The Best Satsuma Trees for Texas
Satsumas are a variety of mandarin orange that ripens for harvest in the late fall and winter. They are prized for their juicy, nearly seedless and segmented fruit interiors, easy-peeling skin and deep orange skin. Satsumas are more tolerant of cold than many citrus species and can be grown outdoors in Texas year-round in areas where temperatures remain above 28 degrees F. In areas where the temperature drops below this threshold, they can be grown in containers and transferred indoors until the weather warms. Satsumas thrive in long days of direct, bright sun making Texas a good planting region.
Owari satsuma is the most commonly grown cultivar in Texas and are considered a medium size fruit reaching 2 to 3 inches in diameter at maturity. They have a reddish-orange hue to the skin and the peel hangs loosely from the fruit flesh. Owari satsuma is ripe and ready for eating and harvest beginning in November and early December
Obawase satsumas are large size fruits up to 3-1/2 inches in diameter with a reddish-orange skin that is loose around the flesh and containing fewer than four seeds per fruit, if any at all. Obawase satsumas are ripe and ready for eating and harvest somewhat early in the season beginning in October or early November.
Armstrong Early Satsuma
Armstrong Early satsumas are considered a large-size cultivar with mature fruits reaching 3 inches or more in diameter. They have a reddish-orange to pale orange skin that is loose around the fruit flesh at maturity. In keeping with it name Armstrong Early is ripe for eating and harvest beginning in October.
Types Of 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 (Citrus unshiu), 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. They share some, if not all, the essential characteristics of Owari satsumas. The flavor is sometimes sweeter than Owari (depending on growing conditions). Kimbroughs produce medium, late-ripening fruit with red-orange, loose peel. This satsuma is actually a hybrid between Owari and a variety of tangerine. This variety, along with the Miho variety, has been tested at various agricultural centers in Texas and is now a recommended variety.
- Texas A&M University: Satsuma
- Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production Mandarins
- AgriLife Extension: Home Fruit Production - Mandarins; Julian Sauls; Dec. 1998
- Purdue University Cooperative Extension; Mandarin Orange; Julia Morton; 1987
- University of Florida Extension; Cold-Hardy Citrus for North Florida; Julian Sauls, et al.
- Aggie Horticulture; ‘Miho’ and ‘Seto’—New High Quality Satsumas For Texas; Larry Stein, et al.; 2001
- "Citrus Fruit: Biology, Technology and Evaluation"; Milind S. Ladaniya; 2008