Author Topic: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?  (Read 1431 times)

FV Fruit Freak

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Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« on: June 19, 2022, 11:46:42 PM »
I have a dwarf Meyer lemon tree Ive been grafting mandarins and oranges onto the last couple years. They are all growing well but have not fruited yet as grafts are still young.

So, will grafting oranges/mandarins onto lemon rootstock make the fruit have sour notes? I read somewhere that it could but was hoping someone on here has personal experience. Thanks
Nate

pagnr

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2022, 03:24:42 AM »
A Citrus orchardist I knew grew Oranges on Rough Lemon, mainly for the 2 weeks earlier cropping, and because of soil type. As far as I know they were not any extra sour.
To be honest, some of the Citrus fruit in shops or Orange Juice has travelled and been cold stored so much that any fresh orange or mandarin will probably be better.

Millet

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2022, 12:54:35 PM »
I don't know about grafting onto a lemon rootstock.  However, almost nobody ever uses regular lemon rootstock, so there must be a reason. I have heard that it  produces very bland fruit.

sc4001992

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2022, 02:07:54 PM »
I have a multi-grafted tree on Lisbon lemon tree (old big one, 30yrs) since I did not have many large citrus trees when I started to graft new varieties from CCPP budwood. So,my lemon tree has about 30+ varieties on it and the fruit seems to taste good. Maybe it does affect the taste of sumo since the other shiranui grafts on my lime tree, grapefruit tree, Gold Nugget, and pomelo trees seems to taste sweeter than the sumo on my large lemon tree. It doesn't seem to change the sweetness on the Xie Shan, Ponkan, and New Zealand lemon. Maybe next season I should be able to tell if the sumo on the lemon tree is still not as sweet as the other rootstock.

vnomonee

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2022, 06:06:40 PM »
I have a Xie Shan grafted to a lemon seedling, and another on Yuzu. The lemon one is growing more vigorously, won't know how the fruit is until probably next year but have read it won't be as good as it should taste?

Galatians522

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2022, 11:13:44 PM »
The old charts put out by UF that I have seen indicate that trees on rough lemon produced a higher volume of fruit, but with approximately 1 degree lower brix (when compared to sour orange or Swingle). I don't recall acids being significantly affected. Varieties with a high sugar content (like Valencia) are fine on lemon stock, but it does not work out as well for low sugar fruit (like Hamlin). While that may not transfer directly to a Meyer Lemon, I think the principle would apply. If you plan to top work, I would stick with the varieties mentioned above that have been tried and worked well.

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2022, 05:25:26 AM »
They don't use lemon root stock because a lemon is weaker than an orange. It is less cold hearty and not any more disease resistant. The weakness might mean a less hearty less sweet tree but it doesn't effect the genetics of the bud wood.


That being said Meyer is not a true lemon and it's cold hearty. I don't see any advantage though vs own roots.

A sour orange is essentially just a wild orange. If you plant a sweet orange seed 90% of the time it will grow a sour orange. But from seed it's larger deeper roots healthier than rooting a graft also more cold hearty. Then trifoliate orange is a lot more cold hearty and so on.

But the main advantage of root stock is not the type but that it was grown from seed and thus tougher. If you root a cutting, Meyer lemon in this case and use it for root stock, why not just root the bud wood you want? Or grow a Meyer lemon seed and use that as a root.

pagnr

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2022, 06:11:39 AM »
I recently found a fruiting Rough Lemon Rootstock in an abandoned yard.
The lower part of the tree had Navel Oranges growing.
Looks like a rootstock sucker has started to take over.
I ate an Orange, it was a little small and had tight skin.
Not sure of the actual Navel variety, early or late etc.
It is Navel Orange season here now, probably midway in the picking season.
The Orange flavour was quite acceptable, clearly orange.
It definitely tasted of Orange, not Lemon.
However there was a slight sourness at the end.
It wasn't the richest Naval Orange flavour, but it wasn't as bad as old oranges either.
Not sure how much this was due to the rootstock or fruit ripeness or lack of attention. ??
I will grab a few later and see how they improve.

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2022, 11:00:50 AM »
Ok. This is what I was saying. "Sour orange" is just a regular orange grown from seed. In the wild oranges are barely edible- either full of seeds, or sour like a lemon (though you can make orange aide like lemonaid out of them). There just a few selections that are very sweet, which they clone by grafting or by rooting the sticks.

When they use "sour orange" root stock it's just an orange tree grown from seed. Who knows what the parent was. Could be they just grew some navel oranges from seed.

Citrus is usually grafted because even though you can root a cutting, it doesn't grow a tap root. It's going to be a small bush with shallow roots in the top soil. It will be much weaker than a normal tree- less cold resistant, less resistant to drought or disease, it won't live as long though it could survive a really long time like 50 years or something. They are cool if you want a small tree and are willing to water it and take care of it because it won't survive drought or low nurtients, weeds or anything else very well. They are good for container plants.

Even if you graft, let's say a navel orange, onto a navel orange you grew from seed, it's a lot healthier. It will have a deep tap root, have better cold tolerance, better disease resistance. A lot of times they use a dwarf root stock which will grow bigger than a rooted cutting, but smaller than normal, because you don't want a tree too tall to reach the fruit. Or trifoliate orange is extremely cold hardy and disease resistant etc. will transfer some of that to the top of the tree.

If you grow a citrus straight from seed you get a different result yet. You actually get a big shade tree. The fruit will be so high up you won't be able to reach it. The tree is extremely healthy, much more resistant to disease, cold or drought than anything grown from a cutting. But oranges are not true to seed and revert to a wild type, usually various degrees of sour. Though it's possible to get a small percentage that are sweet.

Grapefruit is the best from seed. They come pretty true to seed and taste slightly better because the tree is just bigger and healthier, but the tree is so huge. The other thing, from seed it takes 7 years minimal to bear fruit. Even when the tree is huge it won't bear fruit. If you grow from a cutting they bear fruit immediately. You'll also get larger thorns or other undesirable traits on stuff grown from seed because the main cloned varieties are selected for desirable traits.

You found a "sour orange" root stock that might actually be slightly sweet because the parent was probably a sweet orange.

If you are grafting citrus, it doesn't make much sense to graft onto a rooted cutting, unless you are growing them in containers. The only way to get a strong root system is to grow citrus from seed.

Millet

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2022, 12:33:47 PM »
Planting sweet orange seeds do  not grow sour orange trees.  Most all sweet orange varieties grow true from seed.

Flgarden

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2022, 02:26:28 PM »
I am not a citrus expert, but many years ago an orange seed was planted in my yard and after 10 years it produced perfect sweet oranges.
Ana

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2022, 08:50:17 PM »
Strange. I have seen a lot of different ones in Florida none of them producing good oranges. Edible maybe but not good like the original. But here Valencia doesn't survive. Too cold sensitive. It's mainly navels, Hamlin's, tangelos. Or was. They are dead now from greening. Spit the seeds out they grow on their own. Fruit ranges from totally sour like a lemon to slightly sour like a sweet grapefruit. None of them like the parent but then those wild ones usually their seeds are true to type

Millet

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2022, 09:42:14 PM »
1Rainman,  Type in "do oranges grow true from seed"  and see what Google tells you.

kumin

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2022, 09:56:02 PM »
Sour orange is a Citrus species (Citrus aurantium). Sweet and Sour oranges are distinct species. Sour orange is frequently used as a Citrus rootstock. Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is utilized as a juice and fresh table orange.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2022, 09:58:13 PM by kumin »

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2022, 10:21:46 PM »
I lived in Florida my whole life. Grew many orange trees from seed. Sour oranges and regular oranges are exactly the same other than sugar content except the trifoliate orange. Zero commercial citrus is grown from seed. Literally lived around orange groves my whole life. Because the seeds are not the same as the parent. Various oranges are the same species. They bloom different times, have different levels of sweetness and vary in other characteristics. The clones that are commonly grown are literally the best of the best selections.

Now look at grapefruit. They weren't commonly eaten until recently. A non red grapefruit is literally the wild type. So not much variation. There aren't a lot of grapefruit varieties that are wildly different other than recent creations. I can say from countless experience oranges from seed are not as good. I have grown oranges from seed from the store that are sour like a lemon when the fruit it came out of was sweet.

Not saying it's impossible. It's like saying Arnold Schwarzeneggers kids are all going to look the same as him. He's not an average human rather an unusual specimen and children of outliers regress back to the mean.

It's the same with grapes. You get something similar but a grape from seed is rarely going to be as good as chardonnay. They literally have used the same clones for 100 years for that reason. Same with oranges. There's thousands grown and hit with radiation to mutate them to get better varieties.

kumin

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2022, 04:28:48 AM »
Citrus genetics differ from those of the majority of familiar plants. A phenomenon known as nucellar embryony is found in many Citrus cultivars. Cultivars affected by nucellar embryony will have varying percentages f their seedlings being true clones of the mother tree. Dancy mandarin orange produces nearly 100% nucellar embryos, meaning nearly all are clones of the mother tree. Pollen contributors will have no genetic influence on the overwhelming majority of the seedlings.

By contrast Pomelos, Citrons, Meyer lemon, Clementine tangor, Temple tangor, etc will have zero nucellar embryo seedlings. Their seedlings will show great variability and no clones.
Many Citrus cultivars fall between the extremes of only producing zygotic or only producing nucellar embryos. These cultivars will produce some nucellar seedlings as well as some zygotic seedlings. Rootstock nurseries visually examine Citrus rootstock seedlings and remove the atypical seedlings in a process defined as "roguing".
Online searches will reveal the intricacies of most of these interesting aspects of citriculture.
Nucellar seedlings are somewhat analogous to identical twins. Zygotic seedlings are somewhat analogous to fraternal twins, or ordinary siblings.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2022, 05:00:35 AM by kumin »

pagnr

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2022, 08:48:10 AM »
I have a few Sweet Orange seedling rootstocks from purchased trees, that have fruited after the graft died.
The fruit are definitely oranges, nice sized but not sweet enough to bother eating.
They are not the Sour Orange species, Citrus aurantium but they are "sour oranges"
On the other hand some older trees around here are old Sweet Orange rootstocks. Fruit is fantastic, apart from the seeds.

Galatians522

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2022, 07:42:55 PM »
This article should prove very interesting to those who have participated in the discussion about seedling orange trees. It is a historical and first hand account. For those of literary bent, the Orange Lake region mentioned was made famous by author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (who wrote Cross Creek and a number of other Florida themed books). The article also hold interest for the original topic because it points out that sweet oranges budded to sour stock still produce sweet fruit.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://journals.flvc.org/fshs/article/download/103359/99287&ved=2ahUKEwizsPGY37D5AhUFVjABHQRcAdUQFnoECBYQAQ&usg=AOvVaw21I42R80f8L36P6wPqp7wP

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2022, 08:24:23 PM »
I did a quick Google search. Found this. Someone who actually grew an orange from seed describing exactly what I describe and the person who learned about orange trees in college or by reading books replying that they normally are true to seed. Having tasted some 30 different orange trees grown from seed not once we're they the same. If you plant 50 of them you might get 5 or so as sweet as the parent if it's one of the highly sweet popular varieties. If it's already a wild orange almost all will be like the parent.
https://www.chron.com/life/gardening/article/Will-orange-trees-grown-from-seed-bear-sweet-1549534.php


Millet

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2022, 03:52:16 PM »
Galatians 522,   thanks for the article on the history of Parson Brown and his oranges.  Anyone even slightly interested in the citrus industry has heard of the Parson.  Enjoyable reading.  Thanks again.

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2022, 11:49:08 PM »
Pagnr where are you located? I used to be an orange juice addict and used to be citrus trees in nearly every yard. Now they are all dead or diseased except stuff grown from seed and those trees can be edible but low quality.

I'm possibly wrong but I think most citrus seeds are self pollinated they just revert back to a more wild state because it's rare to be super sweet and few seeds.

I'm in Florida so it's hard to find any good citrus any more. Though there are some new varieties that are fairly disease resistant.

pagnr

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2022, 01:42:17 AM »
Australia.....No HLB so far.
Livestock farmers here are fretting because Foot and Mouth has broken out in Indonesia.
Bali in Indonesia is Australia's most popular holiday destination.

On top of that varroa mite, pest of honey bees has got into NSW at a port, from overseas shipping, spread further.
Beehive for pollination are restricted to be moved in some areas.


Galatians522

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2022, 03:00:48 PM »
Citrus is kindof unique among plants because some cultivars are polyembryonic and others are monoembryonic. Poly seeds will put up multiple sprouts. Some of those sprouts will be genetic clones of the mother tree (regardless of what pollinated the seed). The rate for clones varies by variety but can be as high as 98%. If you plant a mono seed, you can probably reverse that percentage (2% or less will be like the parent). I worked for a friend in his citrus nursery for a few months and one of my jobs was to remove off type seedlings or those that had "J" roots. It was rare to find off types and mostly I pulled "J" roots. However, one qualification for a good rootstock is that it grows true from seed. Even though fruit quality among rootstocks is poor, many of them are actually hybrids (Swingle, Carrizo, and X639 come to mind) but still grow true from seed. Rough Lemon, Cleopatra tangerine, and Smooth Flat Sevile sour orange are wild type (or close to it) citrus that are still used as rootstock and that we grew in the nursery as well. While I am not familiar with all citrus rootstocks, only two come to mind that produce a sweet scion quality fruit. One is the Duncan grapefruit (which was once used as a rootstock on flatwoods soils but fell out of favor due to susceptibility to foot rot). The other is Ridge Pineapple, a sweet orange cultivar which saw a brief surge in popularity after people lost whole groves on sour orange to tristezia (the sweet orange scions were resistant to tristezia but the sour orange roots they were on were not). It produces a fruit of excellent quality with a beautiful peel (although it is seedy). I have seen whole seedling groves of this variety in the wild (50 or more trees) that exibited very few differences in characteristics even though rough lemon, grapefruit, and a few tangerines were scattered through the same hammock and would surely have cross pollinated with the oranges. Out of the hunderds of citrus trees in that hammock (and many others), I have never found a hybrid tree. Ridge Pineapple is not used much as a rootstock anymore because it was water needy and better options for tristezia that still produced high brix fruit became more common (ie Swingle). In the nursery, we did no genetic testing and probably missed many seedlings that looked similar but were not true clones. This accounts for some of the variation in the growth and survival of trees that can be seen in a grove in my opinion. I have heard some reports that nurseries are having issues with some of the new USDA rootstocks not being reliable from seed. Other scion quality fruits that we have grown from seed include Orlando Tangelo and Meiwa kumquat. About half a dozen Orlando seedlings and a dozen meiwa kumquats all produced sweet fruit virtually indistiguishable from the parent tree. Persian lime was a miserable failure from seed--the fruits were dry and insipid nothing like the parent tree. Unlike older breeders who used a lot of polyembryonic varieties in their work, modern breeding programs typically use monoembryonic stock for breeding. This saves a lot of time sifting through the clones, but as a result many cultivars of recent development will not come true from seed.

1rainman

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2022, 03:10:01 PM »
I'm guessing one factor is sour or semi sour are more hardy than sweet. So the stuff that survived on its own tend to be lower quality.

Some of these wild oranges I saw may be hybrids. Some of them are oranges others look and taste similar to ugly fruit but less sweet. Like edible grapefruit sweet but not that great. I think that's how most hybrids come out all weird like ugly fruit but I do love ugly fruit.

If you don't know what that is it's a natural hybrid they found growing wild but tastes much like a tangerine on the inside but ugly and disfigured looking.

Galatians522

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Re: Mandarins and oranges grafted onto lemon tree, good idea?
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2022, 03:18:58 PM »
I'm guessing one factor is sour or semi sour are more hardy than sweet. So the stuff that survived on its own tend to be lower quality.

Some of these wild oranges I saw may be hybrids. Some of them are oranges others look and taste similar to ugly fruit but less sweet. Like edible grapefruit sweet but not that great. I think that's how most hybrids come out all weird like ugly fruit but I do love ugly fruit.

If you don't know what that is it's a natural hybrid they found growing wild but tastes much like a tangerine on the inside but ugly and disfigured looking.

Yes, I think sour citrus does tend to be tougher. The one exception that I know to that was what I mentioned about tristezia and sour orange. Tristezia will infect sweet orange but it won't kill it. It will kill sour orange. I have eaten Ugli Fruit, but I have never grown one. I believe that it is considered a tangelo and is mono embryonic so it would be unusual for it to grow true from seed.

 

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