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A forum for growing fruits and rare tropical and temperate fruits, and tending our orchards

The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby Axel » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:52 pm

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Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
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I couldn't believe it, found yet anohter half dozen oranges from last Spring on my cara cara tree. That makes 9 months on the tree after ripening, and the fruit only gets sweeter and tastier. To me, this is a record for a navel orange. Most navels don't hold on to fruit long after they are ripe. But not so for the cara cara, it will hold on to fruit long after they are ready for picking.

The cara caras i picked today were super sweet and very flavorful. It was like honey ambrosia with orange flavor.

If you grow only one orange, this is the one to grow. What a delight!

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby fruitnut » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:13 pm

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Axel:

That's good to know. But then you hardly had a summer this year. I would think cool weather would allow them to hold on the tree longer.

I've got a CC planted but too soon to know what the fruit is like.

When does CC start to ripen for you? Do you know when it ripens compared to Washington navel in the inland valleys with more heat?

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby jbclem 9b Topanga » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:29 pm

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Axel, is your Cara Cara a full size tree? How large has it grown? I have a 2 year old dwarf Cara Cara in a 15 gal container, I'm planning on putting it in the ground eventually, and I wonder how large(tall) it will be. It has 5 fruit on it right now, they are light yellow and I don't expect them to ripen for months. The tree also bloomed about 4 weeks ago and now has a few more fruit developing.

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby Axel » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:53 pm

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Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
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Mine ripen in April, right about the same time as lane late. My first oranges usually ripen in Early March, so I seem to have plenty of heat for them. Last year was the same and it was above 80F almost every day during the Summer.

Last summer was terrible, mostly 70's, but I don't think that's why they held on the tree so long.

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby Steve in Los Osos » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:55 pm

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Axel, do you still feel that the Cara Cara is a good bet for coastal, low summer heat areas? Most of what I read suggests that Trovita is the one to go for but I seem to recall you opining that Cara Cara might work out better.

Here in fogland every bit of adaptability counts, even when squeezing a small tree into a microclimate "hot spot". The orange is the one citrus missing from my collection that I would like to add.

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby Axel » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:20 pm

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I'd recommend the cara cara over the trovita. Trovita is not as good as the cara cara, and given the cara cara holds on the tree so long, it should be a great choice for foggier climates. Trovita is not bad, it's essentially a valencia type that is well adapted to climate extremes, from hot deserts to cooler climates. But the flavor is definitely better in warmer climates. I am puzzled as to where trovita got it's reputation for being a good fogbelt citrus. I suppose it might be because it makes ok fruit in marginal conditions. But a cara cara is likely to make excellent quality fruit in cool locations, you would just have to wait for the sugars to really accumulate before harvesting the fruit.

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby brettay » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:50 pm

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More and more, I think that the best citrus for northern california are the ones that can hang on the tree for a long time such as cara cara. The other that comes to mind is the gold nugget mandarin.

-Brett

Re: The miraculous Cara Cara orange

Postby DavidLJ48 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

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When does the Golden Nugget ripen, I know it is tied to climate. I have grafts on the Shamouti Orange I got from you, they seem to be on a similar ripening schedule.

It would be nice if the Cara Cara hung on here longer too. As I find most of my oranges don't hold very long, especially the Robertson, thinking of cutting it off and adding something, but it does do well to add to other juices and is earlier.

David
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby brettay » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:16 pm

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Gold nugget ripens in the spring, but holds on the tree for most of the summer.

-Brett

Re: The miraculous cara cara orange

Postby DavidLJ48 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:25 pm

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brettay wrote:Gold nugget ripens in the spring, but holds on the tree for most of the summer.

-Brett

That would be way cool.

david
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

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