Tree Friend Practical

Tree Friend Practical

Practical 1

TREE FRIEND DATA SHEET – Orange (specifically Navel)

  1. Average expected life of tree, in years, from sprout to death (approx numbers)
    • When well looked after it appears over a century is quite achievable.
  2. Years until trees first fruit (ie some trees fruit within a few years, others can take decades)
    • Most commonly looking at 3-5 years.
  3. Season of year when productive tree fruits (ie Summer, Autumn, Winter Spring or combo ie Su/Au)
    • Late autumn into winter for Navels, spring into summer for Valencia.
  4. Expected or average number years tree expected to fruit for once it begins. (ie year 8 to 20 = 12 yrs)
    • 50-60 years. Some reports of over 100; at least living, possibly not producing fruit though.
  5. Country/area of origin
    • China (mentioned in literature as early as 314BC). Now the most cultivated fruit tree in the world, at 2012 sweet orange accounted for 70% of that total.
    • In 2014 Brazil was top producer, followed by China and India.
  6. Average annual rainfall in area of origin
    • 1200-1600mm in coastal regions, decreasing further inland.
  7. Latin name of tree and family
    • Citrus Sinensis (sweet orange) in the Rutaceae family.
    • Hybrid between Pomelo (citrus maxima) and Mandarin (citrus reticulata).
  8. Any other products, benefits, useful or interesting facts about of tree:
    • Some wider varieties use the peel primarily as a perfume component or to flavour Earl Grey tea.
    • Serve as rootstock for other sweet orange varieties.
    • Aromatic and ornamental within the garden.
  9. Height, width and shape of tree at maturity.
    • Some sweet oranges grow to 8-10m tall and wide (foliage spread), most common, Washington Navel, is about half that; typically, 4-5m height and width.
    • Typically, rounded form/shape.
    • Cross sectional trunk diameter ranged from 65 to 172cm2 in 2006 study by Morgan et al (Size, biomass, and nitrogen relationships with sweet orange tree growth). Calculates to 9-15cm (rounded for decimals) for diameter.
  10. Challenges or special requirements, such as needing other varieties in order to fruit.
    • Need warmth to fruit. Moderate temperature coastal regions may struggle even if in appropriate hardiness zones (9-11 based on US).
    • Tend to be disease and pest susceptible.
    • Do not like frost at all.
    • Fruit doesn’t ripen once harvested.
    • Valencia last longer on the branch and juice lasts longer after harvesting compared to Washington Navel. Navel’s tend to be sweeter, but also more susceptible to disease.
    • Navels fruit June to October, Seedless variety of Valencia and Smooth Seville variety are mid season, 1-2 months before Valencia which is late season, fruiting anywhere from November until February (depending on region can add a month either side). Navelina even earlier in late April/early May.
    • Most fruiting occurs outer 90cm of branches, terminal branching.
  11. Why choose it? (Added one for my own thoughts).
    1. Between all varieties you can cover most of the year, but Navels fruit in the late autumn and through winter seasons make it even more helpful for cold/flu season.
    2. Region of choice was largely citrus/orange orchards prior to suburbs being built in; definitely grows well here.
    3. Washington Navel can be grown quite small and is therefore accessible as a home fruit tree for a greater number of people.

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