Orange groves public property?

jennyrmert(9b)October 18, 2010

I'm new to Gilbert and noticed a lot of orange trees that were preserved in my area. They are in public spaces. Are they the property of the HOA? Does the fruit go to waste, or does it get harvested for charity? Will I get in trouble if I take a walk and pluck an orange or two? I didn't see anything in my HOA agreement, and I don't know any of my neighbors yet. What usually happens to the fruit on these trees in public areas?

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Welcome to Gilbert! I've lived here since 1987 and have watched it grow from a sleepy town of 18,000 to now well over 220,000.

Most citrus groves are private property and maintained by local farmers or commercial businesses. There are a few HOA's that have citrus trees in their common areas. One (Agritopia at Ray Rd and Greenfield Rd) has a grove of citrus trees as well as date palms and other fruits. Their residents have access to this area. Occasionally ornamental oranges (Sour Orange or Seville Orange) are used as landscape trees. The fruit is too sour to eat, although the rind can be used for marmalade.

If you aren't sure, contact your homeowners association president or property manager. It would be tresspassing if you were to pick fruit on private property.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:47AM
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Thank you for your answer. I'm in Seville, and the trees lining the roads look like orange trees. I believe they are sections of orchards that were preserved, not ornamentals. On her first visit a couple of days ago, my little granddaughter picked two of what she thought were limes (not thinking it might not be legal) and said they tasted more like oranges.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Most of the time the oranges on the orange trees on the side of the road are not good to eat. They are not properly fertilized or watered so the fruit is dry inside and tastes bitter.

During the picking season there are lots of people on craigslist that allow you to pick the fruit off their trees. They post in the Free section. People usually start posting free pick your own in December and posts are fairly frequent through February.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 3:41PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

In Coachella Valley we have lots of citrus in HOA areas and once it's ripe, there is usually no fruit below 8 feet, about the height you can reach. --smiles his jolly smile-- everyone picks as much as they like. Just be sure you are not picking from someone's yard. pick it, try it, if it's good, eat it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 7:45AM
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If the trees are located in the Seville HOA then the fruit on the trees is available to the residents. This area used to be prime citrus groves and many trees were preserved when the community was built.

Most Orange varieties typically don't begin ripen until later this month and the peels turn color in response to cold weather. Valencia oranges don't ripen until late January or February.

Sour oranges (aka Seville oranges) usually have very bumpy rinds - not smooth at all.

If you aren't sure if the trees are part of the Seville HOA give the management company a call.
Seville Neighborhood Association
Associated Asset Management
7740 N. 16th Street Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85020
Phone: (602) 957-9191
FAX: (602) 957-8802

Happy picking!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Thank you everyone for your answers. I am going to snag one orange before moving back to Ahwatukee this weekend, where there's a decided lack of orange trees. :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:04AM
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I grabbed off the ground yesterday at my Yoga studio in Mesa. It was a Valencia and already delicious!
Does anyone in Gilbert or Mesa have figs or olives that they don't want?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 1:54PM
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