Rootstock effects on Murcott tangor trees grown in a calcareous Alfisol or a Spodosol

William C. Castle, James C. Baldwin


Two replicated rootstock trials were planted using 'Murcott' tangor (putative Citrus reticulata Blanco C. sinensis [L.] Osb.) as the scion. The first trial was planted in 1990 near Sebring, Florida, in Smyrna sand, a Spodosol. Trees on nine rootstocks including the dwarfing Flying Dragon trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata [L.] Raf.), mandarins, and Milam lemon (putative C. jambhiri [Lush.] hybrid) were planted within an established commercial grove. Tree survival was 100% except for trees on sour orange (C. aurantium [L.]) that declined from citrus tristeza virus. Tree height after 11 years ranged from 9 feet for trees on Flying Dragon to an average of 11 feet for trees on all other rootstocks. There were no large yield differences based on estimates when trees were 5 and 11 years old, but trees on Uvalde citrange merited further commercial evaluation. The second trial was planted in 1994 near Loxahatchee (Palm Beach County) in Riviera sand, an Alfisol. There were trees on 31 rootstocks that were mostly citranges (C. sinensis P. trifoliata [L.] Raf.), citrumelos (C. paradisi Macf. P. trifoliata), mandarins, and somatic and sexual hybrids. Because of considerable site variability, trees were rated for yield, fruit size, and extent of micronutrient deficiency. The scores were combined into a single category rating for each rootstock. Tree height was measured and yield and juice data were collected from trees on nine rootstocks. Tree survival varied from 100 to <30% for somatic hybrids. The trees on Swingle citrumelo were 9.2 feet tall at age 10 years and those on most other rootstocks were up to 2 feet taller. Yield, as measured in three seasons and estimated in two seasons, was consistently highest in the trees on Volkamer lemon (C. volkameriana Ten. Pasq.). Trees on Volkamer lemon and Smooth Flat Seville performed best in the calcareous areas of the site. The best performing rootstocks as indicated by tree survival, yield, and appearance, were x639, C-65-165 and Sun Chu Sha mandarins and Volkamer lemon.


Citrus reticulata; calcium-induced Fe chlorosis; Flying Dragon trifoliate orange; Riviera sand; Smooth Flat Seville; Smyrna sand; somatic hybrids; Sun Chu Sha; Swingle citrumelo

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283