Author Topic: Thomasville v. Morton?  (Read 1004 times)

bussone

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Thomasville v. Morton?
« on: November 14, 2022, 09:58:02 AM »
Is there anything to recommend a Morton over a Thomasville, or is the Thomasville considered superior in basically all comparisons?

It seems to have better vigor, fruit, and hardiness than the Morton.

I ask only because the neighboring town is called Morton and thus the name appeals to me, but aside from that I cannot fathom a reason to prefer it. Anyone with a minority view?

jim VH

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2022, 12:31:09 PM »
Hi Bussone,

     I have both Morton Citrange and Thomasville Citrangequat, both on Flying Dragon rootstock.  Both are about eight feet tall.  They are two completely different animals.  (Animals?  Well, they both do have a bit of a bite to them.) 
     The Morton Citrange is a 50-50 hybrid of an orange and a Poncirus Trifoliate and has large orange sized fruit that typically ripens in late November, here in my short growing season location.  It tastes like an orange, with an off-flavor I don't enjoy at all.  But that's subjective; a local board member loves them and comes to get them in December.  It bears relatively heavily; I get fifteen pounds or more, most years.
     The Thomasville Citrangequat is a cross between a Citrange and a kumquat.  It has kumquat  sized fruit that can be harvested green in November, here.  The flavor is like a Key Lime–a lime flavor with a touch of bitter–which I enjoy and use in a number of culinary applications.  It's rather shy bearing; I typically get less than five pounds.
     The Morton Citrange is much hardier than the Thomasville Citrangequat.  A two week arctic blast in January 2017, with one low near 8F, caused extensive small twig damage to the Thomasville; the Morton Citrange snickered at the cold and had no discernable damage.  Based on this, I'd guess that the Morton could survive down to Zero Fahrenheit, or maybe a bit lower, making it a zone 7 plant, whereas as the Thomasville is more of a zone 8 plant.  Although, being in Pennsylvania, your arctic weather events would last much longer than mine, based on my experience in living in Michigan for thirteen years, so that may have a bearing on survivability of the Morton in your location.  The Thomasville wouldn't survive at all in your location, without protection.
     Hope this helps,

Jim

hardyvermont

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2022, 02:38:17 PM »
Is there anything to recommend a Morton over a Thomasville, or is the Thomasville considered superior in basically all comparisons?

It seems to have better vigor, fruit, and hardiness than the Morton.

I ask only because the neighboring town is called Morton and thus the name appeals to me, but aside from that I cannot fathom a reason to prefer it. Anyone with a minority view?
The one fruit I had from Morton was attractive but not edible out of hand.  A ripe Thomasville is edible when ripe and can be used before as a lime substitute.
For breeding purposes, others have posted that they got a deciduous seedling from a Morton, and that Thomasville is not zygotic.

mikkel

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2022, 02:54:20 PM »
my experience is different with Morton, I guess it depends a lot on the individual clone whether it is edible or not. I had a Morton from Ilya, although a nucellar seedling it was the best hybrid I could taste so far. not like an orange but something very own, tropical. another morton that I could try earlier was not good, typical poncirus hybrid aroma....
I just tried a thomasville. I didn't like it, not awful but not good either.

poncirsguy

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2022, 09:40:36 PM »
Why not get a Fukushu kumquat and plant it in the ground and cage it in the winter.  At least you will have something that taste good when fully ripe.


Fruit from above tree

cage is four glass sheet thick with 5/8 inch gaps between each sheet.  Needs heat below 20F

tedburn

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2022, 12:25:45 AM »
Hello Mikkel and Poncirusguy,
I have a Thomasville in ground in Northern Italy and in Germany zone 7 and I have to confirm that Thomasville is very attractive concerning frosthardiness in Germany, because it survived ,- 15 ° C during 4 consecutive frost days and concerning the fruit, I harvested in March in Italy a fruit which I found one of the best tastes of my citrus plants, it tasted a mix of Pomelo and Orange, very delicious.
@ Poncirusguy, yes Fukushu isbalso very delicious with other taste, I have both and like the tadte of both.

Florian

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2022, 06:55:34 AM »
I also enjoy Thomasville, it is sweet when fully ripe. Haven't tried Morton.

manfromyard

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2022, 09:59:27 PM »
Hi Bussone,

     I have both Morton Citrange and Thomasville Citrangequat, both on Flying Dragon rootstock.  Both are about eight feet tall.  They are two completely different animals.  (Animals?  Well, they both do have a bit of a bite to them.) 
     The Morton Citrange is a 50-50 hybrid of an orange and a Poncirus Trifoliate and has large orange sized fruit that typically ripens in late November, here in my short growing season location.  It tastes like an orange, with an off-flavor I don't enjoy at all.  But that's subjective; a local board member loves them and comes to get them in December.  It bears relatively heavily; I get fifteen pounds or more, most years.
     The Thomasville Citrangequat is a cross between a Citrange and a kumquat.  It has kumquat  sized fruit that can be harvested green in November, here.  The flavor is like a Key Lime–a lime flavor with a touch of bitter–which I enjoy and use in a number of culinary applications.  It's rather shy bearing; I typically get less than five pounds.
     The Morton Citrange is much hardier than the Thomasville Citrangequat.  A two week arctic blast in January 2017, with one low near 8F, caused extensive small twig damage to the Thomasville; the Morton Citrange snickered at the cold and had no discernable damage.  Based on this, I'd guess that the Morton could survive down to Zero Fahrenheit, or maybe a bit lower, making it a zone 7 plant, whereas as the Thomasville is more of a zone 8 plant.  Although, being in Pennsylvania, your arctic weather events would last much longer than mine, based on my experience in living in Michigan for thirteen years, so that may have a bearing on survivability of the Morton in your location.  The Thomasville wouldn't survive at all in your location, without protection.
     Hope this helps,

Jim

I'm shocked that it's a shy bearer for you. That has to be  a heat thing. I've frozen ice cube trays full, made pies, used the acid for jams and jellies, given bags away and I feel like I've barely made a dent this year. And this is normal production for me. I'm seriously concerned that the plant is pulling nutrients out. I will be cutting some branches off and grafting to some other varieties in the spring. My Meyer lemon comes close, but it takes years off..

I planted mine when we were still 7b in an unsheltered location, and it did great..

manfromyard

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2022, 10:05:01 PM »
Taste wise, I think the Citrangequat is pretty good. I also have a Sudachi because I thought it would taste better, but that's not the case. The Citrangequat has larger fruit, is a better producer, starts earlier and basically has fruit on it from Late June till January most years if Frost doesn't take the fruit. The only minus is that the Zest really doesn't have that many applications. My family also preferred the  Thomasvile as the Sudachi has a mandarin/orange undertone.

A little zest in pies works fine, but I haven't figured anything else out. I'll try some marmalade this year since they look like I'll have some ripe ones before the hard frost..

All the citranges I have tried have that trifoliate funk at the end.

jim VH

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2022, 11:28:10 AM »
Hi manfromyard,

     Thanks for pointing that out about the heat; I do believe you hit the nail on the head.  Here at my location in the occasionally frozen north, I only have 2000 growing degree days, whereas most areas in the citrus belt have roughly twice that or more; even parts of Colorado have more than we do.  When I thought about it, I realize that the Thomasville has never had a very heavy bloom, unlike the rest of my citrus, which may well be due to the 50% kumquat ancestry.  Kumquats, if I recall correctly, require significantly more heat than most other citrus and our lack of it may be the reason for the light bloom.

Jim

SoCal2warm

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2022, 01:11:51 PM »
I tasted the Morton citrange and Thomasville citrangequat that Jim VH grew. (We think it is a Morton citrange because the fruit strongly resembles it and does not resemble any of the other hardy citrus varieties we are aware of, and the nursery where the tree was bought used to sell Morton citrange and we believe there could have been a mix-up) 
The Morton citrange looks like a delicious orange, few seeds, but has a terrible poncirus taste inside that makes it completely inedible, to me in my personal opinion.
The Thomasville citrangequat was completely edible, in my personal opinion, with little bitterness and barely any detectable poncirus off-flavor. The flavor was rather lime and calamondin-like, but a little inferior in flavor to a regular lime.

Blondie70

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2022, 07:33:54 PM »
The skin is edible on the Thomasville also. It's good...like a sweet kumquat. Also, every seed will grow.

Till

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2022, 01:03:56 PM »
I have my second harvest of Morton this year. And I am again very pleased by its aroma. It is sweet enough to be eaten out of hand, a suggar-acid-ratio like a sourer sweet orange from the supermarket. It does contain a bit of Poncirus aroma but I still enjoyed the fruits. I ate a whole big fruit at once. There was no descernable resin in the fruits.
I cultivate my Morton in a cold glas house with not much sun. It gets plenty of fruits of orange size. Last year they were orange around end of November. This year they are now still yellow and even a bit green. Yet the taste of these yellow-green fruits was as good as last year.
I also gave them to my parents and my wife. They said that the taste could be optimized but did not hesitate to eat it.

I think I have the normal Morton. I know everything depends on personal taste and perhaps also on the clone. But I tend to say: If somebody finds Morton "horrible" then he will hardly be satisfied by any citrus fruit despite the very best. My judgment is: It is not as good as an orange and yes, it would be better if it had no poncirus aroma at all, but it is well worth growing for its fruits and it is a nice to see its vigour and fruitfullness.

I have no experience with Thomasville.

tedburn

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2022, 04:16:12 PM »
Interesting Report Till,
I also have a Morton since 2,5 years in ground but no blooms/ fruits yet.
How old is  yours and is it in pot or open ground ?
Did you also try to leave your fruits for some weeks after harvesting, seems the fruit still
can loose some sournes ?


vnomonee

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2022, 07:08:21 PM »
I have Morton two years old, no fruits yet either. Can we see pictures of your plant? Is Thomasville worth it in zone 7a? I want a tree but will have to be in the ground. I don't think Morton can survive outside.

tedburn

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2022, 03:50:54 AM »
I have Morton two years old, no fruits yet either. Can we see pictures of your plant? Is Thomasville worth it in zone 7a? I want a tree but will have to be in the ground. I don't think Morton can survive outside.

I have documented the development of my in ground planted citrus hybrids, also Morton and Thomasville in this post, there you can see pictures and how they managed two winters, the first very hard, the second more mildly. But Thomasville is one of my most hardy citrus varieties.
https://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=43470.25

vnomonee

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2022, 07:21:31 PM »
Ah yes I remember seeing that, looks good. I might have to graft a piece to my tai-tri which is very hardy and vigorous for me here. Should help it grow faster than standard poncirus.

Till

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2022, 01:52:13 PM »
My Morton is in open ground grafted on Poncirus. But it stands in a glashouse. I am quite sure it would not survive unprotected. The glashouse allows the plants to grow about two month earlier than outside (~beginning of March instead of end of April). It is also some degrees warmer than outside during summer.
I try to make a picture of the plant tomorrow. It is now a bit over 2m high. I have another Morton of a similar size in a pot, also grafed on Poncirus. It blooms willingly but I had no fruits so far. And it does not look as healthy. I suppose earth issues. I shall repot it into a less organic soil. Then I will see how it does next year.

Till

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2022, 05:23:19 AM »
Here some pictures from my Morton. My glashouse is full to the limit so that I could not make a portait of my tree. In the overview it is the tree with the yellow fruits. It reaches to the crossbeam under the roof and is now a bit over 2m high. It had 16 fruits this year (not counted two very small ones) most of which have the size of a supermarket orange. The two pictures of the fruit show one of the bigger fruits (most are not much smaller). It fell off by itself today. Outside appearance and interior is like that of an orange. Pulp structure is, however, finer and segment walls quite tough. So you best queeze it or eat it with a spoon.



« Last Edit: December 04, 2022, 05:25:51 AM by Till »

Till

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2022, 05:24:36 AM »
.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2022, 05:27:16 AM by Till »

Till

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2023, 04:31:28 PM »
I have now harvested all my Morton fruits and made a lemonade out of it. The fruits were very juicy. I let the juice stand open for one night so that the weak resinous odor faded away. Then I deluded the juice with water (1 unit juice to two units water) and put suggar to it. The lemonade was very deliciuous without any off-flavors! It contained the best aromata of both poncirus and sweet orange. (Yes, poncirus has nice aromata besides the horrible ones.)

This is, by the way, not the best proof of the edibility of Morton. You can make a pretty good lemonade even out of (any?) pure poncirus when you let the juice stand open over night and throw away the bottom fraction of the juice wherein the resin is. The off-flavours of poncirus fade away under this treatment, usually completely, and what remains is a fine aroma. (Bitter fruits will have bitter juice but a pleasant kind of bitterness not remiscent of typical poncirus pine flavor.) The difference between pure poncirus and Morton is, however, that Morton juice has only weak off-flavours even when fresh and that you need not throw away a bottom fraction because Morton juice contains hardly any resin. And you have much more juice in Morton than in poncirus because Morton is almost seedless.

I shall add that I sense some confusion what regards the resin (poncirin) in poncirus fruits. It is often called "bitter". In my experience that is not true. All poncirus fruits contain resin but not all are bitter. Some taste horrible but still not bitter. I have now eaten my first Dunstan citrumelo fruit. It contained some resin but it had a good taste. It seems to me that the resin accumulates very unpleasant flavours among them bitter substances but that it is not bitter as such. You will never like it but I would not call it "bitter" as such in the more narrow sense of the word "bitter" (bitter pill, bitter gall, bitter wormwood etc.).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2023, 04:35:46 PM by Till »

vnomonee

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2023, 05:16:10 PM »
The fruit is really beautiful, have you tried letting the whole fruit sit on your counter for a "rest" perhaps the flavors become better? Read somewhere that some citrus lose acidity by doing this and become sweeter, doesn't work with lemons though.

My graft of Morton on tai-tri so far looks good after -15c polar vortex and two days below freezing. Hope it survives the rest of winter and puts out some growth in the spring.

Till

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Re: Thomasville v. Morton?
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2023, 07:00:14 AM »
No, the fruit were pretty good right from the tree. Storing some in the warm room did not make a real difference.

 

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