Tangerine and Tangelo oranges fruits are sour

Randy5491March 25, 2014

My two orange trees produces sour fruit. Its been almost 4 years since I planted but it never give me sweet orange taste. Is there something I need to do to make the trees produces sweet orange taste. Also the skin are hard to peel. I only fertilized them once. Does it matter if its planted next to other species of fruit trees? Thanks for your advice. Randy5491

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Nitrogen, water, sun, and heat make sugar; but sometimes nothing works. My Mother had a Satsuma mandarin that would not get sweet no matter what we tried; we finally took it out and put in a Washington navel, which produced great oranges; we just had to leave them a little longer on the tree.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:42PM
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You should fertilize your tree a minimum of 3 times a year. However, I dont believe fertilizer is your trees problem. The sugar content (sweetness) of citrus fruits is determined by the number of heat unites the tree receives during the growth season. You do not give your location, so it is difficult to know if your tree is receiving the required amount or not.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Hi Silica
I am in the state of California in LA county area. We don't get enough rain here. I don't think heat is the problem. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 6:48PM
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Fruit quality can be poor if the tree does not get the right balance of potassium, magnesium and calcium. That can be a real problem in alkaline soil.

If your soil is OK then sunlight is the next limiting item. You need about six hours of sunlight or more.

In a cloudy fall I have had trouble getting fruit to sweeten. Fruit can be sour early and sweeten later. The acid may be too high and needs to age so it decreases. "Round oranges" may do this better than tangelos and mandarin types, because they hold their sugar longer.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 1:09AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Okay, everything mentioned above can affect the sugar content of your fruit. However, the most important issue is the time you're picking your fruit. What kind of orange tree is it? Valencias ripen March through July. Navel oranges ripen January through February here in S. Calif. If you're picking a Valencia orange now, they'll be sour. Most mandarins are ripe in the winter, but not all. What types of trees you have would help, amongst all the recommendations offered, previously. If you live in Los Angeles, you have plenty of heat, and we're all assuming the trees are receiving full sun (you don't mention how much sun they are receiving). But, you definitely have not fertilized enough, and timing the picking of your fruit is also pretty important.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:56AM
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