Valencia Orange label confusion

cyclepattyDecember 28, 2013

The orange tag on the tree says it's a Valencia Orange. The label on the container says it's a Valencia Orange SD. Which means standard dwarf. I'm hoping it's not a dwarf but a regular size fruit tree. Is there a way to tell? At Home depot the SD's were about a foot shorter. This one is about 42 inches high in the ground. Thanks

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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

SD means SEMI Dwarf. You can tell it is a Dwarf by the way the branches are trimmed. Standards would have the first branch at around 28-30" above the ground.

A Semi-Dwarf can have a wide range of rootstocks with different growth rates and eventual sizes. Some rootstocks are called Semi-Dwarfs, while the same rootstock is called a Standard by another grower.

Most Semi-Dwarf Valencias are fully capable of reaching more than 12' in height. How tall do you want it to be? What is your climate?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 7:43PM
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cyclepatty

I would like the tree to get about 15 to 20 feet for privacy. Looks like it won't. I live in sunny, southern ca. tis

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 6:56PM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

Most HD in SoCal sell Citrus from LaVerne Nursery. The orange tag on the picture indicates it came from a much smaller grower that makes tags on demand in a label printer. You might ask HD who supplies their citrus but HD is usually incompetent at best.

Your specific area might help pin it down who likely supplied it to HD with that kind of label. Normal citrus bought from good growers are so cheap that it might be best to just get what you want now.

If you really want more than 15' in height in 10 years, you might want one of the larger rootstocks.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 8:26PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Patty, as Greg has mentioned, it really depends on the rootstock. If it is grafted to Carrizo/Troyer, it could easily get that big. If it is grafted to C35, more like 12' max. Greg is giving you some great advice. You can try calling Home Depot and ask them who their citrus wholesaler is, then call or email that company to find out what rootstock they use for their semi-dwarf Valencia's. Most likely it is the former, and you'll be fine. If it is C35, you'll have a slightly shorter tree, but a more prolific producing tree. So, if it really is height you're after, I would try buying directly from a citrus grower. If you tell us where you are in Calif., Greg, myself or others in S. Calif can tell you where you might be able to go.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

I have found that HD can usually find the rootstock if the supplier is competent to have recorded it or willing to bother looking it up. I have had them look up rootstocks for cherry and pear trees.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 12:18PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Steve, the big box stores can contact their suppliers, or they can give your the name of their supplier directly, and you can contact them yourself, directly. I have done the latter several times.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 2:49PM
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johninator

Patty, judging from the container and tag, it looks like it came from Clausen's Nursery. If you look at the container label carefully, it may even say the nursery name. From my limited experience, in the last 6mo, hd and lowes in so cal uses la verne (Piru, wholesaler only) and clausen's (Vista, open to public) as their supplier

Also, the dirt in the pot from clausens seems to be very dense, im assuming its the same dirt they grew the plant from. La verne nursery seems to use lighter better draining soil in their #5 dwarf citrus container. Lastly, durling nursery(usually does not supply to hd or lowes) also uses dense dirt, but clausens seems denser and tends to underfill their #5 pot.

Regards,
John

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:33PM
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johninator

Judging from the low cut graft, clausens will label these as semi dwarf.

Quite honestly, semi dwarf or std can always be controlled with pruning. From what i have been reading, most root stock from most citrus nurseries uses c-35 and carizo where some will label them as standard or semi dwarf. Where i see the difference is on std graft, the main stem/branch is longer before it starts to branch out where semi dwarf has multiple branch shoots growing near the graft line. Logically thinking, the root stock has to work harder to feed multiple low branches, that the tree will take longer to grow taller making it semi dwarf. With some top pruning and training, it will bush out more and limit its height.

It may be worth noting that dwarf citrus grown on flying dragon rootstock tends to grow very small even when unpruned. However, low production and fruit size may be an issue due to its slow growth. Fruit Size can easily be remediated with thinning while sacrificing production.

Regards,
John

This post was edited by johninator on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 19:44

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:52PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Four Winds supplies HD too.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:06PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

John, Four Winds never uses Flying Dragon for any of their citrus. They frequently will use Cuban Shaddock, but never Flying Dragon (and they will get rather perturbed if you state they use FD, btw). Grafting lower on the rootstock will not affect growth (height) of the scion. Grafting lower simply gives the tree a bushier appearance. The concept being - if a customer is wanting a "semi-dwarf" tree, they want something bushier, and less "tree-like". Most growers will graft higher on standard rootstocks to give the tree a more "tree-like" shape. That's all to that. And pruning can keep in control any citrus. Trees grafted to Carrizo/Troyer will really get as large as any "standard" rootstock. C35 does stay somewhat smaller, and tends to be more precocious (but possibly a shorter overall lifespan). I think Patty will be just fine with her orange tree. It will get large enough for her requirements. May take 5+ years, but if she doesn't drop crotch or top prune, she should be fine.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:02AM
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johninator

Thanks, for the update regarding 4winds rootstock. Hope I didnt mislead anyone with 4winds growers. They are an excellent nursery to deal with especially with citrus varieties.

Regards,
John

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

johninator

If you look to the right side of your own post under clippings 3 lines down you have a clickable text that reads "NEW! Edit Post" This link will let you go back and change what you said that is in error or just remove it. You will need to click on the Edit Post p;art of the line for it to be clickable.

Steve

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 3:05PM
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