What is it & what is eating it??

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by ClissAT, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I have this 'orange' tree, about shoulder height 15-20yrs old & produces the most bitter fruit other than lemons I have ever tasted! Does anyone know what it might be? I thought maybe tangelo or tangerine?

    Beautiful smooth orange skin, very juicy & soft, very seducing! But do not judge a fruit by it's skin! :tease:

    I do make lovely bitter marmalade but it does use a lot of sugar so this year I decided to leave the fruit until they began falling off to get as many sugars developed in the fruit as possible so to attempt to make jam with less sugar.

    The tree was fairly full but the other day 1 fruit was on the ground with a bite mark in it. I also thought there should have been more fruit than that.

    Then tonight I was planning a leisurely fruit tree watering session around o'dark100 while the light faded from the sky & the breeze was lulled, but I again saw 2 fruit on the ground.

    Then realized most of the fruit were GONE! :shock: So I had to grab a bucket & collect 'all' the fruit. I checked the mandarin tree & I think there is fruit missing from it too & that fruit IS nice!
    All the thief has left me with on the 'orange' tree are these 11 in the following photo. Also is a photo of the bitten fruit.

    Does anyone recognize this type of bite mark as to what critter is helping itself to my hard won fruit?

    orange fruit 1.jpg orange fruit 2.jpg
     
  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    I'd guess either a possum or bat. A lot of my passion fruit get similar bite marks and my possum friend is always in the area.
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I would say possum especially if the eaten fruit was found on the ground bats and birds tend to leave partially eaten fruit on the tree.

    Parrots will eat ripe citrus they attack ours!

    Your orange variety looks even smaller than a Valencia, which can also be a little bitter, is it a grafted tree?
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yes Mark it is grafted. Otherwise I'd have thought it was some sort of crossbred seedling.

    Steve this morning I heard crows at the tree.
    Yes Mark I was suspecting the king parrots also, but the bitten out part is too neat for a parrot & I also think this fruit is too heavy for them to carry away. They are heavier than my navel oranges which incidentally are also disappearing as of last night!

    I picked all the jam oranges so whatever it is moved on to the next tree!:mad:
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Hmmm, that's a big bite too!

    I've seen possums take fruit and eat it elsewhere but they usually don't eat as much as your losses...

    It's a mystery only a trail camera could solve ;)

    I reckon your orange is a valencia then... that's my guess mainly because of the size of fruit and the trees don't grow very large either.
     
  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well it's taken me a while but I have had my tree ID'd by a professional & quite possibly the actual man who did the graft all those years ago!
    I went to a talk today given by a man who has been pivotal in the Australian fruit tree industry both commercial & home grown.
    I took these photos I posted here with me.
    It is a Seville orange!
    This year it produced copious fruit which I made into beautiful jam.
    Many of the fruits were almost sweet & considering it is a Seville, that is apparently quite amazing!


    Case closed....................! :D


    Although what animal like to eat such tart fruit is yet to be discovered.
     
  7. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Had a horse that used to love to eat my mandarins off the tree.
     
  8. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Oh yes Flatland one of mine loves mandies also, particularly the flesh but wont say no to the skin.
    However he doesn't really like oranges which would be almost the same sweetness as mandies. Strange, that.
     
  9. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Seville is traditionally a bitter orange, which makes sense. Even when ripe they aren't favourites for fresh eating oranges. I had a similar dilemma with a mature tree we had in our acreage when we realised its juicy mature fruits were sour but the characteristic nipple like knob at the top of the fruit gave away its identity, a tangelo.
     
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