Saturday, October 29, 2016

Splitting Oranges

The oranges on my tree are splitting. 

At first glance, they look just fine, starting to ripen and turn color:


Ripening Orange

 But then, a closer look reveals something troubling:


Splitting Orange

The tree survived the summer with minimum amounts of water.  The fruit developed OK.  Then came the heatwave and the hot, dry Santa Ana winds of early autumn.  The heat and lack of water caused the tree some stress, but the fruit seemed fine.


Another Split Orange

And then, it rained.  We had a shower of rain last week and another one this morning.  We were happy to have rain, as the garden really needed it.  The thirsty little tree drank up the water and the water helped to swell the fruit.  But it was too much water, too quickly.  The pulp filled with juice and swelled too fast.  The rind couldn't grow fast enough to keep up with the expanding fruit.  And so, the fruit split.


Yet Another

These are navel oranges and they split more than other types of oranges, I've read, because the rind around the navel is thinner.  A few fruits fell a couple of days ago and I tossed them.  Three more fell today and I tossed them, too.  I left the others on the tree, but I should probably pick them and toss them.  Insects have already discovered the split fruit.


One More

My fault.  I really should have watered the tree more during the summer so that the rain wouldn't have caused so much damage.  Sigh.


12 comments:

  1. Sorry about your oranges. Split fruit is so frustrating. We don't have drought problems like you do, but all it takes is one short, hard rain and things split here too. I don't think I've ever been able to get a cantaloupe to ripen all the way on the vine because of splitting.

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    1. It is very frustrating. One looks forward to eating the fruit and then they split before they are ready to be eaten and need to be thrown. I am hoping that the rest of the fruit on the tree will be OK.

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  2. So sad! Great to have the rain but I would have never guessed that would happen. And they would have been such beautiful oranges, too. Nice that you'll know how to prevent it from happening again next year.

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    1. Yes, I'll be sure to water the orange tree more frequently, next year. Sometimes, my pomegranates split too, but they haven't split, yet, this year. I'd better pick them before they do!

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  3. Oh what a shame although the rainfall is good. Who'd have thought something like that would happen after just a couple of showers. Mother Nature can be cruel and kind but she is always fascinating. xx

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    1. Mother Nature also has a sense of humor, and, it being close to Halloween, I guess she was playing a Halloween "trick or treat" on me! The treat being the rain and the trick being the resulting split oranges! :D

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  4. I never thought that oranges would split! I mean, if I had thought about it I would have known that something like that could happen, but I never knew. Do you get a lot of wasps? They are a nightmare here when fruit is splitting/over-ripe x

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    1. It's rather weird, isn't it? I do have a lot of wasps. They build their nests under my eaves! They don't bother me, so I don't bother them.

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  5. Oh, that's a pity, Bless! Our oranges will probably suffer the same fate, it's been a very dry summer and so far, except for Hurricane Matthew, it's been a very dry fall too.

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    1. I hope your oranges do better, Nathalie. Make sure you water the tree on a regular basis, so that the rind can keep pace.

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