By Sharon OmahenUniversity of Georgia “The second year, it started looking bad, so I bought citrus-fruit spikes from Home Depot,” he said. “It perked up after that and produced so much fruit that the limbs broke.” Fonseca has seen citrus growing as far north as Cherokee County. “Trifoliate-oranges can be grown in parts of north Georgia,” he said. “But this is a thorny tree with fruit that’s so sour it’s inedible.” The first year after he planted the tangerine tree, Dowdy had to drive into Florida to buy citrus-fruit fertilizer. “The tangerine tree just took off and produced a lot of fruit in just a year,” he said. “I planted it by a huge oak tree, so I think it protects the tangerine from what little frost we do get.” “In addition to providing fruits, citrus plants make attractive ornamental specimens,” he said. “And they’re self-fruitful, so they don’t require cross-pollination.” “If you live in Georgia, you know firsthand,” Fonseca said. “It can be 75 degrees one day and below freezing the next.” “Nagami fruits are oblong to pear-shaped and have acid pulp,” Fonseca said. “The others are sweeter and rounder. Meiwa, which produces nearly round, sweet fruit, has become one of the most popular varieties for home planting.” “When I was a teenager, our family had a kumquat tree in our yard on Jekyll Island,” he said. “So my first citrus tree had to be a kumquat.” Hybrid plants called citranges have been crossed to grow better in Georgia conditions. “I know of two varieties that are growing in Telfair County and Thomasville,” Fonseca said. “They produce blooms, but the fruit is lemon-like.” These conditions can kill new growth and blooms that could become fruit and put added stress on the plant. Unfortunately, Dowdy’s kumquat plant died. His next citrus tree, a tangerine, has brought much more success. The kumquat is an attractive, shrub-like tree with orange-like fruits about an inch in diameter. The fruits can be eaten fresh, peel and all, or used to make jellies, marmalade and candies. The three commonly propagated varieties are Nagami, Marumi and Meiwa. In a state known for peaches, home gardeners can grow oranges and other citrus fruits if they live in coastal or extreme southern portions of Georgia.“Citrus grows best south of a Columbus-to-Macon-to-Augusta line,” said Marco Fonseca, a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Fonseca strongly discourages gardeners from trying to grow citrus in middle to north Georgia or in home landscapes lower than U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 9. The severe winter temperatures in this region of the state are detrimental to growing citrus fruits. “Georgians along the coast have had success the past few years due to the mild winters,” he said. Citrus plants can be grown as individual plants or in groups as hedges, Fonseca said. They also make excellent container plants. Georgia’s unpredictable weather also lessens homeowners’ chances of successfully growing citrus. Dowdy and his neighbors often share their harvests. “On my street alone, we have grapefruits, oranges, kumquats and tangerines growing,” he said. Despite these limitations, more and more south and coastal Georgians are giving citrus a chance in their home gardens. David Dowdy of Brunswick, Ga., is one of them. Back in Brunswick, Dowdy is already planning his next citrus experiment: “My neighbors are now growing big grapefruits that I’d put up against Florida-grown fruit. Maybe now I’ll try to grow a pineapple.” Volume XXXIIINumber 1Page 2 It was a good choice. Kumquats are the most cold hardy of commonly grown acid citrus fruits. “Kumquats have delayed growth in the spring,” Fonseca said. “This helps them avoid late freeze damage.”
The Aegon UK Staff Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme has completed its first buy-in, a £144m (€168m) deal with Phoenix Group.The insurance policy covers around a quarter of the uninsured pensioner liabilities, according to a statement.Maurice Brunet, chair of the trustees, said: “This is a key milestone for the scheme being the first buy-in as part of our long-term derisking strategy.“It helps to improve long-term security for all of our members by reducing the scheme’s exposure to future investment and longevity risks.” The trustees were advised by Hymans Robertson and Burness Paull. The transaction takes Phoenix’s year-to-date bulk annuity volumes to nearly £2bn.Separately, the Carter & Parker Limited Staff Retirement Benefits Plan (1975) has struck a £9.3m deal bulk annuity deal with Canada Life, which made the winning bid in an auction process.The pension plan is for the employees of family business Thomas B Ramsden and Co, which is more than 120 years old.K3 Advisory, a specialist independent bulk annuity and consolidator advisory business for the UK pension market, provided advice for what it said was its first bulk annuity transaction with client H&C Consulting Actuaries.Austen Ramsden, managing director of Thomas B Ramsden, said: “The specialist knowledge that K3 was able to provide, alongside the clear direction and diligence from H&C, has allowed us to secure pensioner members’ benefits below the level at which we were funding those liabilities, which I consider to be a real result.”Adam Davis, managing director at K3 Advisory, said: “Historically, small schemes have not had access to the same resources, and therefore solutions, as their larger counterparts making their situations much more challenging.”“This transaction demonstrates the best of what K3 is about, helping a small defined benefit pension scheme to not only access the bulk annuity market, but to drive excellent pricing akin to the level big schemes achieve without compromising on best member outcomes.”2019 has been a record-breaking year for bulk annuity deals in the UK pension market pension liabilities, with some expecting £40bn worth of defined benefit liabilities to end up being insured.