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Citrus From Seed

 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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    I know that citrus usually does not come true from seed, but my trees (tangerines) are rather old (possibly leftover from the original California citrus groves) and perhaps will still produce proper offspring. They are certainly not seedless! (Their numerous seeds mean that we use them mostly for juicing).
 
                    
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I just set  some calmondin seed - that is one type of citrus that does come fairly true from seed.

Sour seems to be the norm, and occasional individual citrus trees come out sweet.  The seeds of sweet citrus tend to 'revert to the mean' or go back towards the norm of sour, but may still be good (and very occasionally, will be better than their parents).
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I believe that citrus seedlings are frequently clones of the parent tree.  something called a nucellar clone.  but then some seeds are the product of pollination and won't be clones.  I'm told that both can be present on the same tree, and even in the same fruit.  some seeds have more than one embryo, and they may be split between clones and not-clones.  it may or may not be possible to tell them apart.

even if you've got a clone, though, the biggest problem is the time you've got to wait for production and the large size of the trees.  they'll get big and thorny and you'll have to wait for ten years or more for any fruit.  grapefruit seedlings take 12-14 years to begin fruiting in Florida, for example.  if you prune them to keep them at a more manageable size, they'll never fruit.  has to do with attaining a certain number of nodes before they'll fruit.

you might have better luck grafting scions from your tangerine onto those seedlings.  you'll get the good seedling roots and a lot faster/bigger yield that way and I imagine the two would have a strong graft union being so closely related.  just make sure you choose a fruiting branch for scion wood.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Grafting sounds like a good idea. How long would it take the seedlings to grow large enough to be grafted?
 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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tel wrote:
even if you've got a clone, though, the biggest problem is the time you've got to wait for production and the large size of the trees.  they'll get big and thorny and you'll have to wait for ten years or more for any fruit.  grapefruit seedlings take 12-14 years to begin fruiting in Florida, for example.  if you prune them to keep them at a more manageable size, they'll never fruit.  has to do with attaining a certain number of nodes before they'll fruit.
Interesting. This I did not know.....

When I clicked on this thread I thought it would be the video I once saw on how to get an orange pip to germainate quickly..... Seems like not so desireable anyway.... but have posted in case it is of some interest....

Chelle
 
tel jetson
steward
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Kirk Hutchison wrote:
Grafting sounds like a good idea. How long would it take the seedlings to grow large enough to be grafted?


I'm not real sure, but I don't think it would be more than two or three years.  depends on the graft you use.  check out a copy of The Grafter's Handbook.  I think there's a section on citrus in there.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Thank you, I'll check it out.
 
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