Dwarf Valencia Orange tree

unneyAugust 1, 2006

I'm new to this forum and am learning a lot. I've had this tree for about 1 month now. There is one branch (definitely above the graft). It starts out dark green with about 2 inch dark green leaves. Then, all of a sudden, it turns light green with much larger 4 inch or so leaves. Is this normal?

Also, one branch, which is thin has a lot of even thinner branches all clumped together. Should these be thinned out?

When can I expect this tree to bear fruit? Also, how are you able to put pictures in your messages? It would help if I could show you what I'm talking about.

Thanks for any help/information anyone can give me. I live in Simi Valley, CA. Thanks!

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unney

I found out how to do pictures, so here they are.

#1. The tree

#2. The branch with light green, big leaves

#3. The clumps of thinner branches

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:28PM
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rickjames(9 Cali)

Nice tree.

The lighter green leaves are because those leaves are newer/younger and haven't fully colored/matured yet.
They do look kinda big for orange leaves, but you can sometimes see larger leaves from a relative lack of light--just make sure your tree gets as much sunlight as it can. Younger trees will often have sporadic leggy growth. You can trim a bit for cosmesis or pinch tips to encourage fullness but otherwise it's not really necessary.

It seems, from the pictures, that the tree may be planted a bit deeply. In general it's good practice to plant them with the very top of the root/basal flare visible, though very often they will come from the grower planted too deeply as well.

Since it is a grafted tree, you can expect it to flower and possibly fruit this first year--though some people like to remove the very early fruit in the first year or two, to allow the tree to become established and strong. I do not always follow this practice :)

HTH.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 1:12AM
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unney

rick: thanks for your response. I appreciate the info. Being in So Cal, will this tree continue to bloom during the winter, then bear fruit next summer? Also, do I fertilize during the winter here? I know other states don't or slow fertilization during the winter. I've seen a "generic" citrus fertilizer, is that good or is there a name brand that's better? Also, I moved it to a much sunnier part of the yard. When I timed it, it was only getting about 4-5 hours of sun a day. A few in the morning and a few in the late afternoon! I didn't realize the roof line was providing shade during the major part of the day! Where it is now, it will get sun from about 10am - 5pm or so. Thanks! :-) Jane

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:24PM
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rickjames(9 Cali)

I don't grow Valencias (not warm enough here for good fruit) so you'll have to look up their seasons... I think they ripen in the summers/early fall but don't quote me...the moral of the story is your tree should be of fruiting age now or shortly since it is a grafted specimen, at least from what I can see in the picture. Some citrus can take a while to ripen, so you'll have to be patient :)

Ah, the fertilize-in-winter-or-not thing...Well, I confess that I do. I find that citrus quite often take off here in the winters and so I do feed lightly....but I also can protect easily from light frost, so that isn't a big problem for me. You're usda 10 so I doubt that is a big issue for you too...what you can do is just withold and see how the tree does. You can also apply a long-acting granules as a trial. The key thing to realize is citrus likes a high nitrogen formula and are kinda sensitive to lack of micronutrients like Fe, Zn, Cu, Mg. etc. so choose something with that stuff in it if you can. I use a combo of long-acting granules ( when I remember to, lol ) and Miracid primarily, with a few elemental supplements when I am not too lazy.

HTH.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:53AM
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