LA Sweet Orange Trees reach an ultimate height of 8 to 12 feet when planted in the ground but tend to grow smaller when planted in a container. The fragrant white blooms are in season in summer and once pollinated, turn into fruit buds that ripen in winter.
Citrus sinensis, commonly called sweet orange, is a small citrus tree in the rue family Rutaceae that originated in China, southeastern Asia, and northeastern India where it has been cultivated and propagated for thousands of years. Different sweet orange cultivars were eventually moved along the Asian Silk Road or trade routes to Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean where orange groves were established. In the 1500s the Spaniards brought sweet oranges to South America and the fruit was eventually introduced to the United States. Today, orange trees in the U.S. are grown commercially or in backyards in semi-tropical and warm temperate regions.
One of the many sweet orange cultivars that has passed the test of time is the Louisiana Sweet Orange Tree. The LA Sweet Orange Tree is a vigorous, evergreen fruit tree with a rounded crown covered with glossy, fragrant foliage. The tree also has an upright habit, is extremely productive, and cold hardy. The only possible downside of growing this orange is that the tree, like some other citrus trees, is covered with thorns making harvesting quite a challenge. However, the fruit tree compensates by showing off fragrant white flowers that turn to sweet oranges that are juicy and extremely flavorful.
The LA Sweet Orange Tree fruit is a traditional round orange that is medium to large in size and boasts a rich flavor. The fruits ripen and become available in December or mid-winter and should be harvested when ripe as the fruits tend to split and drop from the tree when over-ripe.
Citrus Tree Care
Growing Orange Trees at home not only provides fresh oranges within your reach, but the trees can also be used as accents to your patio or backyard. At the same time orange trees are natural air fresheners since they give off fresh floral and citrus scents in summer or winter when blooms and fruits are in season. Citrus trees are generally easy to grow, require minimal maintenance, and have very few needs. However, keep in mind that you need to provide a few things in order to grow healthy and prolific fruit trees. LA Sweet Orange trees that are grown in nurseries get ample sunshine, cold protection, sufficient water, proper drainage, and adequate fertilizer. In other words, these citrus trees are given the perfect growing conditions to thrive. In order for the orange tree you ordered to have the same healthy growth cycle, check out the information we have prepared below.
Seasonal Information: LA Sweet Orange Tree is classified as a tropical fruit tree and is best grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11 where winters are dry and summers are cool. For those living in zones outside USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, you may grow this citrus tree at home but it has to be planted in a container which you can easily bring inside when there is a threat of frost damage.
Soil: Citrus trees are typically adaptable to most types of soil, except for extremely sandy soils, as long as the soil is well draining. Do not use heavy clay soil when planting your LA Sweet Sweet Orange Trees or Valencia Orange Trees as this type of soil would limit the root growth resulting in reduced fruit yield and a shorter tree lifespan.
Sunlight: When you find citrus trees for sale online, and purchase the ones you want, make sure that you replant them in an area where they can get full sunlight to reach their potential in growth and fruit production. In the event this is not possible, place your citrus trees in a location where they can get partial sun, like the southern or western sides of your home, or where it is the sunniest.
Watering: When rainfall does not provide the moisture your growing citrus trees need, deeply water your plants once every week during the first year after replanting. Keep in mind that it is better to deeply water your growing citrus trees than to water frequently for a few minutes since insufficient water depth will cause the roots to diminish, while too much water applied too frequently may deprive the roots of oxygen resulting in root rot and other plant diseases.
Fertilization: Citrus trees like LA Sweet Orange Trees are heavy feeders and need to be given frequent doses of fertilizer for citrus trees. Apply citrus tree fertilizer just before the new growth season begins. Administer a dose of citrus fertilizer every month or two during the harvest season and twice during the dormant season. As your citrus trees become establish you can skip fertilizing during dormant season.
Fruit & Harvesting
The LA Sweet citrus trees usually start producing fruit after three to four years. LA Sweets are medium to large (size usually ranges from 6.5 to 9.5 cm wide) oval to round oranges with thin, orange peel that contains tiny oil glands. The seedy flesh of LA Sweet Orange is divided into 10 to 14 segments. The pulp of this fruit is sweet, juicy, and contains high amounts of vitamins A and C, potassium, and other nutrients. Aside from juicing or eating fresh, the LA Sweet Orange can be used to make soda, punches, cocktail drinks, and liqueurs. The flesh and rind may be used to make desserts, marmalade, jam, candies, cookies, and pastries. Fragrant oil extracted from the peel, flowers, and leaves is used to make perfumes and aromatic oils, while oil extracted from the seed is used in cooking and even as a component in making plastics.
LA Sweet Oranges ripen in mid-winter or December. Make sure to start harvesting the crops as soon as they ripen since they tend to split and drop when over-ripe. Look for fruits with outer skin that has turned their orange hue, smooth, and without spots or soft areas. Choose firm oranges that are heavy for their size and that gently give when squeezed. Once you have determined which ones to pick, do a taste test before harvesting the rest of the crop. Make sure that the flavor (sweetness vs. acidity) and juice is satisfactory since citrus fruits do not ripen further once harvested. You can store oranges in the pantry for a week but to keep them fresh for a longer period of time, refrigerate them.
LA Sweet Orange Trees reach an ultimate height of 8 to 12 feet when planted in the ground but tend to grow smaller when planted in a container. The fragrant white blooms are in season in summer and once pollinated, turn into fruit buds that ripen in winter. Like most citrus fruits, LA Sweet Oranges need heat to ripen and should be protected from cold when the temperature dips below 28º.
Pests and Diseases
Ants do not cause direct harm to citrus trees. However, they form a symbiotic relationship with scale, mealy bugs, aphids and other insects that feed on citrus leaves and new growth. Ants protect the arthropods, and move the insect herd from one food source to another as each one gets depleted. In turn, the insects feed the ants with honeydew as payment for services provided.
If you notice your citrus tree has become infested with an ant colony, it is a good indicator that other insects are feeding on your growing citrus tree. You must kill the ant colony by making a mixture of Mountain Dew and 3 pinches of laundry detergent; make sure that the mixture is not strong enough to kill the ants immediately. The mixture should be mixed just right so ants will have a chance to take it back to the colony, killing every single ant in it.
Scales are blister like insects that infest citrus trees and cause damage when there is a major infestation. They suck the sap from plants, stealing nutrients needed to grow healthy and produce fruits. Scale insects also produce honeydews that become breeding grounds for black sooty mold.
You can spray soapy water onto the foliage of your citrus tree to remove scale insects. You can also wash the tree using a dish-cloth dipped in warm water and dish-soap. Afterwards, treat the citrus tree with Neem Oil or other horticultural oil. Visit and check the tree again after a week and repeat the process if need be. It is also recommended to wash the tree every time you fertilize since fertilizing brings forth new growth that is inviting to the hungry hordes of scale.
How many orange trees can you get per acre?
While typical plantings of citrus trees produce on average 25,000 oranges per acre, conventional high-density plantings can double fruit yields to 50,000 however, a planting of 84 citrus trees per acre produces approximately 100,000 oranges using Tree Plantation growing and pruning methods.
How many oranges do you get from one tree?
However, orange trees can actually continue to yield fruit for 100 years or more. Once it starts producing oranges, a tree will yield between 100 to 300 oranges per growing season for many decades.