Bare root orange 'tree'

dougschommerFebruary 18, 2006

I ordered two bare root orange trees and this is how they arrived. I though that putting them in water would allow the roots to grow but I haven't seen any change in 4 weeks. Anyone have some suggestions? I don't see how planting them like this would do any good.

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rickjames(9 Cali)

Couple of things to know:

I am sorry to say that those are some pretty sad looking roots that your trees came with. Citrus trees have LOTS of very fine fibrous-looking roots usually, and that is very sparse. I would definitely be worried about the long-term viability.

Secondly, and probably more importantly, is that the leaves on the trees to the right and at least on some of them to the left look like they're in clusters of 3. That means that they are 1 of 2 things: Poncirus trifoliata, a not-quite citrus fruiting (not condsidered edible) and flowering related plant that is used for rootstocks of citrus trees, or you have some trees with sucker growth of trifoliate rootstock. I cannot see a graft line in the pics (I will qualify this by saying I have purchased a grafted tree where the grafting was so smooth it was kinda tough to locate and am by no stretch of the imagination an expert!), so I would be concerned that you have just plain old trifoiate trees. Now, thats just fine unless that wasn't what you ordered and thought you were going to get an edible sweet orange or a decorative but-still-usuable sour orange. You can find pictures of trifoliate plants on the internet to compare, as well as orange leaves to look at. All is not lost though, and I am sure someone else will chime in about that...

Here in Cali all the trees I see are grafted, and there is usually a diagonal line or a knob that indicates where this occurs. I look for a change in bark texture lines anywhere from 2 inches to 8-9 inches from the soil line for this. It's usually not very hard to see--you can double check your trees. When I shop for trees in nurseries, I often see them with some trifoliate sucker growth appearing. I think Four Winds Growers has a picture of a graft line on their website--look them up to see.

If it were me, I would just ask the nursery/company you ordered from about it directly once you are armed with some knowledge. I smell a scam.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 2:11PM
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gardner_dragon(z7 NE AR)

Many of the e-bay sellers are selling trifoliate rootstock as orange trees because technically it is, so is an osage. Are they edible?? NO!!, well,,, only if you like super bitter/sour unpalatable tastes, osages are poision. These trifoliate trees are usually only used for grafting bud stock onto in order to make it a shorter growing tree(dwarf). Many have been duped by this selling tactic. Growing citrus has become a fast growing fad and many are taking advantage of it by selling rootstock as a viable citrus tree. If you are not able to get a refund, chalk it up to experience.
If you really want a citrus tree but are unable to purchase one of fruiting age, grow one from seed. The orange,lemon and other popular trees will take many years to fruit but it will be one that YOU nurtured from its very small beginnings. You can also grow a Key/Mexican lime tree that will flower and fruit from seed in 2 years.

This is also a good way to learn about the growing of citrus without spending a lot of money.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 5:02PM
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These ar not Trifoliata orange but one of its hybrids. It could be Swingle, Carrizo or Troyer citrange. The hybrids have a much lager center leaf that these have. These are very poor root systems for any of the undestock. I believe you are due a refund and have a legimate complaint.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 6:19PM
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Ds, if these were my trees, I'd order the tall but narrow pots..they're about .89 each. The roots aren't the best but there are roots on your tree.
BTW, if they are related to Poncirus, you can probably plant them in an outdoor garden which is what I've done w/mine. You'll be surprised how hardy they are..Since you're in z6, very few trees will grow in your area, but this one might do it..I'd divide, plant some in the garden (in spring) and grow the others in pots.

This is an experiment...when buying citrus go to a reputable place. I get my trees at and Prices cannot be beat, they are greafted trees, bug free..Toni

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 7:15PM
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I would be happy to get the trifolata. I would plant them in a pot and cover them with plastic bag for a few days. they will be viable after that. Later, you can graft on them with Satsuma. K.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 11:15PM
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Well it was an Ebay sale and thankfully I'm only out about $20. Although I do feel scamed. Here is the listing:

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 11:27PM
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I know where you got those plants and i have 1 called darin 2 complained and 3 You hsould call him he will take care of you ..
He told me it hasnt but happened once and told me he has new help email me or pm me here is a link of interest to you as well...

that is a Poncitus and They are used for making Ipacac .. Have any kids ya wanna see get sick ?please call darin and let him know also you do have a Liable complaint .. the add states sweet orange juice those things are sour and im afraid alot of people are getting mixes Orders..
ps Im me with your results please ..

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 2:52AM
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