About our Grove Update: Each month we visit the same navel orange tree to monitor the health and progress of our premium citrus all season long.
About our Grove Update tree
Scott, our Procurement Manager and life-long citrus expert, chose a 31-year-old navel orange tree west of Vero Beach to monitor through the season for your enjoyment and learning. Any tree older than 10 years old could be considered “mature” and anything under 10 years old would be “young”.
Old vs. young orange trees
The primary difference is quality and quantity of citrus, specifically the older the tree, the sweeter the juice inside (also known as higher brix, or sugars). The larger, older trees have a more established root system and canopy (surface area), to allow the absorption of more nutrients. This develops stronger fruit, which produce a sweeter flavor than younger trees.
Summer heat and rain replenish citrus
The heat is turning up in the Indian River region in Florida with temperatures hovering around the mid-90s in the groves. Summer rains and thunderstorms are sprouting up each afternoon, giving our citrus trees the water they need to produce the juiciest fruit available when the fall and winter seasons arrive. At this time of year, the fruit is developing from the small buds they once were after the bloom.
As the blooming flowers fall off, the tiny buds start to grow into oranges. This was taken in March, 3 months prior to the following fruit below.
I discovered why they are called “navel” oranges! They look like a belly-button, which is actually a secondary orange that grows inside.
Health and quality check
Many growers and experts believe it is too early to visit the groves. Scott states:
“You have to keep a pulse on premium fruit all year long, so when season approaches, we have identified the best of the best to send to our customers when season arrives.”
We also check the health of the fruit, growing stage of the tree, and take plenty of photos so you can see for yourself that Hale Groves takes citrus very seriously…just for you!
All clear! Looking healthy and growing.
Using a tool known as calipers, which measure diameter, Scott measured a 2-inch average diameter for our navel oranges in June. We’ll keep track of this throughout the season to show you how plump they get!
Stay tuned! We’ll see you next month for another Grove Update!
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