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Moro Blood Orange

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Here on the Gulf Coast our Citrus gets real sweet after a little cold weather. I have about 500 Moro Blood Oranges on the tree this year and I am loving it. First shot shows why they call it a blood orange. Second is me making fresh squeezed. Check out the cool color of the juice.

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Here on the Gulf Coast our Citrus gets real sweet after a little cold weather. I have about 500 Moro Blood Oranges on the tree this year and I am loving it. First shot shows why they call it a blood orange. Second is me making fresh squeezed. Check out the cool color of the juice.

I think blood oranges are the best looking citrus fruit on the tree. Awesome tasting too!

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I like the colors on those, pretty neat.

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I love blood oranges! The taste is wonderful, the fruits are beauties. 500 on the tree??? Lucky dawwwwg!

My wee tree is still a sapling - there won't be fruits for awhile.

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I love blood oranges! The taste is wonderful, the fruits are beauties. 500 on the tree??? Lucky dawwwwg!

My wee tree is still a sapling - there won't be fruits for awhile.

Yours will last longer than mine. Citrus has never been a long term crop in this part of Louisiana. Sooner or later a big freeze will get my Oranges, Limes. Lemons, Grapefruit, etc. The Satsumas and Kumquats might hang in there, maybe. After the freezes of 83 and 89, a lot of old timers gave up on Citrus here, but it has stayed 9a since and we have been a solid 9b since 2002. There are citrus everywhere. Every year I appreciate them more.

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Next to 'Satsuma' mandarins, blood oranges are my favorite citrus.

Too bad someone coined them "blood" oranges. If they had been called "red oranges" or something similar, they'd probably be the most popular citrus fruits. Again, I HATE "common" names...

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I just ate a moro blood orange for the first time. I think it might be my favorite citrus fruit! I definitely want a tree now. There also is a variety called "Budd" blood orange that reliably gets the dark flesh color in Florida. Of course I'd still try growing a Moro.

Description from website of Justfruitandexotics nursery:

"Budd Blood Orange trees were developed in Florida.  They are well adapted to our climate and are one of the few blood oranges to develop the characteristic purple interior fruit color in the Florida. climate. Medium to large size fruit, with a strawberry-orange flavor. Fresh squeezed juice is blood red in color. One of the earliest varieties of blood oranges to ripen. Fruit ripens December to March. Self-fertile. Zones 9-10."

Photo from same website:

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On 12/9/2009, 9:00:46, _Keith said:

 

Yours will last longer than mine. Citrus has never been a long term crop in this part of Louisiana. Sooner or later a big freeze will get my Oranges, Limes. Lemons, Grapefruit, etc. The Satsumas and Kumquats might hang in there, maybe. After the freezes of 83 and 89, a lot of old timers gave up on Citrus here, but it has stayed 9a since and we have been a solid 9b since 2002. There are citrus everywhere. Every year I appreciate them more.

How much citrus did you lose this year with 17F and ice? May have lost all of it.

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On 3/13/2018, 12:17:54, mthteh1916 said:

How much citrus did you lose this year with 17F and ice? May have lost all of it.

Only lost my Lisbon Lime   Moro, Naval oranges OK  Ruby Red, Rio Red grapefruits even better   All were defoliated, but have already grown back full set of leaves Flowering wasn’t much so harvest will light   

 

 

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Same here & most are flowing right now. Didn't lose a single citrus & nothing was protected.

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Even the stuff that was defoliated is blooming.

 

 

20180317_154505.jpg

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1 hour ago, Laaz said:

Same here & most are flowing right now. Didn't lose a single citrus & nothing was protected.

Notice any stem dieback on more tender citrus like lemon and lime? I didn't even have it as worse as you this year and I seem to have lost about 3/4 the canopy on my Meyer lemon. Sprouts are only coming back from the main stems/trunks. Still am giving it time, but as time goes on it is looking more likely that this is the case.

You would think that a traumatic stress like these bad freezes that causes the tree to lose leaves/a few twigs would stimulate them to bloom like crazy; but nope, not for me, grapefruit- not one bloom, ponkan tangerine- none, navel orange- only one twig with flowers, parson brown orange- just a handful of blossom on about 1/5 of the tree... <_< I'm seriously thinking of strafing the trunk or digging around the drip line to stimulate them to bloom.

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I don't have lemon or lime in the ground, I know better... Meyer lemon is nasty if you you ask me. I have Eustis limequat in the ground which is very similar to key lime & it is flushing like crazy. My "quality" Italian lemons are in containers & were in the garage during the freeze.

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On 3/13/2018, 3:17:54, mthteh1916 said:

How much citrus did you lose this year with 17F and ice? May have lost all of it.

I just don't understand how citrus is so cold hardy as I  have always been told it can't take below 20F or it dies outright. I will never forget visiting Lakeland FL in the 90's with my friend and we stayed at his grandfathers place there. He had a big old orange tree out back. He said, don't eat those they are very bitter and inedible. He said after the 1980's they changed from delicious to inedible due to the 80's cold. Lakeland went down to 17F in one year in the 80's and 18F a few years later in the 80's, yet his tree was killed to the root stock. That is why I am just surprised to hear of all this citrus surviving such cold temps. 

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37 minutes ago, mthteh1916 said:

I just don't understand how citrus is so cold hardy as I  have always been told it can't take below 20F or it dies outright. I will never forget visiting Lakeland FL in the 90's with my friend and we stayed at his grandfathers place there. He had a big old orange tree out back. He said, don't eat those they are very bitter and inedible. He said after the 1980's they changed from delicious to inedible due to the 80's cold. Lakeland went down to 17F in one year in the 80's and 18F a few years later in the 80's, yet his tree was killed to the root stock. That is why I am just surprised to hear of all this citrus surviving such cold temps. 

Don’t believe everything you hear. Plenty of people in Florida have citrus that has seen sub 20F temps. It’s a mix of duration, frequency, and variety. I know in Ocala we have many 20+ year old citrus that survived sub 20F temps in 2010. Limes all died however. What’s frustrating is that even the “Florida peaches” don’t reliably bloom and flower unless it’s a very cold winter

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Citrus doesn't change from excellent to inedible from cold. More than likely the tree was killed back & the rootstock took over. True lemons, limes & citrons are the most tender citrus. Oranges, mandarins & grapefruit can take much more cold.

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10 hours ago, Laaz said:
3 hours ago, Laaz said:

Citrus doesn't change from excellent to inedible from cold. More than likely the tree was killed back & the rootstock took over. True lemons, limes & citrons are the most tender citrus. Oranges, mandarins & grapefruit can take much more cold.

Even the stuff that was defoliated is blooming.

 

 

20180317_154505.jpg

 

3 hours ago, Laaz said:

Citrus doesn't change from excellent to inedible from cold. More than likely the tree was killed back & the rootstock took over. True lemons, limes & citrons are the most tender citrus. Oranges, mandarins & grapefruit can take much more cold.

Laaz that is exactly my point. The extreme cold of the 1980's in Lakeland, 17F, killed the citrus tree to the rootstock, yet your citrus trees survived snow and 17F. I'm amazed and perplexed at the same time. Why are sweet oranges listed as 9a if they can survive North Charleston cold like 16F and cold where you are, yet in Lakeland millions of acres of citrus trees were killed outright. Look it up, it is a fact that the 80's cold killed millions of acres of citrus trees in central FL. Yet somehow you have all this citrus survive such cold. You are a unique outlier. Charleston has no citrus at all growing anywhere from what I hear except at your place. Even in New Orleans they said all the oranges turned bitter after the 1980's. Something doesn't compute here. I have never heard of citrus surviving 16F and snow.  Not that I don't believe you, just that somehow you have a unique man made micro climate from your heat island or house that let's your citrus survive. There is really no sweet orange commercial citrus production outside of FL and extreme S. Texas in the eastern US due to cold. Your  backyard is not representative of the general area. I know someone from another forum that lived in Charleston and said pretty much no one can get sweet oranges to survive there more than a few years. If the 80's return you will have nothing survive. It is only a matter of time. Charleston is not meant for citrus in the long haul. You have been lucky that is all.

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On 12/5/2009, 1:00:34, _Keith said:

Here on the Gulf Coast our Citrus gets real sweet after a little cold weather. I have about 500 Moro Blood Oranges on the tree this year and I am loving it. First shot shows why they call it a blood orange. Second is me making fresh squeezed. Check out the cool color of the juice.

post-1207-1260036012_thumb.jpg

post-1207-1260036032_thumb.jpg

How many palms died at your place and in your area this winter? I heard it was devastating. I'm sure all Phoenix palms and washingtonia died. No question all pygmy dates are dead outright also. Amazing at your latitude all that was killed while pygmy dates look fantastic in France and Italy and thrive there. You have a sub par subtropical climate that cannot compete with Australia, Europe, South America, etc. Even London England is solid 9a. Kind of embarrassing you have all that heat in summer and yet can get so amazingly cold in winter. As Europeans say, the US southeastern subtropical climates are the worst in the world. You get all that heat and humidity in summer only to be blown away by such extreme arctic cold every few years that the rest of the world at your latitude never ever sees. Look up Remini Italy where bougainvillea thrives. Compare its temps to yours. You cannot get bouvainvillea to live in SC, GA, MS, LA, etc only in extreme s. florida, Texas and the SW. The US got the worst climates in the world if you ask me.

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There actually thousands of citrus trees in the area. I run across them all the time. Rootstock has a lot to do with hardiness. Florida citrus wasn't usually grafted to hardy rootstock. My citrus are all on trifoliata or swingle which goes dormant in the winter.

I have three Ruby red grapefruit, two I grew from seed & one I grafted from budwood I got from a old woman up in Summerville which planted her tree from seed back in the early 70's... All of them sailed through this freak winter without any damage at all.  Defoliated yes, damaged no.

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One of my seedling ruby reds this morning...

 

 

20180318_083138.jpg

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Laaz said:

I don't have lemon or lime in the ground, I know better... Meyer lemon is nasty if you you ask me. I have Eustis limequat in the ground which is very similar to key lime & it is flushing like crazy. My "quality" Italian lemons are in containers & were in the garage during the freeze.

Yeah, and even though the Meyer lemon is about the most cold hardy of that group of tender citrus (but as you know it is not a pure lemon- I think 1/4 mandarin), it still would lose it's leaves almost every winter at my place, even if only low 20's at the max. Now at Lowe's where I work, we got ALL types of citrus in including ponderosa and eureka lemon, Persian, key, and kaffir lime- and not just little pots for your patio- tree sized that you would only plant in the ground- and yet people still snatch them up like hotcakes....

I wish I could find some find some real definite info on those aforementioned tender lime and lemon varieties on max range of lows they can tolerate to still come back ok. I mean, I had my ponderosa lemon in the greenhouse when it accidentally got too cold inside. Judging from damage on other plants, it may have seen something like 26-27 degrees and didn't have any leaf burn or drop.

And I know what you mean about the Meyer lemon taste- I found that they taste best in desserts like pies. I couldn't stand them in lemonade or my water at first, but this year I starting getting used to the flavor more. Some people absolutely love it- I gave some extra fruit to a friend (figures that out of all my citrus the Meyer lemon is the one that bears a lot), and his mother raved about them saying she used them for everything.

And to kind of stay on topic with this thread, we are thinking of replacing our Meyer lemon with a blood orange. I noticed we just got Moro blood oranges in at Lowe's where I work- I did not see any last year. Although it may be better to go to that nursery I mentioned above and get a "Budd" blood orange.

Edited by Opal92
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The problem with FL citrus, is the are mostly on rootstock that doesn't go dormant. They are only interested making the most amount of fruit in the shortest amount of time for profit.

 

There used to be a place in FL called Flying dragon nursery that only produced trees on flying dragon. Not sure if they are still around.

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1 hour ago, Laaz said:

The problem with FL citrus, is the are mostly on rootstock that doesn't go dormant. They are only interested making the most amount of fruit in the shortest amount of time for profit.

 

There used to be a place in FL called Flying dragon nursery that only produced trees on flying dragon. Not sure if they are still around.

Of course production is a concern but if it were the only concern everyone in Florida would be using rough lemon as a rootstalk which would provide enormous amounts of so-so quality flavored fruit. It also doesn’t have much cold tolerance which is important even in Florida. 

Fruit quality, production, cold tolerance, disease resistance, are all important factors in commercial production. Sour orange rootstalk was the standard for many years and still is in some places, especially those with higher pH soils. Swingle citrumelo has gained a lot of ground in Florida more recently. 

Flying dragon is great for cold tolerance if that is your primary concern as yours would be in SC, but it is a dwarfing variety and so would make less sense in a commercial situation. 

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8 hours ago, mthteh1916 said:

How many palms died at your place and in your area this winter? I heard it was devastating. I'm sure all Phoenix palms and washingtonia died. No question all pygmy dates are dead outright also. Amazing at your latitude all that was killed while pygmy dates look fantastic in France and Italy and thrive there. You have a sub par subtropical climate that cannot compete with Australia, Europe, South America, etc. Even London England is solid 9a. Kind of embarrassing you have all that heat in summer and yet can get so amazingly cold in winter. As Europeans say, the US southeastern subtropical climates are the worst in the world. You get all that heat and humidity in summer only to be blown away by such extreme arctic cold every few years that the rest of the world at your latitude never ever sees. Look up Remini Italy where bougainvillea thrives. Compare its temps to yours. You cannot get bouvainvillea to live in SC, GA, MS, LA, etc only in extreme s. florida, Texas and the SW. The US got the worst climates in the world if you ask me.

So far, only my big queen, the Lady Palms, and the Arenga egleria are the only ones not returning.   Had a spear pull on my Trachycarpus latisectus, which surprised me, but it in 5 days it filled the hole pushing a new spear which is already out and inch.  Thought I might have lost the Phoenix reclinata, but it is showing new growth.  It will be severely damaged.   Even most of my mules were 100% defoliated along with my CIDP, all of my P. sylvestris.  I was going around with binocular for a while looking for the 1st green tips to emerge on many palms.  Of course, the Sabals, the Needles, and Euro fan palms didn't even know anything happened.  They all look great.  Lost the BxJ but it already had issues, so I can't really blame that on the cold, but I can tell you from previous freezes it would have struggled mightily.   For whatever reason, it has never a hardy palm.  As I had said before, this was our worst winter in 28 years from a low temp perspective, but the weather men are saying this one was actually worse because of the 2 separate freezes in the teens and cumulative hours below freezing.  We lost much more than a few palms, including many subtropicals.   It will be a few years for sure before my garden approaches it previous beauty. 

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2 hours ago, _Keith said:

So far, only my big queen, the Lady Palms, and the Arenga egleria are the only ones not returning.   Had a spear pull on my Trachycarpus latisectus, which surprised me, but it in 5 days it filled the hole pushing a new spear which is already out and inch.  Thought I might have lost the Phoenix reclinata, but it is showing new growth.  It will be severely damaged.   Even most of my mules were 100% defoliated along with my CIDP, all of my P. sylvestris.  I was going around with binocular for a while looking for the 1st green tips to emerge on many palms.  Of course, the Sabals, the Needles, and Euro fan palms didn't even know anything happened.  They all look great.  Lost the BxJ but it already had issues, so I can't really blame that on the cold, but I can tell you from previous freezes it would have struggled mightily.   For whatever reason, it has never a hardy palm.  As I had said before, this was our worst winter in 28 years from a low temp perspective, but the weather men are saying this one was actually worse because of the 2 separate freezes in the teens and cumulative hours below freezing.  We lost much more than a few palms, including many subtropicals.   It will be a few years for sure before my garden approaches it previous beauty. 

:(

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I was told, by an old member of the California Rare fruit Growers that trees on the dwarf rootstock were the least hardy and adaptable.

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Your Arenga will probably come back. My main plant died, but it has sent out a new shoot from the side. You were 3 degrees colder but mine was out in the open with only a blanket on top. Give it time.

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