Navel Orange heartbreak
My 5-6 year old navel orange tree is finally ripening its first real crop. I've tasted two along the way just to see.
1st back in September - Flavorful, but still had a strong bitterness. Fruit was starting to turn yellow
2nd at the end of October - Yellow fruit tasted like lightly sweetened water. Assumed it must just be unripe.
3rd today, November 14 - Bright orange fruit, looks gorgeous. Smells unbelievably good, peeling it filled the whole house with the fragrance. Tastes... like slightly sweetened water. Literally. No detectable acidity at all. Like I had diluted orange juice 10 fold, and neutralized the citric acid.
What's going on? The tree is otherwise picture of health, save some cosmetic damage from leafroller/miner I'm 99% sure this isn't the rootstock bearing fruit.. it still has the original trunk, and certainly never froze to the ground. Pretty sure the rootstock is Carrizo Citrange. Rainfall was heavy early in the year, but the tree is planted on a mound and french drains prevent flooded conditions...vegetables a couple yards away had no problems.
I'm kind of heartbroken, tbh. If this is how these oranges will always taste, then I'm going to have to prune it with a shovel. The garden real estate is too valuable.