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I know of a 124 year old Sour Orange tree growing in a container at the Monastery Of Our Lady Of The Rosary in Summit, NJ.  It is cared for by the Dominican nuns.  In fact this containerized tree was a cutting taken from the famous Saint Sabina Sour Orange tree in Rome. 

My oldest container citrus tree is a Star Ruby grapefruit which has been growing in a container for approximately 10 years. - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Words to Memorize
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:22:07 PM »
The most important sentence I have read on growing citrus, was said by Frank Turrell a citrus researcher about 1969

"As the roots grow, so grows the tree. " - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Lowest Florida Orange Crop In 30 Years
« on: June 17, 2014, 11:05:55 PM »
This years orange crop in Florida is predicted to be the lowest harvest in the last 30 years, due to the fatal Citrus Greening disease  (HLB).  The harvest dropped 28 percent from laast year's crop.. - Millet

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Citrus is in the final stages of negotiations on a roughly $1 million contract with comic book publisher Marvel Comics Worldwide Inc. to create a new Captain Citrus character to market orange juice to pre-teens and teens. Marvel Comics will remake the current Captain Citrus — which is essentially a life-sized representation of an orange — into a big buff superhero similar to his comic book and movie namesake.

Captain Citrus will transform from a gender neutral character to a big time male superhero with a superman style cape and a  colorful orange uniform.  Marvel will create and publish 1 million copies of a print comic book for free distribution to the children's schools and summer camps. The Lakeland Ledger reports that the Citrus Department and Marvel Comics hopes to kick off the new Captain Citrus this fall in an extravagant Times Square NY event.  - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Received Two Grapefruit Trees Today
« on: June 16, 2014, 10:07:03 PM »
Today I received two Marsh Seedless Grapefruit trees from Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery in Florida.  Both trees were in excellent condition, except for the root system.  Both trees were grown in the standard commercial 4x4 Citri-Pots, as is common for commercial grove trees. What I dislike about the Citri-Pot is that it forces the root to grow straight down,  and become very tightly, almost welded, into one big mass of roots.  It is very difficult to spread them out, so that the root system can be planted facing in all directions to make  a circle.  I had to take a knife and cut the root "Brick" into four sections and then try my best to unscramble the roots and then use a strong water stream to wash out the potting soil.   I don't fault Brite Leaf Nursery, as most all commercial citrus trees are grown in the Citri-Pot - except  by Four Winds Growers (my favorite supplier of citrus trees. - Millet

On April 2, 2014 I purchased two 1-year old Page mandarin trees from Four Wind Growers to run a test.  One tree was placed in a standard citrus growing medium.  The other tree was placed in a cedar mulch growing medium  (plain citrus wood chips with no filler added). At first I had to water the ceder wood chip tree every other day.  Being just a 1 year old tree, its root system was quite small.  As of today both trees have been growing in their 3-gallon Air Root Pruning Containers for 70 days. Both trees are currently flushing, which means their root systems have completed their growth cycle.  With their larger root systems, the tree growing in plain cedar wood chips only requires watering once every 4 or 5 days.  The tree growing in  cedar looks very healthy and is putting out a flush  from just about every branch .  The high root zone aeration (oxygen) level of the cedar chips is a medium that cannot be over watered, thus cannot damage the tree no matter how much water is applied.   In another month or two, I expect that the cedar will only require watering once every 10 days or so, as by that time many of the roots will have grown into the wood chips it self. Time will tell which Page Mandarin will out  perform the other. Current they are both doing about the same. - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Oranges Grown With Infused Pig Genes??
« on: June 09, 2014, 11:32:35 PM »
Orange juice may soon contain pig genes

Title: Orange juice may soon contain pig genes Content: (NaturalHealth365) The future of orange crops are at risk and pig genes may be considered part of the solution. (I’m not kidding) On July 27, the New York Times (NYT) officially staked its flag into Big Ag’s garden and into the soil of the GMO camp with its wildly controversial piece, “A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA.” The feature highlights the story of a highly influential orange grower and his undying quest to stave off Asian jumping lice and the bacteria that they carry, which has been devastating Florida’s orange crop since 2005. Committed to engineering the world’s first genetically modified orange tree, the article centers on Ricke Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus who is in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Best. According to NYT, Kress’s GMO savior would fight C. liberibacter and citrus psyllids through whatever means science determines necessary


America has fallen out of love with orange juice.

Sales dropped almost every year for the last decade. Last year, orange juice sales hit their lowest level in at least 15 years, according to Nielsen. Over the same period, per-capita consumption fell roughly 40%. And this year is looking to be another rough one for big orange. Orange juice’s precipitous decline is a big deal. For nearly five decades, the sweet beverage made its way onto more and more American breakfast tables nearly every year. At its height, almost three-quarters of American households bought and kept orange juice in their refrigerator, according to Alissa Hamilton 2009′s book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice. But shifting American eating habits—which stigmatize sugar and leave little time for breakfast—and surging juice prices have done significant damage to American demand.

Concentrate, Concentrate

America has lived without orange juice before. Until the late 1940s, orange juice wasn’t even a widely available commercial drink. The little orange juice Americans imbibed was either fresh-squeezed, or boiled and then canned—a process which helped preserve the juice, but also made it taste terrible.  After World War II, a group of scientists changed the American orange juice landscape forever. Determined to find a more palatable intersection between preservation and flavor, these scientists developed a new process roughly based on the one they saw used to dehydrate food during the war effort. Instead of boiling the juice, they heated it lightly until water evaporated. Then, they’d add a touch of fresh orange, which gave the concoction a “fresh” taste. Orange juice “from concentrate” was born. As was the industry’s marketing push.  The product was a hit. Per capita orange juice consumption jumped from under eight pounds per person in 1950, to over 20 pounds per person in 1960. Florida’s production of concentrated juice leapt from 226,000 gallons in 1946 to more than 116 million in 1962, according to a report by agricultural economist Robert A. Morris. By 1970, 90% of Florida’s oranges were being used to make orange juice and the vast majority of that was from concentrate.

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Genoa Lemon Budwood Available
« on: June 09, 2014, 10:34:08 PM »
I have Genoa Lemon budwood if anyone is interested. - Millet


Updated by artificial intelligence 17 min ago    Learn more
Retracing early cultivation steps: Lessons from comparing citrus genomes

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 12:29  in Biology & Nature

Citrus is the world's most widely cultivated fruit crop. In the U.S. alone, the citrus crop was valued at over $3.1 billion in 2013. Originally domesticated in Southeast Asia thousands of years ago before spreading throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas via trade, citrus is now under attack from citrus greening, an insidious emerging infectious disease that is destroying entire orchards. To help defend citrus against this disease and other threats, researchers worldwide are mobilizing to apply genomic tools and approaches to understand how citrus varieties arose and how they respond to disease and other stresses. In a study published in the June 2014 edition of Nature Biotechnology, an international consortium of researchers from the United States, France, Italy, Spain, and Brazil analyzed and compared the genome sequences of ten diverse citrus varieties, including sweet and sour orange along with several important mandarin and pummelo cultivars. The consortium, led by Fred Gmitter of the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center, found that these diverse varieties are derived from two wild citrus species that diverged in Southeast Asia over five million years ago.

The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) contributed to the citrus pilot project, Gmitter said, harnessing their expertise in plant genomics and capacity for high throughput sequencing. Initial support for the citrus effort arose 10 years ago under the auspices of the inaugural round of the Community Science Program (CSP -- formerly the Community Sequencing Program), which seeks to build scientific communities around cornerstone species of relevance to DOE missions in bioenergy, carbon cycling and biogeochemistry. There is a fledgling industrial effort underway in Florida to redirect the five million tons of annual citrus waste generated there from low-value cattle feed to produce ethanol for fuel. The research team's citrus trait analysis will inform breeding strategies beyond important agronomic traits.

One of these wild species gave rise to cultivated pummelo, the largest citrus fruit that can often range from two to four pounds. Surprisingly, the small, easily peeled mandarins were, in contrast, found to be genetic mixtures of a second species and pummelo. Sweet orange, the most widely grown citrus variety worldwide, was found to be a complex genetic hybrid of mandarin and pummelo, presumably accounting for its unique qualities. Seville or sour orange, commonly used in marmalade, was found to be an unrelated interspecific hybrid.

Since citrus varieties are reproduced asexually by vegetative propagation, trees producing a specific type of fruit are typically genetically identical. This growing strategy produces a uniform, high-quality fruit, but has the drawback that if one tree is susceptible to disease, they all are. By inferring the past hybridization events that gave rise to these common citrus varieties -- either in the wild populations before domestication, or in early undocumented human-directed breeding efforts -- the team hopes to enable strategies for improving citrus, including resistance to greening and other diseases. "Now that we understand the genetic structure of sweet orange, for example, we can imagine reproducing the unknown early stages of citrus domestication using modern breeding techniques that could draw from a broader pool of natural variation and resistance," Gmitter said.

The genomes presented in the published study included pummelos, oranges and mandarins. One of the sequences was the high-quality reference genome of Clementine mandarin sequenced by an international consortium including Genoscope in France, the Institute for Genomic Applications in Italy, the DOE JGI, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, with contributions from researchers in Spain and Brazil. Another was the sweet orange genome, produced jointly by researchers at the DOE JGI, the University of Florida, and 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company. By understanding the relationships between the various cultivated species with what they describe as "very narrow genetic diversity," the researchers hope to enable sequence-directed improvement, which could lead to crops that are more resistant to disease and stresses such as environmental changes.

The analyses revealed that while pummelos represent a single citrus species (Citrus maxima), the same cannot be said of cultivated mandarins, even those long held as not having intermixed with other varieties. Comparing sequences of so-called "traditional" mandarins such as the Asian cultivar Ponkan and the Mediterranean cultivar Willowleaf with mandarins known to be developed hybrids indicated that all contain segments of the pummelo genome. The "wild" Mangshan mandarin from China is an exception to the rule, as its genome revealed it was in fact a separate species from other cultivated mandarins.

The findings echo Gmitter's quip when he spoke at the DOE JGI's 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in March 2012. "Citrus has incestuous genes," he told the audience. "Nothing is pure

Citrus General Discussion / Grapefruit and Medicne Interaction
« on: June 07, 2014, 11:50:43 AM »
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The quest to develop a grapefruit hybrid that will not interact with medication has taken a step forward, as researchers pinpoint compounds most responsible for the problem, a University of Florida citrus breeder says.

Scientists have been aware of the so-called “grapefruit juice effect” since 1989. Compounds in the fruit called furanocoumarins inhibit the action of an enzyme that breaks down certain medications in the human digestive system.

The phenomenon poses a health risk because it can produce unexpectedly high levels of these medications in a patient’s bloodstream. Doctors, pharmacists and prescription drug labels warn patients to avoid grapefruit and related products under these circumstances.

The phenomenon is a disappointment for fans of the tart treat, but Fred Gmitter, a faculty member at UF’s Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, is part of a team working to address the problem by developing a hybrid between grapefruit and selected varieties of pummelo that have been shown to have low furanocoumarin content and can transmit the trait to their offspring.

In the current study, researchers investigated the effects of furanocoumarin compounds, testing each one to determine the amount required to slow the enzyme reaction by 50 percent. The results showed that a handful of furanocoumarins had the strongest effect.

More importantly, juice samples from 40 different hybrids and their parents were tested directly for their overall effect on enzyme activity, and one of the selected hybrids approved for impending release, known as UF 914, was among the samples with the lowest effect.

Gmitter said further study is needed to learn how low furanocoumarin levels must be to reduce the interaction risk.

Other members of the research team included David Greenblatt, Yanli Zhao, Michael Hanley and Jerold Harmatz of Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Medical Center in Boston; Chunxian Chen of the Lake Alfred center and Paul Cancalon of the Florida Department of Citrus in Lake Alfred. - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Amazing Health Benefits Of The Pummelo
« on: June 02, 2014, 10:14:18 PM »
Pummelo Benefits:

The benefits of pummelo fruit are listed below.

1. Prevents Urinary Tract Infection:
Urinary Tract infection is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary system that creates stores and removes urine. Increased consumption of pummelo juice helps to fight this particular frequent swelling in pregnant women. The Vitamin C present in pummelo increases the acid level in urine and shirks the development of bacteria in the urinary tract.

2. Promotes healing:
Wound recovery practice suggests recovering strength of wounded tissue by replacing the dead tissue with a healthy tissue. Enzyme in Vitamin C helps in the development of Collagen, a protein that fortifies skin making it skin flexible and initiating wound recovery.

3. Healthy gums:
Bleeding and loose gums might be a symbol of Vitamin C deficiency. Collagen development is not just essential for skin, but also essential for creating healthy and balanced gums and teeth. Pummelo helps to make the gums stronger and keeps teeth problems at bay.

4. Heart health:
Pummelo has a high content of potassium, which like Vitamin C plays an important role in supporting the heart. This essential mineral regulates blood pressure levels. Abundant in pectin, pummelo juice clears the arterial deposits accumulated in the body, thereby reducing the impurities and benefiting people with hypertension. Pummelo also reduces the cholesterol count in the body and promotes good cholesterol.

5. Prevents anemia:
 Research has shown that Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron in body. Iron deficiency often leads to anaemia i.e. shortage of blood in body. Having a diet rich in Vitamin C helps to combat iron loss and improves blood circulation.

6. Wards off cold and flu:
Eating fresh pummelo fruit or drinking pummelo juice, can help prevent toxins and free radical cells from building up in the body. Too many free radicals in the body can cause health conditions like cold, flu, asthma, bacterial infection, allergies and so on. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients which stimulates the action of antibodies and immune cells which guard the body against bacteria that cause cold and flu.

7. Fights cancer:
The skin of pummelo is very rich in bioflavonoids which fights cancer and helps to reduce pancreatic, intestinal and breast cancer. It also stops cancer from spreading by enabling the body to eliminate excess oestrogen. Fiber, present in pummelo protects from colon cancer.

8. Fights Anti ageing:
Pummelo, like grapefruits contain spermadine which protect the cell from processes related to ageing and cell damage. It combats wrinkles and skin ageing and makes the skin appear youthful, fair and soft. It not only removes free radicals that harm the skin, but also assists the body to boost the production of collagen.

9. Weight loss:
Fiber is extremely significant for weight loss. Foods high in fiber stays in the stomach for a longer time and reduces regular hunger pangs. They also need more chewing time giving the body longer time to feel satisfied and reducing the risk of too much eating. This fruit also has properties which help to burn the fat reducing the starch and sugar content in the body.

10. Prevents osteoporosis:
Uncontrolled osteoporosis can affect posture, bodily movements as well as flexibility. Treatment for brittle bones calls for a diet rich in calcium and minerals to encourage new bone development. The pulp of pummelo boosts bone health and decreases the potential risk of building brittle bones.

11. Aids digestion:
The high Vitamin C content in pummelo retains the elasticity of arteries and improves the digestive system. Although the food has high ascorbic acid content, it produces an alkaline reaction once digested.  Pummelo is filled with dietary fiber which assists in preserving normal bowel motions and avoids haemorrhoids.

Citrus General Discussion / Xie Shan Satsuma Trees
« on: May 31, 2014, 02:08:06 PM »
For those of you who are looking for a Xie Shan Satsuma tree,  Harris Citrus of Florida now has them in stock.  Xie Shan is among the very best tasting citrus variety.  It is a September/October early maturing cultivar.  - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Gibberillic Acid (GA3)
« on: May 26, 2014, 02:46:20 PM »
Has anyone used gibberellic acid (GA3) as a "pollinator" to set fruit on their citrus trees?  I have and got a huge amount of the blossoms to set fruit on the tree. GA3 also works assome  on tomatoes andpeppers. - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Dr. brown's Colo Hardy Article
« on: May 26, 2014, 02:08:34 PM »
I E-mailed Dr. Brown's cold hardy citrus article to everyone that requested a copy.  If you did not receive a copy, or if I missed anyone  let me know. - Millet

Cold Hardy Citrus / Want A Citrus Tree In A Cold Yard?
« on: May 23, 2014, 09:49:04 PM »
Would you like to grow a citrus tree in your yard, but you don't live in California or Florida?  Would you like to have the only citrus tree in your area? A citrus tree growing outside the warm citrus built would be a tree never before seen by your neighbors.  With the many cold hardy citrus varieties available, you can do this. There  are 30 to 40 citrus varieties citrus that can be grown out of the citrus built with either no protection, or with protection of a couple weeks a year. 

TRIFOLIATE ORANGE ( Poncirus trifoliata) - The most hardy citrus that can be grown without protection as far north as Washington DC in most areas is Trifoliate Orange (Poncirus trifoliata).  This hardy citrus tree is generally given a hardy temperature rating of -15-F (-26-C).  If the Flying Dragon cultivar is planted you will have a strangely crooked but beautiful looking tree.

ICHANG PAPEDA (generally hardy to 0-F (-18-C): is a slow-growing species of Citrus, which has a characteristic lemon scented foliage and flowers. It is native of China. Its main claim to fame is its unusual hardiness, with the exception of Poncirus trifoliata, it is the hardiest citrus tree, tolerating both moderate frost and damp conditions. For this reason, it is one the only species of true citrus which can be reliably grown outside in the temperate areas of Europe and the United States. The tree produces a small mandarin like fruit that is quite fragrant, ripening to yellow or orange. Most people grow the Ichang papeda as an ornamental. The best known of its hybrids include the Ichang lemon, and the popular yuzu, both of which have a number of culinary uses and are notably cold-hardy.

There are many other cold hardy citrus cultivars, some that have a taste sufficient to be eaten out of hand, and still can be grown in colder areas.  These will be added to this post in the days ahead. - Millet   

Cold Hardy Citrus / How Cold Can My Citrus Tree Sustain?
« on: May 21, 2014, 04:03:49 PM »
This is a question which everyone has, but is the hardest question to answer.  With citrus trees, this can be even more difficult to answer than for other plants.  Although citrus, like all plants, have definite limits to how much cold they can take, where that line is drawn depends upon not only the lowest temperature reached but also the duration of the freeze, the size and health of the tree, how well watered the plant is preceding the freeze, micro-climates, and what mechanical protection is used in the landscape.  (Taken from the booklet "Hardy Citrus For The Southeast)- Millet

I have found the long lost part-2 article titled "The Cold Hardy Citrus of Texas".  If you would like a copy contact me using the private message on this site.  Give me your E-mail address and I will send you a copy..  Many of Dr. Brown's  cold hardy citrus varieties are discussed, such as his Poncirus Hybrids, Chinotto Hybrids, Yuzu Hybrids and his many Changsha Hybrids. Also is how he conducted many of his experiments.  Dr. John R. Brown, M.D. was a retired family practitioner in Franklin, Texas.  He has been an enthusiast of cold hardy citrus since youth, and has hybridized many citrus fruits for over four decades at his home in Houston and at farms in east Texas.  Dr. Brown's name has became world famous as a cold hardy citrus researcher.   We hope to make this site a home for those interest in furthering Cold Hardy Citrus - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / How To Win A Citrus Fruit Competition
« on: May 17, 2014, 11:00:40 PM »
To obtain a large clean looking fruit suitable for competition, here are a few hints. After the bloom has set small fruitlets, wait until you are sure that they will be retained by the tree, because 60 percent of the first small fruit are normally dropped from the tree in the first month.   When the remaining fruit reaches the size of a large marble;, or ping pong ball, it is time to select what fruit to remove/prune from the tree.  A citrus fruit draws its entire required nutrition to grow from its beginning to maturity only from the closest 3-4 leaves to the fruit.   Therefore, go around the tree and prune the crop so that there is only one fruit per every 4 leaves.   For in ground trees, if your citrus tree is 3 years old you will need to fertilize the tree 5 times  per year, 4 year old tree fertilize 4 times and for trees 5+ years of age fertilize 4 times a year.  Careful tree maintenance for insects (mites, mealy bugs, scale and aphids) must be maintained to prevent peel scaring.  When the competition  nears select the largest fruit from the tree, one having the deepest coloration and cleanest peel.  This may or may not  be a fruit from the south side of the tree.  Before entering the fruit into competition, polish it it with a high quality food grade oil.  Good luck. - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Sending pictures.
« on: May 07, 2014, 03:41:39 PM »
Some members have asked why their pictures have shown up sideways.  I asked the forum's administration and here is the answer.   'I think the reason the pics are showing up sideways is because they are not adjusting them before uploading them. Tell the people with the issue to rotate the picture BEFORE uploading it and it should work. If they are uploading from their phone, it may be more difficult." - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Rootstocks Tolerant to Citrus Greening
« on: May 06, 2014, 10:16:56 PM »
The University of Florida's  Lake Alfred breeding program has found several rootstocks that appear to tolerate greening better than existing trees, Grosser told several hundred growers at a Thursday morning seminar in Bonita Springs.

A commercial citrus tree is a combination of two varieties. A rootstock is designed primarily for the soil conditions in an area. A scion produces a specific fruit variety, such as a Valencia orange or a white grapefruit, is grafted onto the rootstock.

Tolerance means the rootstock has a lower frequency of greening infection or, if infected, the disease has less an effect on tree health, Grosser said.

The greening-tolerant rootstocks are ready for widespread field tests, at least an acre of plantings in various parts of the state, he said. That's the next test before one or more of the rootstocks can be released to growers for general use. - Millet

Citrus General Discussion / Valentine Pummelo
« on: May 04, 2014, 08:52:35 PM »
Supposedly Valentine pummelos are ready to harvest around Valentine's day.   Hooserquilt suggested to leave the fruit hanging on the tree for another 4 to 6 weeks past Valentine's day. Doing so makes the fruit taste much MUCH better.  Today, May 4th I pick my last Valentine pummelo.  My wife and I ate it for breakfast, it was very dark red, large, sweet - and wonderful.  Hooserquilt your  correct AGAIN. - Millet

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / For Trade Lemonade seeds
« on: April 29, 2014, 03:28:34 PM »
Originally posted by Starling 1 - Very Fresh; has the outer appearance of lime, tastes like lemonade (devoid of bitterness/sourness). Cross of lemon/mandarin. Picture included. Over 25 seeds. Will ship in sphagnum to minimize rot/drying.  Not asking anything in return other than a willingness to post certain seeds/items from the US to Australia at some point in the future

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