Last of the Winter Citrus


Tuesday 27 January, 2015 by Uncle Spike

Citrus fruit are harvested in one of two seasons, depending on the variety. For example, we have lemon and orange trees, some of which fruit in the summer, whilst the bulk of them are winter crops.

Ninety-five percent of our crops mature from late November to late January. For us, that primarily means clementines, but we also have pomelo, lovely large Washington oranges, small juicing oranges, winter lemons, wild oranges, and kumquats. As the picking season draws to a close, we have just a few left to share with you…



These are extraordinarily big and juicy this year on one of our trees. We had a storm just when they were flowering which blew off much of the flower heads, so this small tree ended up with less fruit in which to stuff in all its nutrients. This compares to another tangerine tree that had many more, but smaller, more normal sized fruit.



Wild Oranges

These wild trees are mainly kept for two purposes, one being to maintain the genetic balance of the orchard, as to have every tree the exact same means inter-pollination will eventually stifle the genetic strength of the orchard, much in the same way we talk about ‘inbreeding’. The other purpose is for grafting, as these wild trees are generally tough, and more readily accept grafts of other citrus trees in order to turn them into lemon trees for example. We just keep a couple of these trees, and use the fruit for marmalade, as whilst the flesh and juice are very bitter, the rind is excellent for semi-sweet marmalades.



Washington Oranges

These are plentiful most years, and vary from the size of a large guys fist, to almost small grapefruit sized monsters. The rind and pith is very thick in general, meaning peeling by hand is very easy, and the segments can be over an inch (3cm) wide, and very very sweet and juicy 🙂



27 thoughts on “Last of the Winter Citrus

  1. Goodness this takes me back to holidays in Spain! I once drove over a hill and there were mounds of little oranges piled on the verge with no skins. It has always puzzled me as to why anyone would use the skins and throw away the fruit. Do you know the reason?
    In Russia there is an amazing citrus tree called the Tree of Friendship which I have written about before. For decades foreign visitors and dignitaries from all over the world have grafted fruit into this tree as a symbol of peace and friendship. It is amazing.
    I loved your post thanks for the memories and beautiful images.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dayphoto says:

    What are you doing to do with yourself now that all the fruit is finished for the year? Do you have some other yummy something coming on?

    Linda ❤⊱彡


  3. Cathy says:

    Amazing tangerines – proves it’s worth removing flowers on a small tree? Did they taste as sweet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wild oranges – I’d never heard of them. Love your explanation. Do you stay away from limes intentionally?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No vitamin C deficiency for you or your family, methinks.


  6. I love those. they wouldn’t get past the the supermarket quality uniformity police in UK I have to say!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with Sue: how wonderful to be able to pick fruit from your very own trees. Picking berries on our own land is the only thing I have to compare it!

    Jennifer xo


  8. Sue Slaght says:

    Spike I can hardly believe how big the fruit is! Oh to be able to pick fresh fruit off of one’s own trees. I can barely imagine it.


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