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Orange tree question

 
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Just curious when an orange is ripe? Here is a pic of 4 oranges I picked off the same tree. Thanks!
5CBAB567-2C63-49EE-A546-54AABD78B71D.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 5CBAB567-2C63-49EE-A546-54AABD78B71D.jpeg]
 
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Depends upon the orange, the tree and the microclimate.

My Washington navel is ripe in Christmas morning, and not a day before (according to family tradition).  Our Satsuma mandarine is ripe at the end of October/beginning of November.  The Valencia juice orange really isn't sweet enough till March.  The Blood Orange is good at the end of January.

The size of the orange isn't the determining factor.  Nor is the color of the peel, as the sugars in the peel may ripen differently from the fruit inside.

You just have to cut one open and check it.  Pick a fruit that looks to be "average" for the rest of the crop on the tree. Peel it or cut it into quarters and try it.  Do this every week or two until you feel like, "Yeah, that's sweet enough".

One other variable is that some oranges very quickly get over-ripe (Satsuma) while others hang on the tree for a long long time (Golden Nugget mandarine).  You've got to learn which trees you need to aggressively pick, and which trees can be left --- a kind of hanging pantry, if you will.  

So start tasting!
 
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Marco is right on the spot. It all depends upon location, climate, growing conditions, and variety.

My tangerines are best when orange with green blush to the rind, and the fruit feels firm but slightly soft, and a heavy feel to it. Let them get fully orange, soft, or light and its too late for juicy tangerines....they're dry.

My other oranges and tangelos are picked when they are orange with a tad of green blush. The fruits are firm but start to have a little give if I squeeze them. The tangelos can get a bit softer and still be excellent.

I prefer my limes when they start to change from dark green to pale green. And lemons go from bright yellow to yellow with a slight orange blush.

My grapefruits will have a little give to them when I squeeze, and a pink blush shows up somewhere on the rind.

Those fully orange colored tangerines, tangelos, and oranges one sees in the supermarket are artificially colored, so I'm told. They are picked green and artificially ripened. Not my cup of tea anymore. Yes, since growing my own, I've become a fruit snob.
 
Marco Banks
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Su Ba wrote:Yes, since growing my own, I've become a fruit snob.



^^ This. ^^

There is nothing so wonderful as a ripe blood orange that is picked fresh and immediately peeled.  You get spoiled when you've got your own citrus.  Need a lime?  Just go out and grab one that's freshly falled to the ground.  Unfortunately, the "greening" disease is wiping out citrus around the world.  It's been found here in Los Angeles, so they say it's only a matter of time before it spreads and everyone will lose their trees.

 
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