In Georgia Owari Trial, Yields Peaked in 2021

Daniel CooperGeorgia, Research, Rootstocks

University of Georgia Extension agent Jake Price recently summarized yields for three recent seasons from Owari satsuma trees in a rootstock trial. Last year, 2023, was the last harvest year for data collection in the trial.

Fruit load of Owari on X-639 rootstock in fall of 2021 averaged 571 pounds per tree.

Price reported that yield in the trial plot peaked in 2021 with a yield of about 20,300 pounds on 60 trees, which would be close to 61,000 pounds of fruit on a per-acre basis.

Yields were expected to decline in 2022 because satsumas tend to alternate bear, and that was the case. The trees in the trial yielded 16,080 pounds of fruit in 2022, which would have been 48,240 pounds of fruit per acre. “I considered that an off year,” Price commented.  

2023 was expected to be a big year, but a freeze defoliated the trees by 50%, which decreased yields. The 2023 yield was 7,740 pounds, which would translate to 23,220 pounds per acre.

“Even though we are not picking and weighing fruit next year, I expect a big yield for the Owari research plot and growers in Georgia,” Price stated.


Fruit quality was a problem almost every year at the plot, Price reported. He said research needs to be done on fertility, pruning and fruit thinning to improve fruit quality.

“Ideally, I believe satsumas need to be harvested before they are totally orange and degreened and sold before they become soft,” Price stated. “On mature trees, this would be around late October.


Price said he is working to set up a small pruning and fruit-quality experiment with the University of Florida at the Owari plot, “and possibly a fruit thinning experiment in the Thomasville area.”

In an article earlier this year, Price reported Owari yields on various rootstocks for the years 2016 to 2023. See that article here.

Price said one of his goals this year is to summarize conclusions from the Owari rootstock trial and submit the summary for publication in a research journal.

Source: Georgia Citrus Association

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