Washington Navel Orange Tree
Grow Delicious Seedless Oranges at Home
The Washington Navel Orange is seedless and matures early in winter. Being thick skinned and easy to peel, it is one of the most popular varieties.
The Washington Navel is popular because of its outstanding flavor for both eating out of hand and for juicing. It produces an abundance of large, orange fleshed, seedless fruits, and can be left on the tree for up to three months without diminished quality.
The flowers on a Washington Navel bloom in the spring, but then take seven to ten months to mature and ripen. The moderatly sized trees have waxy white fragrant flowers with deep green shiny leaves and will not pollinate other trees.
Washington Navel Orange prefers full sun, fertile, but well drained soil, and moderate water. In colder climates, simply plant them in a container and bring them inside. Just keep them near a sunny window. .
Our trees are always in high demand, and we expect these large-sized, mature citrus trees to be very popular. Order now before they sell out and enjoy the benefits of growing your own citrus fruit anywhere in the U.S.
* Moderate Sized Tree
* Delicious Fruit
The History of America’s #1 Orange
The Washington Navel Orange had a long journey to become America's #1 orange. It was well worth the wait!
By the early 1800's, missionaries had planted citrus orchards in Brazil, Central America, Florida and Mexico. In the early 1840's, William Wolfskill planted what is considered the first commercial citrus orchard in Southern California. Wolfskill grew mostly lemons and oranges from seed, but he is credited with establishing the market for citrus growing in California.
Many growers of the period worked to create a superior quality sweet orange, but very few succeeded. In 1877, Thomas Garey introduced a seedling called 'Garey's Mediterranean Sweet' which was immediately recognized for its fruit quality. Shortly afterward, Garvey began getting requests for this plant from all over the world. However, after the introduction of the Washington Navel, the popularity of Garey's variety would fall sharply.
During the same time period, news emerged of a far superior sweet orange variety. Since 1820, budwood from a tree discovered in a monastery in Brazil were being sent to citrus growing regions. However, these first trees proved to have inferior quality.
In the late 1860's, William Saunders with the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., learned of this superior sweet orange from a neighbor who has just returned from Brazil. Saunders contacted a missionary there and was shipped budded trees in 1870. This is the credited time of introduction for the Washington Navel (although it hadn't been named at that time!)
Saunders propagated this new variety and sent trees to Florida and 3 locations in California. The variety did not do well in Florida, but the California trees did well. Two of the budded trees were sent to Saunders former neighbor Eliza and Luther Tibbetts. The Tibbetts had just moved to Riverside in Southern California and purchased 8 acres of land. The trees grew well by the side of their house.
By the early 1880's, the" Riverside Navel" had caught on quite well with local growers and nurseries throughout California and was gaining popularity throughout the United States. To keep with the national appeal, the decision was made to change the name to the George Washington Navel. This in time was shortened to Washington Navel.
Because of the Washington Navel's seedless nature, planting seeds wasn't possible. With no seed available, all propagation was done by budding or grafting to seedling rootstocks. This means that nearly all the Washington Navels grown in California to date originate from Eliza Tibbetts original two trees. They were moved from their original location. One of the trees died, but the other tree is still alive and a registered historical monument in Riverside, California, still setting fruit at over 145 years old. What a legacy!
|Brand||Nature Hills Nursery|
|Botanical Name||Citrus sinensis 'Washington'|
|Mature Height||7 - 10 feet|
|Mature Spread||3 - 4 feet|
|Soil Type||Widely Adaptable|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Fruiting Time||3 Years|