Fruit trees

The orange tree

The sweet orange or orange tree whose scientific name is Citrus, is a fruit tree that tends to be medium in size due to its short trunk, with little bulky branches and white flowers with an exquisite aroma, which is called orange blossom.

Its plantation occurs best in sub tropical climates. The tree is usually born from its seed, by transplanting a stake or sowing some of its roots. The Citrus or orange tree belongs to the family of the rutáceas, in it also the mandarins, lemons, grapefruits are classified, being more than 1,600 species in total.

characteristics

The orange tree reaches its youth within the first five to seven years of life, at this time it can begin its reproductive stage. If the tree receives the necessary care it can last an average of 30 years, after the first flowers appear, the first fruits appear. In its mature stage it reaches the maximization of its flora and consequently its fruits, once the tree grows old it will decrease the amount of its crops.

Origin

It is important to note that the orange tree is of Hindu, Pakistani and Chinese origin. It has a hybrid nature of the crossing of lemon and mandarin. They were shared with the rest of the world by the Arabs.

The orange tree begins to bloom in the spring, it is a beautiful landscape that you surely want to see sometime in your life.

Orange tree cultivation

It occurs in humid and sub tropical climates. Its fruit, flowers and vegetation do not tolerate cold, since this tree in general is affected by frost, blooming in spring and during winter it tends to stop its growth.

It requires a lot of rain or abundant risk. Various irrigation techniques are applied to thereby increase its flora and thus the production and harvest of the orange fruit.

It needs a lot of sunlight so that it can grow properly and its fruits can ripen in the best way. It is susceptible to the wind, which means that it can lose several flowers and fruits when falling to the ground, detached by these.

It requires sandy, deep, cool soils without limestone. It does not resist salinity, so techniques must be adopted in the plantation to counteract it.

A lot of compost must be used and usually during watering, which increases maintenance cost a bit. Due to the lack of zinc, iron, magnesium, it is necessary to apply these nutrients artificially.

Special care must be taken with pruning, many specialists point out that excessive pruning could bring less fruit production. It must manage growth regulators, widely used to increase the flowering, fruit size and prevent falling and therefore the loss of harvest.

Pests

You have to take special care of the pests that affect the orange tree, these can be the cochineal, red spider, whitefly. In the same way, these orange trees are susceptible to certain diseases, such as the sadness virus, exocortis and psoriasis.

As there are and are kept more flowers on the tree to the same extent there will be a greater harvest of the fruit.

To obtain quality fruits it is advisable to collect them when they are ripe, if you wait a long time they fall off and the harvest is lost and if they are removed early it will not have the desired sweet taste.

There are several types of orange trees such as Citrus x sinensis with sweet fruit and Citrus aurantium,  whose fruit is somewhat more bitter and is usually used in gastronomy in the preparation of jams, preserves and liqueurs.

Types of oranges

Navel Group

These fruits do not have seeds, they have a protrusion or navel at their end. Of a great variety, among which we find Navelate, Ricalate, Thomson and Bahía.

White Group

This fruit is long-lasting in the tree for abundant juice and contains few seeds. Some of these are the Castellana, Caddenera, Belladonna, Berna, Comuna, Shamouti and the Valencia Late, which is the most common.

Blood or Sanguine Group

Its name has to do with the color of its pulp, which tends to be reddish. Within this group there are some called Doble fina, Entre fina, Moro, Sanguinello, Maltesa Sanguina.

Sucreñas Group

The best known is the Grano de Oro and Succari.

Benefits

Like all citrus fruits, the orange tree has great properties and brings many benefits to our health. Such as:

It is good for the prevention of diabetes, due to its low glycemic index it is ideal as a healthy snack.

It contains a high concentration of vitamin C that stimulates the immune system. It helps to fix iron in the body, favors the formation of collagen and red blood cells.

Its regular consumption makes your skin look healthy and more radiant, as it is a fruit with a large amount of antioxidants that is ideal to prevent aging.

It is a rich source of energy. Although you must be careful as it is usually very caloric, it is advisable that instead of drinking a glass of its juice, that you eat the whole fruit since it is also rich in fiber which will improve your trips to the bathroom.

It fights bad LDL cholesterol, as it is a great source of beta-carotene and flavonoids.

It is a cocktail of minerals and among them are iron, potassium, calcium, folic acid, phosphorus, copper, zinc and magnesium, so the consumption of orange fruit will help you maintain adequate levels of these minerals and therefore it will improve your health.

  • It prevents cancer and heart disease.
  • Due to its high water consumption, it is an excellent source of hydration.
  • Promotes healing.
  • It is antidepressant.

You can use the leaf in tea to alleviate digestive problems for its antispasmodic properties. In the case of gas or flatulence, an infusion after meals will help you with that problem.

It is an excellent cleanser that will help you eliminate substances that have not been metabolized by your body.

The oils and essences are usually used in aromatherapy as energizers and relaxers, they are also used in the application of massages and hydration of the skin.

It is a natural antibiotic that will help you fight some infections, such as tonsillitis.

Applications

The fruit of the orange tree can be used in various ways, whether in poultices, body oils or essences, flavorings, combat odors from footwear and with a few drops of essence on the hair before washing it provides shine and moisture.

It is also used in the manufacture of cleaning products. As well as it can be consumed through many forms, such as juices, desserts, infusions, sauces for meats, salad dressings, among others.

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