Please help me identify this citrus tree

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MrsH

New Member
I didn't know where to put this, so I've submitted it in the general section.

I "inherited" this citrus tree when I bought this house in December 2006 (I'm in Houston, TX). Two and a half years later, it is bearing its first load of fruit. (I do not know, though, *when* the tree was planted.) However, I have no idea what fruit it is! I have taken several photographs of the tree and hope that someone on here can identify it.
Here are some characteristics that aren't covered by the photographs:
- The leaves do not have a very fragrant aroma when crushed (opposed to my lime tree that has very fragrant leaves).
- I cut off one fruit, thinking it was a lime (before I did the leaf test) and cut it open. (This was about two months ago.) Inside the fruit, the rind was rather thick and the fruit peeled away from the rind easily. The fruit was white(ish), although it had a slight pinky-yellow tinge to it. There were little to no seeds.
- The fruit tasted slightly sweet, not very acidic.
- The flowers bloomed around April and they were plain white (I think they were relatively similar in shape to my lime tree flowers). The flowers were fragrant.
- The tree is no more than three feet tall. Although it is difficult to ascertain its exact height because the tree is sort of bent over. I'm trying to brace it to help it grow straight. It has not grown much (if at all) since I moved into the house in December 2006.
- It did not bear any fruit or flowers before April 2009.

Here are the photographs:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Topofcitrusfruit.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/2fruittogether.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Clusteroffruit.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Sideangleoffruit.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Sideangleof1fruit.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Anotherpictureofcitrusleaf.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Semi-closeupoftree.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Pictureofwholetree.jpg

Thank you, in advance, for any help. I'd love to know what type of citrus this is, so that I can harvest it at the correct time. :)

ps - I do not think it is a grapefruit because, as you can see from the leaf photograph, the leaf does not have pronounced petioles. Also, it is not a lime or a lemon. I'd love to know if it is a mandarin (or satsuma) and what type, so I can know when to harvest. :)
 

MrsH

New Member
Look's alot like a Navel orange my MIL has one just like this.
Thank you! I will start looking up Navel oranges to see if the descriptions fit my plant.

Do you happen to know when your MIL picks hers off her tree? (Or, if we live in different regions and so the growing season is different, what color the skin will become? and what color should it be when I pick it?) And how big has her tree become? Mine is at least 3 years old but hasn't grown much larger than when I saw it the first time I looked at the house in 2006 (probably no more than three feet, although the main trunk is rather bent so I can't ascertain exactly how tall the tree is).

Thank you! :)
 

Kya D

Active Member
Hi Mrs. H
I have no knowledge about citrus trees but I do want to say WELCOME. I am so glad you joined us here.
We have some really smart people here I am sure they can help ID your tree.
 

Dor

Active Member
Mrs H welcome to a great site. I am glad you joined us.

I don't grow citrus but I do live in the Houston area. I am in Ft. Bend. county. If you are in Harris cty look on the county extension office website and see what they havew about gorwing citrus trees and when to harvest the fruit. I hope you can find something about it. Since we have a long gorwing season I would think it is sometime in the late summer.
 

MrsH

New Member
Hi Mrs. H
I have no knowledge about citrus trees but I do want to say WELCOME. I am so glad you joined us here.
We have some really smart people here I am sure they can help ID your tree.
Thank you for welcoming me! Sadly, I am not one of the savvy gardeners, so I will probably be of no help to other people... :/ But I will try, if I can!

I do hope someone can help me ID my tree!
 

MrsH

New Member
Mrs H welcome to a great site. I am glad you joined us.

I don't grow citrus but I do live in the Houston area. I am in Ft. Bend. county. If you are in Harris cty look on the county extension office website and see what they havew about gorwing citrus trees and when to harvest the fruit. I hope you can find something about it. Since we have a long gorwing season I would think it is sometime in the late summer.
I'm new to Houston -- I didn't even know there was a county extension office website! So thank you for letting me know about that. :)

I will look at that website as soon as I find out what this plant is, so then I can help it grow to be healthy and happy!
 

Dor

Active Member
I'm new to Houston -- I didn't even know there was a county extension office website! So thank you for letting me know about that. :)

I will look at that website as soon as I find out what this plant is, so then I can help it grow to be healthy and happy!
We have some members here with lots of knowledge MrsH than can help you. You can also gain know from trial and error. I am sure we all have gained some that way. I sure have. It is a pretty tree and it had lots of true on it. When I looked at the pics, I thought it looked a lot like an orange tree too. That is most likely what it is. I found these websites when I typed in growing citrus in the gulf coast. I hope they help you.


http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/citrus/citrus.html[/url]
http://www.southeasttexasgardening.info/treercmd.htm
 
Last edited:

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
I had forgotten all about citrus fruit in Texas. But I remember it was really a big item down in the Rio Grande Valley. I remember my uncle stopping at our house in San Antonio when he was heading north with a load of fruit. That was in 1942.
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Mrs. H,
If in fact you have a naval ornage you will know when to pick them. When the first fruit drops from the tree you better hurry. You fruits ( if you were in Florida) would be ready about Dec-Feb depending on the weather. BEing in Tx I would imagine they would be about the same time frame. There are so many types of citrus that you may not know for sure until they are ripe. Most , except for key limes, have the very same leaf structure and patterns, only the fruits aloow and untrained grower to tell them apart.
Good luck, and please share with us what type of tree you were blessed with.
 

Spider_Lily

Active Member
Thank you! I will start looking up Navel oranges to see if the descriptions fit my plant.

Do you happen to know when your MIL picks hers off her tree? (Or, if we live in different regions and so the growing season is different, what color the skin will become? and what color should it be when I pick it?) And how big has her tree become? Mine is at least 3 years old but hasn't grown much larger than when I saw it the first time I looked at the house in 2006 (probably no more than three feet, although the main trunk is rather bent so I can't ascertain exactly how tall the tree is).

Thank you! :)
In November they begin to turn a pale yellow color.
Then get a darker yellow when she pick's her's.Her tree is probally 8 ft.tall she keeps it trimmed back.It's probally 5yrs.old
 

MrsH

New Member
In November they begin to turn a pale yellow color.
Then get a darker yellow when she pick's her's.Her tree is probally 8 ft.tall she keeps it trimmed back.It's probally 5yrs.old
November - got it! Thank you :)

Mine (as you can see from the photographs) are green still.

Sadly, I have no idea how old my tree is, but it was here when we looked at the house (3 1/2 months before we moved in) in September 2006. And it hasn't grown up much since then.

I really want to cut one open and look at the inside, but there aren't a lot of them on the tree, so I don't want to waste any. lol

Thank you for your responses! It has been really helpful. :)
 

MrsH

New Member
Mrs. H,
If in fact you have a naval ornage you will know when to pick them. When the first fruit drops from the tree you better hurry. You fruits ( if you were in Florida) would be ready about Dec-Feb depending on the weather. BEing in Tx I would imagine they would be about the same time frame. There are so many types of citrus that you may not know for sure until they are ripe. Most , except for key limes, have the very same leaf structure and patterns, only the fruits aloow and untrained grower to tell them apart.
Good luck, and please share with us what type of tree you were blessed with.
I will post pictures as soon as I pick one and know what it is. :)
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's how I check my apples and pears. When I cut one open, if they have dark brown or black seeds, they are ready to pick.
 

MrsH

New Member
That's how I check my apples and pears. When I cut one open, if they have dark brown or black seeds, they are ready to pick.
Yes, I think discovering what kind of citrus this is will be a process of trial and error and process of elimination! :)
 

MrsH

New Member
Mystery (mostly!) solved!!! One fell off the tree yesterday. (I don't know if it fell, if the wind knocked it off, or if a cat knocked it off.)

The skin is green still - but look at the inside! The skin, still being unripe, was not yielding enough yet for me to peel it easily with my fingers, so I cut it open. However, once cut, the skin peeled easily away from the fruit. The segments peeled apart easily. There were no seeds inside.

I think it's a mandarin variety (I don't know which cultivar - is that the correct word??? - yet). I'm so excited!!!

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g44/ICH76/Insideofcitrus.jpg

ps - if anyone can identify the exact cultivar (I don't know why I continue using this word if I don't know if it's correct - it sounds correct in my head... lol), I would be thrilled!
 


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