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Old August 18th, 2008, 05:16 PM
MorahSharon MorahSharon is offline
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Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

Would an esrog tree survive the Montreal, Quebec winter? I'm not even considering it
bearing fruit. I have this esrog tree that is about 4 feet tall that I grew in my pre-kindergarten class and I've kept it on a shelf because if I put it on the floor the children will damage it. It's getting too tall now and has two main branches. I have lots
of afternoon light in the class. The last time I had one like this and tried to bring it home it died b/c there is not much light in my house. I have offered it to a friend who could plant it in her yard but after reading about the citrus trees on this forum I don't think it would survive.
Also I guess it would have to be planted in the middle spring so there would be no frost and it could get a good start.
We grow them every year with the children and I usually keep one or two for me. I just hate to see this one die like the last one did.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

Sorry not a chance of surviving the winters there.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 06:10 PM
MorahSharon MorahSharon is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

We grow pomegranate after Rosh Hashanna and etrog after Sukkot (Tabernacles). I have palm growing from dates (palm leaves --closed up) are used for one of the 4 kinds of plants used for Sukkot. This was discussed on the forum.
We grow wheat seeds for our Mt. Sinai mountain in the sandbox for the festival of Shavuot.
And that doesn't even include the spring unit (seeds,bulbs, potato "eyes", sweet potato in water, pineapple top in water---someone said if I put it in dirt I might get a fruit, and we rooted horseradish tops after the Passover seder).
Unfortunately not all these lovely plants are compatible with Nanuk of the North here in Canada. Forget the playground outside b/c they all get trampled.
I just get all emotional when my pet plant gets too big to handle in the classroom.
I even turn the 4-5 yr. olds into bug lovers!

I just saw willow ("aravot") bushes growing in the park. Will they take root if I cut some and stick them in water? I'm growing peppermint on the balcony from what I bought at the vegetable store. Great tea. I have my class finding lady bugs to take care of the aphids on the mint.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 07:11 PM
Millet Millet is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

Willow is one of the easiest tree species to root in water or in soil. You should have no problem. - Millet
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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Laaz Laaz is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

As Ron B stated, Citrons are the most tender of all citrus and do not do well much below 40 F. A hard freeze will kill them off.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 03:47 PM
MorahSharon MorahSharon is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

I've resigned myself to the fact that it will be indoors b/c I have no sunlight. My friend will try and if it doesn't work in her house I might try asking someone like the Laval Nature Center if they want to add it to their collection.
Thanks for all the advice. I might have killed it otherwise.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 08:40 PM
skeeterbug skeeterbug is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

Citrus can be stored almost in the dark for the winter. There will be no growth during that period, but the tree will survive being stored in a basement that is very cool (50-60F) and almost without water.

You will kill them if they are exposed to sun while the roots are cold, but in near darkness in the cold they are essentially dormant.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:32 PM
avrohomg avrohomg is offline
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Re: Can an esrog be planted outside in Montreal, Quebec?

Hello, it's too bad I'm just getting to your post now, since 2 years have elapsed. I hope that you found a good solution for your Esrog tree, and I hope you still keep on planting them. I have good news for you. Yes, you CAN plant your Esrog outdoors in Montreal and have it survive the winter!! I planted my 5 year old esrog tree outside last June in Monsey, NY and it made it through the winter! Granted, it's not as cold as Montreal; however, I don't think the weather is that much different from here.

Here is how I did it:

Find a nice sunny spot that is protected from the North. In my case, my house is South facing, so I planted it up against the South side of my house. The wall of the house protected it from the North, which is the harshest wind. I then purchased a cheap portable greenhouse, that can be easily dismantled in the Spring. Do a Google search on Flowerhouse. The model I got was the Bloom House. This green house is NOT suitable for winter on its own, so I had to compensate a little bit by doing the following:

Go to Staples, or your local shipping supply provider. Buy about $200 worth of bubble wrap (2' wide rolls) and lots of CLEAR box tape. Cut the bubble wrap into 6' long strips. Then tape 3 strips together, forming a 6' by 6' square. Create a second 6x6 square, and tape the two squares together front to back, so that you have a double layered 6x6 square. This provides excellent insulation for your green house. The Bloom House has a spider like structure, with diamond shaped cris-crosses made from thin PVC. Take a regular single hole - hole puncher and punch some holes along the periphery of the bubble wrap square. Then, using ordinary bag ties, tie the square (turn it slightly so it's now a diamond - matching the walls) onto the PVC. Repeat until the whole inside is covered in bubble wrap. NOTE: You may want to cover the outside of the roof as well.

If there is a real deep freeze and your heater (Oh, did I mention, you will need one!) can't keep up, you can add a second layer of bubble wrap to your first. I had 2 layers this winter.

VERY IMPORTANT - You will need an 8' 2x6 wooden beam in the center of your green house to prop it up so that it doesn't collapse from the snow. My green house collapsed the first Shabbos in December during a snow storm - it was not pleasant! Thank GD everything survived. It was then that I learned about using a piece of wood to support the structure.

You will need a small electric heater. Fan heaters are the best. Do a google search on that. You don't need a big heater, since the whole structure is only 7x7 and it will be well insulated.

Do a search on electric thermostats. You will need it so that you canset the heater to a certain temperature. The thermostat is a separate piece that plugs into the outlet and the heater plugs into the thermostat.

Next, get a stand up rotating fan to circulate the air.

You also need to maintain proper humidity. I took 2 five gallon water bottles,cut the tops off, placed it in the green house, and filled it with water. Every week, I would water the trees (I have about a dozen in pots besides the one in the ground) from the water bottles (since it's room temperature and won't shock the trees). I then refilled the water bottles and kept it until next week.

One last thing which would be very helpful is a wireless thermometer (inexpensive). It comes with a sensor that you place in the green house and a remote piece that you can put indoors. You can then see what the temperature is in the green house from indoors. Don't be surprised if the temperature reaches 90 degrees in middle of winter!! During January it's about 80.


I know it sounds like alot of work. However, the expense is not that great, and it is very rewarding to remove the green house in the Spring and show off your beautiful tree in full daylight to everyone!!
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