,000,000.
This crop comes from 3,434,378 trees. In addition,
there are 211,433 lime trees which produced 30,000
boxes worth $150,000.
SATSUMA (TANGERONA) AND DANCY TAN-
The Satsuma (Tangerona) and Dancy Tangerine
are varieties that belong to the Mandarin group, a
Chinese fruit. They are also grown in Japan. "Sat-
suma" was originally a province of Japan; from
thence this variety was introduced into this country.
The Mandarin Group is spoken of colloquially as
the "Kid-Glove Orange," because the peeling can be
removed without soiling a kid glove.
Central and Southern Florida have never grown
the Kid-Glove Orange very extensively. West Flor-
ida has about two thousand acres planted to the Sat-
suma. Not more than three hundred acres are as
yet old enough to bear commercially.
THE SATSUMA AREA
It has been determined that the Satsuma grows
better near the northern border of the citrus belt.
Baldwin County, Alabama, has been producing Sat-
sumas long enough to demonstrate the practicability
of growing them in that latitude, and that the
market for this variety is as ample as for other
HARDINESS OF THE SATSUMA
There is no edible orange quite so hardy as the
Satsuma, when budded on Trifoliata stock. The
Trifoliata is a deciduous tree-therefore it becomes
dormant in the fall and is very cold-resistant.
As to whether a citrus tree will be killed or dam-
aged by certain degrees of cold, depends upon more
things than the mere degree of low temperature,
among which may be mentioned the following:
1-Dormancy of tree.
2-Humidity of atmosphere.
3-Humidity of soil.
4-Texture of soil.
5-Velocity of wind.
6-Topography of earth in the windward direc-
Trifoliata stock will stand zero weather. Sat-
sumas have been known to stand a temperature of
15 degrees F., and yield a good crop the next season,
yet they have been killed at a temperature of 24
DORMANCY OF TREES
1. When frost comes early in the fall, before the
trees have become dormant, it will damage trees
that would not be affected by the same frost occur-
ring in midwinter. If frost should come in the spring
after the sap begins to rise, it will damage trees that
would not have been hurt by the winter frost.
The dormancy of the tree can be regulated to a
small degree by cultivation. Cover crops have a
tendency to lower the temperature of the soil, and
their presence in winter might be the cause of a
damaging frost, when the absence of them might
insure a harmless frost.
On the other hand, this same dense cover.crop in
the late fall may hasten dormancy and prepare the
trees for colder weather. Also, a dense cover crop
in the early spring may prolong dormancy until
spring frosts are over.
HUMIDITY OF ATMOSPHERE
2. The humidity of the atmosphere has a great
deal to do with the effect of a cold wave. A damp
atmosphere of a given temperature will frost and
cause damage to trees when a dry atmosphere of
the same temperature will do no harm.
HUMIDITY OF SOIL
3. The humidity of the soil has its effect on the
humidity of the atmosphere. A dry winter is much
safer than a wet one of the same minimum tem-
TEXTURE OF SOIL
4. The texture of the soil has something to do
with the effect of a given low temperature. To illus-
trate: One of the safeguards against freezing is to
bank the trees in the fall to keep the body of the tree
near the ground from freezing. This is all right in
light, sandy soils. But in clay soils, it is all wrong.
The clay will stand up around the young sprout and
the blowing wind will cause the formation of a little
pocket, in which water may stand. If no water
should collect in the pocket, the stiff clay will keep
moist against the tree, and a frost will make it spew
out frost crystals. This will be much colder than
mere dry, loose sand banked around the tree.
VELOCITY OF WIND
5. Air gently moving will not frost until several
degrees colder than stagnant or still air-the same
is true of water. On the other hand a fierce gale of
cold wind will do more damage than still air of the
TOPOGRAPHY OF COUNTRY
6. The topography of the country immediately
to the windward of a grove will-in a large meas-
ure-determine the damaging effect of a given
degree of frost wind. For instance: A large, open
lake, say, to the northwest, of an orchard will
temper a wind blowing over the water before the
air reaches the trees. Therefore, the lake would
be a protection. On the other hand, if this same
lake, as to position, is a sort of swamp and full of
trees that shade it, the air passing over such a lake
would be colder than if no lake were there, and in
this case the water and wind brake would be a
detriment to the grove. The wind brake may be a
help or a hindrance. A thin windbrake may prove
to be beneficial, while a thick one which produces
air pockets, may be a source of damage to a grove.
Groves on the tops of hills are less apt to be dam-
aged by frost than those in the low, or flat lands,
unless the low lands are protected by large bodies
of water that are warmed through the day by the
LOCATION OF GROVES
Cold air falls, and warm air rises. This is a law of
physics. But it has its limitations. The coldest air
is on the highest mountains; and deep depressions,
like some in California, are the hottest places.
Nevertheless, the ordinary hill is warmer on top than
at its base because of the greater humidity at the
base. Even with the thermometer registering the
same, the stagnant air will accumulate frost crystals
when the air which is in motion and somewhat
rarer will not frost. Air has drainage the same as
The location of the Satsuma grove should be on
the uplands in North and West Florida unless quite
near the Gulf. Satsumas grow successfully on a
variety of soils. Experience seems to indicate that
sandy soils with a clay subsoil not too far from the
surface are preferable. The Satsuma will succeed
on clay and alluvial soils, but it does not do well on
soils lacking humus, nor on calcareous soils.
In locating a grove, one should not lose sight of
the value of good roads leading to market, shipping
points, and shipping facilities.
Of course only vigorous trees of best varieties and
free from pests should be planted. It is also desir-
able to have stock budded from trees of high bearing
A two or three year old root with a one or two
year old top, is preferable.
When trees are received from the nursery, they
should be unpacked at once and planted or trenched
in a shady place.
There are three important varieties of the Sat-
suma grown in the Gulf States, mostly in Alabama:
The Owari (O-wah-ry), the Ikeda (E-kay-dah), and
the Zairai (Zi-ri).
Of these, the Owari is recommended as the most
desirable, and the Zairai as the least desirable. The
Owari is the earliest, which is an item of consider-
able importance. The fruit is flat, thin-skinned,
depressed at both bottom and stem ends, and is prac-
tically seedless. It matures the latter part of Octo-
ber and in November. The leaves of the Owari are
broad, especially at the base.
There are a half dozen varieties of the Satsuma,
and several subvarieties, found in Japan. The fruit
of the Ikeda is not as flat, nor depressed at either
end; it has a coarse peel, and is a month later in
maturing than the Owari-the leaves are narrow.
The third variety, the Zairai, is the primitive form
of the Satsuma in Japan. The fruit is larger, has a
coarser texture, thicker skin, and more seed than
other varieties. The tree is vigorous and an upright
Satsuma orange trees should be planted 25 or 30
feet apart. The hole should be made large enough
to receive the roots in natural position. The trees
should be planted to the same depth that they were
in the nursery.
A little compost fertilizer should be worked into
the dirt with which the hole is to be filled. If com-
mercial fertilizer is used, about two pounds to the
tree is sufficient, running about 8-4-4. The top
should be trimmed back so as not to oyertax the
roots, as they have been reduced in power by trans-
The trees will naturally branch out low if let
alone, and pruning should encourage the low-
headed, compact form, as it renders spraying and
picking much easier.
It has been definitely determined that the quality
of the Satsuma, both as to taste and appearance of
the peeling, in a great measure, can be determined
by methods of cultivation and fertilization. The
time of ripening can also be extended or shortened
by ten days through methods of cultivation.
For early ripening the cultivation should cease by
the first of July. For proper fertilizing no specific
fertilizing directions can be given for all soils, as it
will depend upon the soil itself in each particular
case, as to the amount of fertilizer and the formula
to be used.
FERTILIZING YOUNG TREES
Young growing trees need plant foods that support
the tree. Bearing trees need food-producing
A fertilizer carrying six to eight per cent. phos-
phoric acid, four per cent. nitrogen, and four per
cent. potash, is the usual formula recommended for
young growing trees. The amount should be regu-
lated to the needs of the tree.
FUNCTIONS OF FERTILIZER ELEMENTS
Each ingredient in a complete fertilizer has its
special function in the economy of plant growth.
Phosphorus is necessary for the development of
stalk, seed and root systems in vegetables and field
crops; in trees it is needed for general growth and
for the fruit especially. It gives stability and vigor
to plants, builds fiber, hardens and matures growth
and is a ripening element. Phosphoric acid is a com-
pound which contains 43.7 % of phosphorus by
Nitrogen is needed for wood and leaf growth. It
builds up the body, gives rich green color to the
leaves and aids in vigorous growth. Yellow foliage
usually indicates need of nitrogen. Growing trees
call for this element in good quantities, however,
while too little stunts growth excess, gives rank
growth with sappy, weak stalks in vegetables--
suiting vegetables like celery, lettuce, etc.,-and
causes die-back in citrus, indicated by the bark be-
coming thick and puffy. Too much nitrogen may
ammoniatee" both trees and fruit. This is because
ammonia is by weight fourteen parts nitrogen and
three parts hydrogen. Pure nitrogen is an odor-
less, colorless and tasteless gas. Hydrogen is also
an odorless, colorless and tasteless gaseous element
that liquifies under great pressure and under low
temperature. Nitrate of soda, 16%, is equal to 19%
ammonia. Nitrogen delays ripening.
Potash is essential for the full development of
plants and is essential to the production of fiber,
starch elements and of seed. The shedding of fruit
indicates the need of potash.
Potassium is one of the distinct elements, but it
has peculiarities which prevent its use as a fertilizer
unless combined with other elements. Where flavor
is an item-and it is in fruit-sulphate of potash is
preferable. It is made up of two parts potassium,
one of sulphur and four of oxygen; formula, K2S04.
Muriate of potash is made up of potassium and
chlorin, fifty fifty; formula, KC1. Carbonate of
potash is made up of two weights of potassium, one
of carbon and three of oxygen; formula, K2C03.
Nitrate of potash is made up of one part potassium,
one of nitrogen and three of oxygen; formula,
Use one to three pounds of commercial fertilizer
for young trees and increase this one pound a year
until the trees are five or six years old and begin to
bear commercial crops; then use two applications
per year of the following:
Available phosphoric acid ......... 8%
Nitrogen ...... .. ... 4%
Potash ............. .... .... 4%
Apply in early spring and mid-summer. Bearing
trees from ten years and up should receive from
fifteen to thirty pounds a year.
Splendid results are secured from use of barn-
yard manure only-spread broadcast. However, it
is liable to ammoniate the trees and fruit if used to
There has as yet been no standardized system of
cultivating citrus trees. People differ as to how
deep and how often to plow, how much cover crop
to raise and how long to allow it to stand. These
are points upon which the best citrus growers differ.
Legume cover crops furnish nitrogen and humus,
and are advantageous through the summer by keep-
ing the ground moist during the drier season. When
turned under they furnish humus which most soils
need. Heavy cover crops reduce the temperature.
To hasten dormancy in the fall, a good cover crop
is serviceable. But to allow the ground to be heated
from the sun in winter, the cover crop should be
turned under. To keep the ground from warming
up too early in the spring a cover crop is helpful; it
keeps the ground cool and prevents premature rising
of sap, which renders the trees susceptible to injury
from light frost.
Disk and acme harrows are best to use near trees.
Deep plowing is permissible, ten or fifteen feet from
The general rule for spraying citrus trees applies
to Satsumas, which are subject to the same diseases.
For directions in spraying apply to the Experiment
Station, Gainesville, Florida.
It is impossible to get orders filled by nurseries at
present. The demand far execeds the supply.
If your land has been prepared and you cannot
get supplies from nurseries, it is possible that you
can get the Trifoliata stock from them, and your
buds from growers, and do your own budding.
Grafting is not practiced in propagating the Sat-
suma. Budding is the only method which would in-
terest those who cannot get nursery stock.
Sometime before the regular picking season the
owner of the grove should make a careful inspection
of his trees to determine variety and peculiarities
of each tree.
Each tree should be labeled in a diagram of the
grove. When buds are cut for a new tree the selec-
tion can then be made of the best trees and best
bearing limbs. No bud wood should be cut from
nursery trees. If it is necessary to cut bud wood in
the spring, the limbs from which they are taken
should be marked the preceding fall.
Budding is economical of wood, but expensive in
stocks, as a seedling is required for each tree, while
with the piece-root system of grafting, two or more
stocks can be made from a single seedling.
Budding is usually done in July, August, or early
September, during the active season of growth. The
bud should be taken from wood of the present sea-
son's growth. The leaf is left to each bud to serve as
a handle to aid in pushing the bud in place when in-
serting it. A small portion of the woody tissue of
the branch should be removed with the bud.
The stock for budding should be at least as large
as the ordinary lead pencil. The cut for the recep-
tion of the bud is made in the form of the capital
Usually the cross cut is not at right-angles with
the body of the tree and extends toward the root for
an inch or more. The flaps of bark caused by the
intersection of the two cuts are slightly loosened
with the ivory heel of the budding knife, and the
bud, by aid of the leaf handle, is placed under the
flap and pushed firmly into place, until the cut sur-
face of the bud is in perfect contact with the peeled
body of the stock. A band eight or ten inches long
is then wrapped around the stock, above and below
the bud to hold it in place, and exclude the air.
Bands of raffia make convenient tying material.
These bands should be removed as soon as the bud
shows evidence of having united with the stock, to
prevent binding the stock and hindering growth.
The following spring the tree should be cut off,
sloping, just above the inserted bud.
All North Florida lies within the Satsuma belt.
Up to the present time, Jackson County has done
more to commercialize the growing of this fruit than
any other Florida County. So far, only small groves
have been planted.
Mr. J. D. Smith of Marianna is a pioneer in Sat-
suma growing in Jackson County. He also has ex-
cellent orchards of plums and peaches. He has a
small acreage of grapefruit which bore heavily for
such small trees at three years old. His Excelsior
plums brought him $300 to $500 per acre. His
young peach trees are as thrifty looking as one
might wish to see. Mr. Smith has great faith in the
possibilities of the hill region of Jackson County and
West Florida as a fruit country. To back up this
faith he has given 100 acres of land in ten acre tracts
to as many men who enter into contract to plant to
Satsuma and other fruits and prove what can be
done in that section.
Mr. L. A. Mobley, who lives 17 miles southeast of
Marianna, has forty trees of satsumas eleven years
old, and fifty-two trees that are six years old and
two thousand trees one year old. Several of his
eleven-year-old trees bore two thousand oranges
each the season of 1922. He received 2c apiece
for them, which amounts to $40 per tree. These
trees were only twelve feet apart and on one-seventh
of an acre he sold last year.$550 worth of oranges,
which is at the rate of $3,850 per acre. This, how-
ever, is no criterion as no grove should have trees
set closer than twenty-four feet apart, and 2c per
orange is more than can be expected on an average
for satsumas. On account of the size of the fruit
this price means over six dollars per box. These
trees have had only barn yard fertilizer save two
applications of commercial fertilizer some years
ago. A mulch of barn yard manure is kept at all
times on the old grove. Mr. Mobley is now having
to remove just half the trees in this small grove to
give room to the full-grown trees which lapped be-
tween the rows.
Mr. J. W. Hardison of Round Lake has four acres
of ten-year-old trees that are averaging $500 per
acre. There are quite a few groves in the vicinity
of Round Lake that are in a thriving condition and
the indications are that this will be one of the sat-
suma centers of West Florida.
Mr. W. L. Wilson of Panama City, in Bay County,
has quite a grove project in process of development.
His trees are not yet of bearing age. There are also
small groves near Bay City and Lynn Haven.
Bay County bids fair to have the largest acreage
by another season, as the Seminole Plantation Com-
pany is preparing to plant 3,000 acres to satsumas in
the vicinity of West Bay, at the western extremity of
St. Andrews Bay.
All West Florida counties have a few trees. Being
next to that part of Alabama where satsuma grow-
ing has reached its highest development, West Flor-
ida bids fair to become the leading producer of this
THE SATSUMA IN SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FLA.
For the following data we are indebted to McRae
and Simpson, Milton, Florida:
Upon the.occasion of a recent visit to Santa Rosa
County by Mr. A. P. Spencer, Vice-Director of the
Extension Division of Florida Agricultural College,
he said that he found this section ideally adapted,
by reason of soil and climate, for the successful
growing of the satsuma. This fact has been fully
attested by the fact that there are at present more
than twelve thousand thriving trees here, and stock
for upwards of seventeen thousand secured for
planting during the next few weeks.
So great is the demand for planting stock that
practically all available trees for planting during
the next two years has been purchased.
Some of the bearing groves here have produced
from $800.00 to $1,000.00 per acre during the pres-
ent season, one tree in particular having produced
this season in excess of 5,000 oranges.
Due to the location of this county on the Gulf of
Mexico, and other large areas of water, the satsuma
flourishes particularly well here, the fruit growing
rapidly, with firm, close texture of peel, and firm
The fact that as yet the plantings do not admit of
car lot shipments, and the yield of fruit is large for
local consumption, the price on the local market this
season has been from $1.75 to $2.00 per hundred
for fruit properly marketed.
Among those in the county who have groves of
from ten to thirty acres, we have The DeGalvez
Nursery Co., with 42,000 additional nursery stock;
Fritz Heintzleman, with 15,000 additional nursery
stock; A. Keogel, with 10,000 additional nursery
stock; S. N. Cox, Dr. J. B. Turner, D. R. Read, Pace
Bros., and I. B. Krentzman, and many groves of an
acre or more which are being enlarged as rapidly as
the planting stock can be secured.
PENSACOLA JOURNAL, OCTOBER 3, 1922
In Escambia County alone, when planting has
been finished on February 1, next, there will be
approximately 700 acres of Satsumas under cultiva-
tion in the county, and next year the acreage prom-
ises to double. As a matter of fact, the real estate
dealers who handle country properties have daily
inquiries for Satsuma lands, and plans are now un-
der way by several large holders of lands suitable
for Satsuma culture, to plant ten-acre groves for
marketing next year.
Cottage Hill is perhaps the center of Satsuma cul-
ture in the county now, and a representative of The
Journal who was out there recently was advised
that approximately two cars of fruit would be
shipped from that station within the coming thirty
days, and the growers are assured of a price for
their fruit which will yield them from $800 to $1,000
per acre. As a matter of fact, there is one orchard
of three acres at Cottage Hill which will yield its
owner $3,000 this year.
APPROXIMATE COST OF DEVELOPING A
10-ACRE SATSUMA GROVE
(By Wm. A. Sessoms, Bonifay, Florida)
Cost of land at $25
per acre ............
Cost clearing land,
$18 per acre......
Cost plowing and
discing .... .........
Cost 160 rods fenc-
ing .: ..................
Cost 160 posts at
15 cents ............
Cost of building
fen ce .................
Cost of 690 trees,
spaced 25x25 ft.
at 55 cents..........
Cost planting 690
trees at 5 cents.
Cost shrubbing .
Cost Cultivation ...
Cost fertilizer, 4
lbs. 1st year and
2 lbs. additional
per year ..........
Cost spraying .......
cost at end of
5th year ............
Interest on money
Taxes for 5 years.
1st I 2nd
34.50 .. ...
2153.95 ... .. .... ..
647.01 .... .
100.00 ........ .........
Total cost of grove
at end of 5th yr. ......... ...... ... 2900.96 ................
Less receipts from
fruit 4th & 5th
y e a rs ............... ....... ........ ........... 1 0 3 5 .0 0 ............
Actual cost of a 5
year grove ........ .........
........... 1865.96 ..
NOTE.-The above items are based on present prices and
represent the average in the Satsuma territory.
Costs for superintendence, overhead, advertising, etc.,
are not included. This estimate shows the cost to
the grove owner who does his own work.
THE SATSUMA'S POSSIBLE COMPETITOR
Some one suggests that the Ever-bearing Orange,
recently discovered and widely distributed, will
enter the market in the off season as a competitor
of the Satsuma. This feature is not material.
The Ever-bearing has the distinct disadvantage of
having no special gathering and shipping season.
Only a few will be on the market at any one time.
Another disadvantage is in spraying the trees. Often
it is necessary to use sprays that are injurious to the
fruit and no season can be selected with the Ever-
bearing when it is free from blooms, as well as fruit,
at varying stages of development. The fact that the
owner of an Ever-bearing grove will have no special
season for gathering and shipping, will render it
difficult for him to secure packing house facilities
during the greater part of the.year.
1. Satsumas are grafted on Trifoliata stock,
which is deciduous and will stand zero weather.
2. Satsumas will stand, on the average, lower
temperature than other varieties of oranges.
3. Satsumas come into the market after all crops
are gone, and before the new crop, of other varie-
ties, is ready-for market-a decided advantage.
4. Satsumas thrive only on a restricted area of
the orange belt, which renders over-production im-
5. Satsumas bloom later and ripen earlier than
the round orange, therefore they are less liable to
damage from frost.
6. Satsumas ripen a week earlier irr-many parts
of the Satsuma district of Florida than they do in
OFFICERS OF SATSUMA ASSOCIATION
William L. Wilson, President, Panama City.
J. D. Smith, Vice-President, Marianna.
Wm. A. Sessoms, Secretary-Treasurer, Bonifay.