Washington Navel Oranges

subtropixDecember 10, 2011

I think these are Washington Navels--I could be labeling better. Sometimes I don't remember what they are until they start fruiting. This tree is about six feet tall and relatively trouble free. Valencias seem to be most colorful in the summer and Navels in the winter.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Not sure by any means but the fruit looks just like my Washington navel. Mine start to taste fully ripe about Jan 1 and last thru March. This is in my greenhouse.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 1:40PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Dave!

What are those nice white flowers in picture 11 of 44? They almost look like gardenia. Are they fragrant? Oh, if they are, if only I could get my hands on one of them:-)

I was wondering. Do you grow anything in a greenhouse? How cold does it get there and how to you heat it if so?

By the way, that palm covered with snow in that blizzard, did it survive? If so, you know what's next right?lol Beautiful, all your pics!

Thanks man.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 2:20PM
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subtropix

Meyer Mike, the white flowers are Southern Magnolia. I planted an row of them along one of the property lines for a privacy wall. There are many different varieties of the same species (Magnolia grandiflora). Most flower most heavily in June into July, but the Little Gems were in bloom at Halloween. I have enough leaves in the autumn leaf drop so only planted evergreens--these guys will drop a leaves (not all, but a lot) in May and June as the new leaves are emerging and the trees increase in height and girth. Yes, the flowers are aromatic (bees also love them!)
Zone 5 is too cold for them in the ground but you could grow Little Gem in containers for a while and their flowers are just as aromatic as the giant one. Also, you could grow Magnolia virginiana (I think), it is deciduous but the flowers are even more fragrant than grandiflora in my opinion. Winter 2010 was VERY bad here in terms of coastal storms and prolonged cold (in fact, every season has been a real challenge in terms of extremes...heat...drought...flooding...WIND...you name it! I lost one Butia capitata and one of the Windmills last winter (four currently remain in the ground)--the Sabal lousiana and Needle palms went through just fine though.
I don't have a "greenhouse" but use a large garage to overwinter a good many of the plants. It faces directly south and the doors were replaced with glass so it get a lot of sun. I run a small space heater and a fan and keep an eye on the temps. Temps in the winter must range from 32 f. to 70f..

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 3:03PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

You know, I really appreciate the info about the Magnolia! I am actually going to e-bay it and see if I can get me hands on one for sure.

I was wondering if you actually have to protect any of your palms and if in your opinion you think I could actually plant one in my ground up here? I would think I would have to protect it though.
Would you believe that I am actually experimenting with 2 Fig trees hardy to zone 6 covered very well with tarp, insulation, hay, and burlap. Wish me luck man:-)

Sounds like you have a great set-up for sure in your garage! If you don't mind me asking, do you hold other plants in there other than citrus? I would think you could over-winter fig,camelia,and maybe fragrant olive and a few palms?

I saw all them storms for your area with extreme changes in temps. Talk about a challenge to keep your plants from dying. Sounds like you are doing well with that too.

Boy, you must have one GREAT looking yard by the summer I tell you. All kinds of tropicals mixed with local stuff:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 4:37PM
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subtropix

Yes, other than Citrus, I overwinter the following:

Cycads (Cycas revoluta, Dioon, Encephalartos)
Oleanders
Avocado
Araucaria (Norfolk Island pine--one about 15 feet tall)
California and Mexican Fan palms (some of which are hybrids)
Butia capitatas
non-hardy Windmills (the hardy ones are in the ground)
tropical yuccas
Sweet olive
Date palms (most grown from seed- canariensis, dactylifera--true date, a few more species of Date palms--roebellini, and a few hardier ones)
Live Oak
Loquats
Guava
bananas (Himalayans, Basjoos, Chinese Yellow)
Queen palms
Chilean Wine palm
a few non hardy Sabal palms

Camellia japonica is hardy here so I don't use the garage for these. I probably should put my figs inside--they are more tender than a few of the palm!

In terms of the palms, you would have to provide some protection--if only from moisture. Do you have a warmer/drier site (south side of house for example/good drainage). I would suggest a Needle palm (Raphidophyllum). They will tolerate my cold just fine because summers are long and hot as h#ll--this one requires summer heat. Also good is Sabal louisiana--a heat lover but will put up with cold and snow. If you do get Magnolias, be sure to get the Little Gem variety. Yes, I know that it too wants to be a BIG tree (but it IS slower growing/more compact than the others--good for containers--but you will need to protect in the winter in a cool place. My only problem with the Magnolias is that the deer LOVE rutting the big one because Magnolia trunk wood is soft--on their antlers--on the other hand they would starve before eating their green leaves even in the dead of winter!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 5:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Do they have navels?

Josh

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:22PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Mike

here is a quick cold frame I built over my inground butia capitata "pindo palm". It and the other small one have already seen lows in the 20's with highs less than freezing with no problems at all before I built this. from what I have read in the palm forum and other places the biggest killer is a combination of cold and wet. i put some christmas lights and a flood light pointed at the trunk and the temp stayed about 15 degrees warmer than outside (at the trunk)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:45AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

How about a picture of my Washington navel fruit. This is just a small portion of the tree. It's all loaded. I'm wishing I had thinned.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:39AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Wow, i swear when I retire or maybe sooner Im moving south. Actually next summer I plan to put some trees in ground and build high tunnels over them during the winter so I can get crops like yours fruitnut.

mike

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:55AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

mk:

The citrus is a small part of my greenhouse fruit. The really good fruit is the apricot, pluot, nectarine, and sweet cherries. Also have blueberry, persimmon, blackberry, peach, plum, and figs. Most of this fruit needs protection from summer rain. That's one reason I have a greenhouse not a high tunnel that could be open in summer.

Where are you located? You might be able to manage a full greenhouse if you aren't at too low elevation where it's too hot in summer.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:40AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Sounds like you have a lot of good things to eat! Im in Tulsa. We can grow some of the fruit you can. I have a small lean to greenhouse that I overwinter my container citrus, bananas, and other tropicals. I just want to try putting some citrus in ground and protect them. We had record lows this past February(-15)so it would be a challenge but I like a good challenge.

mike

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 1:00PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

mike:

My greenhouse citrus does well with daytime temperatures in winter as low as I can maintain, mostly 50s for highs. This is to allow chilling of the other fruits. At night I maintain 34F minimum. The temperature is in the 30s at night for many months with no ill effects.

In Tulsa your winter average lows aren't much below freezing. In fact yours are about like here. So your heating bill won't be that high if you heat to 34F. I'd maintain winter highs in the 60s to maybe as high as 80s. By maintain I don't mean heat that high. Go with what the sun allows but not higher than the 80s.

During the freeze free period your weather uncovered is good for citrus. They can take the rain...but not hail. I'd cover your tunnel with 30% black woven polypropylene shade cloth in summer.

Here is a link that might be useful: climate comparison Alpine TX vs Tulsa OK

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 8:16PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I usually dont let my greenhouse get to far below 50. Mine is only 8'x6' with the high point at the house of 7'. It heats up very fast on a good sunny day and I have noticed that if I let it get below 50 overnight I get some leaf drop. It is automatically vented when it hits 85.

Im amazed how comparable our average lows are to yours. Its inevitable that sometime during the winter we will have a good week or so well below freezing both day and night that makes it hard for us to grow to many sensitive plants.

Is the orange tree you posted in a container? it looks pretty big. Id love to see a full picture of it as it looks so healthy.

mike

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 8:35AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

mike:

I get very little leaf drop. What little I get is only when I go to highs in the 70s to 80s in about February. There has never been any leaf drop in winter, zero, and I've done the same thing for 7 years. My temperatures are modeled after those in central California where they grow almost any fruit you can imagine including 1,000 of acres of citrus.

So your leaf drop may be more associated with too warm by day than too cold at night. It's the heat that will stress the tree if the roots aren't functioning well enough due to cold soil as say after a series of cold cloudy days.

It's hard to get a picture of the full tree which is planted inground and about 9ft tall. Other things get in the way when you back up enough for a full picture. And right now it's heavily overcast. I'll try later in the day.

Your climate is really pretty good for a greenhouse citrus project.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 9:02AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Thanks Fruit for the info. I may adjust the temps in my greenhouse and see how things react.

good talk!

Mike

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 10:43AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Mike:

This is about the best I can do for a whole tree picture.

I see two options for your greenhouse temperatures. Keep the greenhouse warmer during cold spells. This would keep the roots growing better so they could supply enough water when the sun comes out and temp hits 90F. Or run cold at night like I do and hold down on temperature and sun when those first sunny days hit after a cold spell. The later will probably cut your heating bill by 75-90%.

Mine do great with a cool winter but they don't grow for many months. Some people can't accept that. But my fruit is very good and that's my concern.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 11:21AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Awesome tree, Fruit!
I agree with Mike, great talk.

I keep my citrus between 40ish and 80ish (max) during the Winter. No leaf drop.
Of course, my cold-frame is outdoors, since the weather is fairly mild here.
This morning the low temp was 26F.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 1:17PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

wow fruit that tree is great! That is some good inspiration for sure. Im going to put a couple of the bigger trees in ground next year(meyer and key lime) and build protection for them next winter. Maybe Ill get a large harvest like that one day.

Thanks for sharing!!

Mike

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 1:34PM
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