Droopy from rain and fruit load, here is my Washington Navel tree:
It looks nice. You left to go as a bush. Mine is 6 feet tall tree
Yes, one of the BYOC concepts is to never let a tree get taller than you can reach from the ground. No ladders for harvesting or pruning. My days of working with unmanageable trees are over.
Very darling tree, mrclint. I have the same rule in my yard: NO LADDERS. I can tell you as an RN, that the # one cause of accidental household injury/death includes a ladder. So, I keep my trees no taller than I can reach. Another plus in keeping your tree bush-like, is it protects the trunk and main branches from sunburn. For mrclint and I, here in very sunny S. Calif. (although for the last few days, can't say we've been very sunny!), this is pretty important. I love the setting for your tree, mrclint, very inviting next to that teal blue chair. Makes you want to pick an orange, sit down and enjoy!
Yes, and to clarify slightly, the tree still has a single trunk but it begins branching within a foot or two from the ground. Also, there are some non-fruiting branches going 6' straight up into the air. As previously stated, the fruit bearing branches are very droopy right now.
Good to protect the trunk in that way. The only downside is that fruit is "reachable" for critters. And snails can get into the trees a bit easier, too. But, as your little tree grows up some, you can remove branches that touch the ground if you need to. I have a Rio Red that is low like this. Some fruit is on the ground right now, nothing I can do about it, except pull off the fruit, but I'm too greedy to do that, so I'll just put down extra snail bait and hope the rats and mice don't get to it.
Here's a photo of my first Page. Couldn't resist so I went out with a flashlight to pick one. Had a hankering for something sweet and citrus tonight!
Well, I work pretty hard to keep the fruit off the ground. Sometimes I hang some branches up on the little wire fence around the planter or even tie a droopy branch to a non-fruit bearing branch, or even to the fence in the background. Sometimes you can just harvest the fruit farthest out on the branch tip to help bring the branch off the ground.
I brought in some of my Page Mandarins this weekend as well to try and avert the onslaught of Kishu requests. The Page's are really good, but a little more time and they will be off-the-hook good. :)
The rain is causing some splitting right now, so anything with a split is being harvested.
This post was edited by mrclint on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 19:41
Yes, I had some splitting with my Page earlier. Hopefully it has stopped. My Page was good, and probably sweet enough for my hubby, but I'm going to wait a couple more weeks to see if they sweeten up a little more, since I like them very sweet. This is my alternative to the Minneola, which, although an excellent variety, just a bit to "sprightly" for my taste buds. I like my oranges very sweet. No Kishu for me this year, my Kishu is new just this year, and on the small side. But, it is establishing well. I may end up moving it, though, as it is getting swallowed up by some water-wise plant I have on the front slope, and I think it will do better in a less competitive spot.
The page looks great, Lucky you, you have no seeds in yours. Mine have many seeds, seeds are no fun! I know what you mean about the flashlight, I do that all the time. For some reason citrus look more peaceful at night :)
This Washington Navel tree has been in the ground for four years and has proven to be very precocious from the outset. The picture does not capture how much fruit it is carrying right now.
I've started bringing in the ones with splits, and they are very good --even this early in the season. Is it possible that the long hot spell we had this summer has flavored up all the citrus so early?
I think so, mrclint. And was partially to blame for the fruit splitting as well. It is amazing how citrus can be so prolific. No wonder these is such a love affair with this particular type of fruit tree.
I don't allow my trees to go higher than 6-7 foot. I am 6'3" and I can reach the top of every one with my arm exended. I don't like the bushes because of several reasons. It is difficult to clean the weeds and grass which insists to grow beneath the bushes. Rodents love to hide and build nests into the bush. I have 4 Blueberry bushes which no way to make them trees. My little boy told me he saw a snake under the bush. I called the county wild life Thank God they came and captured 6 feet snake was hiding under the blueberry bushes. I am so happy it did not bite my boy although the county later told me he is not poisnous but you can imagine the scare my son went through.
foolishpleasure, there are no doubt pros and cons with a higher or lower main trunk. Hiding rodents and snakes should be addressed immediately -- as important but separate issues regardless of tree structure. Weeds are not a problem because of mulch and a heavily shaded trunk area will deter them. More sunlight down at the trunk may invite sunburn as well.