CALAMONDRIN ORANGE

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Not something that you see everyday as a bonsai, but if you have a little patience, you can make a really nice tree with them.  The tiny oranges that they make are just the right size to be in scale with a medium size tree.  The fruit peels and segments easily, like a mandrin orange, but is very sour, more like a lemon.  They do make a refreshing drink when you squeeze one into a glass of ice water, it gives it a nice citrusy flavor.

I have had this tree for many years, I started it from a very small cutting that was purchased from ebay in the late 90's.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of its humble beginnings, the earliest is from 2014, so here she is:
Calamondrin grow really fast, but be prepared to wire, like every branch.  They have a very straight and upright growth habit.  You have to wire the branches early while they are still green, once they harden off it is very hard to bend them - orange wood is very hard!  It also has a rather annoying habit of throwing out branches everywhere, except where you need them.

In spite of all of their faults, if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with a very nice and unique bonsai.  On other thing, leaf miners love this (at least in my area) so be prepared to use a systemic to combat them.  This will make the fruit inedible, unless you like to eat pesticide, I have heard it gives it a spicey flavor.  Or, you can live with the miners and have unattractive foliage and enjoy non-tainted fruit--your choice.

This is what mine looks like today, leaf-mined foliage and all.  It will get a repot and restyle this spring:
Stay tuned for an article featuring the repot and restyle, coming soon to a Spring day near you.

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