Very thick grapefruit skins

jim1_2007May 28, 2007

I have a Ruby Red grapefruit tree which is now 5 years old. It is a dwarf tree and already approx 10 ft and very healthy. This year it had about 60 to 70 very large size fruit on it but the skins were all at least 1/2" thick. Our winter here in the central valley of Calif was much colder than normal, in fact there were a few days where the temp was below 26 degrees for a few hours at night. The tree is in a fairly protected area and there was no folage damage except a few leaves in the very top of the tree. I kept plenty of moisture in the soil. The cells of some of the fruit show damage by drying out which perhaps is due to the low temperatures but I'm wondering if the thick skins could have been due to the cold weather or some other cause. Would sure appreciate comments. Jim1_2007

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CA Kate

Have you ever had regular grapefruits before on this tree? Because, it sounds as if you have a pummelo.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 12:55AM
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This is the second year the tree has had fruit. The skins were thick the first year also but not as thick as this year. What is a pummelo? Jim

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 2:49PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

I have a Ruby Red grapefruit, and no matter what the conditions here (hurricanes, floods, severe drought) the skins are very thin. I don't know if cold could cause thick skins, but I suspect your rootstock has taken over the tree and the original grafted top (which was Ruby Red) has died?

Are the fruits reddish inside? Seedy or not? Taste like sweet grapefruots or rather dry and bland?

Pummelos are relatives of grapefruits. The leaves are very similar, but the fruits are thick-skinned and quite large.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 6:23PM
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CA Kate

Pummelos are thought to be the ancestor of the Grapefruit. I actually like
Pummelos better. The flesh can be either white or pink; the liquid sacs are larger then a grapefruit; the flesh can be juicy or dry-ish depending on the variety ... "Chandler"- juicy & pink.... is the favorite around here.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 7:42PM
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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

generally citrus in CA have thicker skins and drier fruits due to cooler temps and less water
personally I dont care for CA citrus, I prefer FL citrus, thinner skins and extremely juicy

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 11:47PM
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CA Kate

In defense of CA Citrus: we just don't bother to send the good stuff to FL.... thereby the misconceptions. ;^)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 12:35PM
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The fruit inside is red but was quite dry this year with almost no seeds. The sacs were large and quite sour. We lived in Southwest Florida for 7 years during the 1990's and I must agree the grapefruit there were so much better than in Calif however the oranges for eating fresh there didn't compare well to the Washington Seedless variety oranges grown here. The juice in the Florida oranges was very sweet and full of flavor but the fiber inside was just too tough to enjoy. While attending a Florida Citrus Grower and Equipment Convention in Lee County I asked a representative of the Univ. of Fla Agri. Dept why that seemed to be the case and his reply was, 'we have been looking for that answer for 50 years and have not found the solution yet. We sure would like to compete better with Calif in that market'.

All your comments are noted and appreciated. It will be interesting to see what happens next year if our weather is more normal through the winter. Jim

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 6:09PM
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