Tree Week: How to Pick the Right Orange Tree


Posted by Green Thumb Gardener | Posted in Fruit Trees, Green Thumb Gardening | Posted on 27-08-2010

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If you live in a hot, humid sub-tropical zone like Florida or California, you have many options for growing fruit trees. You are lucky enough to be able to support almost any type of plant as long as you prevent pests from taking over. You should consider growing an orange tree, as these are usually easy to maintain and produce some of the most delicious fruits. The orange is one of the most popular fruits worldwide due to its sweetness, juiciness, and distinctive flavor.

The orange tree can reach up to 50 feet in height towards its later years, so you should definitely take that into account when planning. Even if you’re starting with a very small tree, plan ahead and place it in an open area so that it will have plenty of room to expand. If you make the same mistake I did, you will end up having to renovate your yard to some extreme measures, such as taking out an entire shed. Just take the necessary precautions beforehand and avoid all of this trouble.

The ideal soil for growing an orange tree would be fine sand with great drainage. The soil should be deep enough to allow for extensive root development, since the trees are known for reaching monstrous sizes and requiring lots of support from down below. If you have shallow, easily saturated soil then you should either do something to remedy it or move onto a different type of tree. It is most likely that attempting to grow an orange tree in these conditions would be disastrous.

One of the more popular types of orange is the “Washington Navel”. It probably came about as a mutation of other oranges. It originated in Brazil around 1820, and had moved on to Florida within fifteen years. It is characterized by being one of the largest of all available oranges. The peel or rind is easily removed. Usually it is not as juicy as other oranges, but has an intense flavor. These are the most popular orange trees for commercial growing. If you decide on one of these trees, you probably won’t have to water as much.

Another type of orange is the “Trovita”. It was invented sometime in the early 1900s at a lab in California devoted to experimenting with new types of citruses. It started being publicly marketed around 1940. It doesn’t have a very strong flavor, and has more seeds than a Washington Navel. However, it was designed to be more adaptable to harsher, hot and dry environments that would not be acceptable for other types of orange. Some of the more popular oranges in Florida right now are mutations of this type.

The ‘Valencia’ is one of the most juicy and flavorful oranges. It is most popular in South Africa and the southern USA states. Until about 20 years ago, Valencia oranges made up a strangely large portion of the orange market due to its popularity. It is thought to have been invented in China. It has almost no seeds. Another subgroup of Valencia oranges are the “Rhode Red Valencia” oranges. These were created around 1960, so they are slightly more recent than other types. Various mutations occurred and the trees that grew as a product of them were large and extremely hardy. The oranges themselves are more juicy and less acidic than the standard Valencia oranges.

Orange trees are a great thing to get planted, because with just a little effort in the planting process you will be able to enjoy hundreds of delicious fruits every year. Just pick whatever orange sounds the most delicious, and go with it! Before you purchase a tree, you should of course consult a local expert to make sure your desired type will flourish in your area. Usually this won’t be a problem, but it is always good to make sure before you spend the money and time.

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