Georgia Trials Offer Rootstock Choices

Dan Citrus, Georgia

Since launching in 2013-14, southern Georgia’s citrus industry has grown to about 2,000 acres of commercial citrus, primarily cold-hardy satsumas.

Ongoing citrus rootstock trials being conducted by the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension in Lowndes County hold promise for increased yields, improved fruit quality, and greater disease resistance.

Jake Price, UGA Extension agent and Lowndes County Extension coordinator, has six local citrus rootstock/variety trials with varying objectives. The trees are custom-produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified citrus nurseries in Florida according to Price’s specifications.

The oldest trial, planted in 2014, is growing Owari satsuma trees on 10 standard and new trifoliate hybrid rootstocks. The goal of this trial is to give growers more rootstock options. Currently, most citrus in Georgia is grown on Poncirus trifoliata rootstocks such as Rubidoux, Rich 16-6 or Flying Dragon. The trifoliate hybrid rootstocks being tested were developed by Kim Bowman, rootstock geneticist of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Fort Pierce, Florida.  


Trial No. 2, planted in 2016, is examining early maturing satsuma varieties on Rubidoux rootstock.

Trial No. 3, planted in 2018, is examining two satsuma/changsha hybrids called Orange Frost and Artic Frost.

Trial No. 4, planted in 2018, is testing the Sugar Belle mandarin on four rootstocks.

Trials No. 5 and 6, planted in 2020, will evaluate Silverhill satsuma and Tango mandarin on newly released rootstocks that have tolerance to HLB.

The trials will determine how newly developed citrus rootstocks affect …..

Learn more about how Georgia Trials Offer Rootstock Choices on the Citrus Industry website.