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Author Topic: Grapefruit that grows outside in England  (Read 617 times)

SoCal2warm

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Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« on: September 17, 2018, 01:27:39 PM »
There is a grapefruit tree growing outdoors, and which produces fruit, in the Chelsea Physic Garden, located in London.



 

A little bit of information about this grapefruit, it started off as a seedling sown in 1948 and kept in a pot until 1990, when the original owner died. It has fruited regularly every year since 1998.

It has been nick-named 'Aunt Queenie'.
The tree is located in a sheltered corner up against a brick wall under the protection of a large olive tree, and produces regular crops of large yellow fruits that hang for months on its branches.





With the thick pith and small fruit size, it doesn't look like those fruits are ripening very well in the cool climate.

A couple of possible factors that may be contributing to it being able to grow so far North: it is located in the center of a large city which probably has an effect on the localized climate, the garden is located next to the Thames river which may be having a moderating effect on the nearby temperature, the tree is growing in the corner of a sheltered walled garden. The fact that it was grown from seed and is not grafted onto a different rootstock might also be making the plant more vigorous and resilient to the cold. Since it is a white grapefruit, the variety it was sown from was most likely Duncan or Marsh, which are a bit more hardy than other common grapefruit varieties.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 09:16:22 PM by Millet »

Citradia

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 09:58:21 PM »
From what I've briefly researched, London, England has a mild maritime climate with cool summers and warm winters with temps seldom below freezing. I think the citrus grows and survives there because it doesn't freeze much. I agree with you on the poor development of fruit due to lack of warm weather; my two grapefruit trees produce similar fruit to the ones shown here, with large pith and poorly colored flesh. It seldom reaches 90 degrees at my house in NC mountains.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2018, 01:45:26 PM »
Below is a Duncan grapefruit growing in Bouches du Rhone, Southern France:


Duncan was one of the first grapefruit varieties to be commercialized. It has very good flavor but does has a fair amount of bitterness.
It is a very vigorous tree, which has a power of recovery after a frost, quite exceptional. Its resistance to cold is -8 C (23F). For a specimen like this particular tree, its resistance to cold seems to be more like -10 C (14F).

The tree froze back at -14 C but has recovered. Currently it will still bloom (send out blossoms).

Pictures and text translated from http://www.agrumes-passion.com/pamplemoussiers-pomelos-f6/topic337.html


From the picture, it looks like the tree is at least 20cm in diameter. The top has been cut back, obviously because it was freeze-killed back, but plenty of vigorous branch growth coming out below the cut. You can see the graft line about 40cm above the ground, and the total height to where the cut is looks to be about 100cm (the tree is more than 3ft high).

Most of France, including the South of the country, is in the equivalent of USDA climate zone 8, with a narrow stretch of zone 9 right along the southern coast, so I would probably estimate the location (in Bouches du Rhone) probably being 9a, or solid zone 9.
Although the temperature lows mentioned are more characteristic of zone 8, and a small part of Bouches du Rhone is in zone 8.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 01:48:02 PM by SoCal2warm »

Millet

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2018, 09:19:40 PM »
The picture of the cut fruit, looks like a pummelo due to the thickness of the peel.  I grow an in ground Marsh grapefruit, which has much larger pulp cavity.

Citradia

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2018, 08:15:56 PM »




This pink fruit is my Rio Red grapefruit that fell off tree in late October 2017 and the yellow fruit is my Croxton that was harvested or fell off, I don't remember, in late January 2018. My Croxton fruits have only at best had only a tinge of pink colored flesh. I think it doesn't get warm enough here for my grapefruits to fully mature.

mikkel

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2018, 07:18:10 AM »
@SoCal2warm I think you should name the source your information comes from.
It is http://www.homecitrusgrowers.co.uk .

Laaz

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 07:48:13 AM »
Grapefruit needs a long hot summer & heat to become ripe & edible. When red grapefruit ripen properly the pigment will bleed through the skin. These are some of mine. They are usually ripe starting in December & I left some on the tree well into June & they still had quality fruit. I have two trees that are about 30 feet tall now that I grew from seed from a super market fruit. They went through last winters freak weather of 14F with ice & snow. Both almost completely defoliated but recovered with no permanent damage. They only produced a few fruit this year, but should be back to normal next year. The last photo shows fruit still hanging from the previous year & new blooms at the same time.

 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:51:07 AM by Laaz »

Luisport

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Re: Grapefruit that grows outside in England
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2018, 08:38:36 AM »
Very beautifull fruits! Congratulations!   ;D

 

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