Orange Tree Propagation
If orange farmers select to grow an orange tree from seed, this tree will probably not be able to produce fruits in less than 10 years. Moreover, this tree will be susceptible to diseases. Thus, nowadays orange trees are usually propagated by grafting. In that way, orange farmers benefit from a combination of two different plant tissues, the rootstock and the scion. The rootstock is a healthy mature tree (not necessarily orange tree, but definitely citrus) and the scion is a desired and highly productive orange variety. In this way, orange farmers can plant the grafted orange trees (that are often one or two years old) and harvest a fair production usually after 1-2 years. Grafted trees are more resilient than “natural” trees, as the rootstocks have been selected according to their resistance in cold, heat and various (local and universal) diseases. Nowadays, citrus trees other than orange (for instance rough lemon) are often used as rootstock for orange production.
Orange Tree Pollination
Bees are definitely the most important carriers of pollen in the pollination of citrus, while the wind and some other pollinating insects such as thrips have little importance. Although the orange blossoms are self-fertile and theoretically do not need bees to cross pollinate and set fruits, the pollination activity of honeybees has been found to significantly increase fruit set and production. According to an experiment, orange trees that were totally isolated from bees gave production equal to 35% of the normal production. Consequently, in order to successfully pollinate orange trees, we may have to place a certain number of beehives inside the orange orchard (ask a local expert).
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8.) Orange Tree Propagation & Pollination
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