Oranges arrived in North America from Europe but they originated in China. Orange trees generally range in height at maturity from 22 to 30 feet. Leaves are dark green, pointed with a round base and from 3 to 5 inches in length. Leaves can live for as long as three years. Flowers are white. The fruit itself is technically a berry (hesperidium) ranging from 2 to 4 inches in diameter at full size. The number of seeds in the fruit can vary according to a variety of factors with some 'cultivars' like navels being almost completely seedless. For the home landscaper, depending on the region, there can be a wide range of orange tree varieties from which to choose.
Like all citrus trees, oranges are cold-sensitive. If you live in northern Florida, the southern areas of the other gulf states or other regions where the occasional freeze is always a possibility during winter, think about choosing an early season cultivar like 'Hamlin', 'Parson Brown', Ambersweet or 'Washington' navel. Early season cultivars bear fruit before December unlike late season cultivars, some of which may not bear fruit until March. For advice on the best choice of orange tree for your region and climate, consult your local tree care specialist.
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