Nearly every garden I design has some of citrus tree in it and for good reason. Not only is the fruit wonderful, easy and tasty but citrus trees are evergreen, so they look great in the landscape all year round.
Many of the varieties are available in two different root stocks: dwarf (grows 8-10 feet tall) and regular (grows 20+ feet tall). Also, for the patient gardener, you can train your citrus into an espalier or have a professional, high-end gardener do this for you.
All citrus does well in full sun but here are some of our favorite varieties for Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda Counties:
Cara Cara- Pink flesh, sweet and seedless
Navel Washington- Sweet, seedless winter ripening variety
Valencia- Harvested in June so they are very sweet, great for juicing
Moro Blood- Deep red coloration, almost purple-red. Very productive, early maturity, distinctive aroma, exotic berry-like flavor. Needs lots of heat
Satsuma ‘Owari- Hardiest tree of all mandarins. Fruit Ripens in November, December and is usually picked before the first frost. Seedless fruit peels easily
Golden Nugget- Seedless. The taste is extremely sweet when mature (March-May) with a very rich flavor, considered by professional taste panels to be one of the very best flavored citrus in the world.
Algerian Clementine- Ripens about a month after Satsuma, classic sweet/tart mandarin flavor. Few seeds.
Eureka- A true lemon (not a hybrid like Meyer) has larger fruit bearing multiple crops per year, but the main season is late winter, spring, and early summer. Thornless.
Improved Meyer- Bears fruit year round and cold hardy. Can handle partial shade. Great for lemonade and cocktails
Variegated Pink – a mutation of ‘Eureka’ that has variegated (green-and-white striped) leaves and immature fruit striped green and cream, mature flesh is light pink plus the tree itself is smaller making it very garden-friendly.
Bearss- A tried and true lime that is great for cooking, drinks and cocktails
Mexican- If you like key lime pie, this is your tree
Palestine Sweet- Juicy yellow fruit with less sugar and acid than the Bearss Lime. With its mild flavor and few seeds, it makes a refreshing, cooling drink.
Kieffer- Their leaves, zest, and juice are used in Thai, Cambodian, and Indonesian cooking
Oroblanco- Sweet seedless fruit even in areas of low summer heat. Huge, intensely fragrant flowers and attractive glossy foliage.
Rio Red- Red-fleshed fruit that ripens in winter. Wonderful for juice or eating fresh
Chandler pummel- Pink-fleshed fruit which are somewhat larger than standard grapefruit. Heavy producing in the right location, provided sufficient summer heat and frost protection
Exotic Citrus Trees
Nagami Kumquat- The most widely available kumquat in North America. Olive size and shape, bright orange fruit.
Calamondin- Prolific fruit production. Zesty acid juice. Handsome compact habit making it great for containers
|Buddha Hand Citron- Fruit forms finger-like sections resembling a human hand. It is much esteemed for its delicate lemon fragrance in China and Japan. Fruit has virtually no pulp, but can be sliced and candied in syrup. Not frost tolerant|
I love the idea of trying some avocado trees. What can you advise as far as varietals and complimentary citrus fruit? and
How and where does one shop for a good avocado tree?
I enjoy the Avocado variety called ‘Bacon’. It is considered a dwarf avocado growing to 15-20 feet, but remember most avocado trees can grow 30-40 feet tall! You can order fruit and citrus from specialty nurseries of you can call me. I have wholesale accounts around the bay area and would be happy to have plants delivered for you.
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Favorite Citrus Varieties for the SF Bay Area
by Julie Orr | Oct 31, 2011
I’m in the east bay Walnut Creek.
What citrus would do with our heat.
It really all depends on the amount of chill hours you get and where (orientation in relation to the sun) you wish to plant your new fruit trees. You may have to plant stone fruit rather than citrus depending on your situation. I don’t typically do designs in Walnut Creek but here is a link that might be useful to you:
we’ve been growing tons of citrus in Walnut Creek for many years. The summer heat makes them super sweet, and if you look at commercial citrus areas such as the desert, Central Valley, or Riverside County, you’ll see they all have hot summers and occasionally frosty winters, much like our area. We successfully grow Satsuma mandarins, pummelo, navel orange, blood orange, Meyer lemon Valencia orange, and lime. All the lime trees are supposedly very cold sensitive, they do seem to flourish. Many backyards have either lemon or navel orange trees, so it does seem to be staples here. I would start with those and then start experimenting.
We’ve been wanting to plant a couple navel orange trees in our yard for over a year now, but just never had the time. We live in San Ramon. We’re not getting any younger, so we wanted to buy an older (4-5yr old tree) in hopes of enjoying fruit slightly sooner. Would you be so gracious to point us in the right direction for obtaining two such trees (regular not dwarf). I’ve had zero luck finding a place to buy from since I’m not a landscaper, just a plant lover.
I would ask your local contractor/gardener to order one from Devil Mountain, they sell wholesale and are close to you.
I am looking for a Pummelo (Pomelo) Oroblanco and would like to know where in Santa Clara, CA I can purchase it. Thank you for your assistance.
Try The Fruit Guys
Can you recommend someone who specializes in pruning fruit trees? My young trees haven’t been princess in three years and are in need of care. I want to plant more fruit and shade trees but not until I find someone who truly knows how to do it properly.
I’m not sure where you live but any reputable arborist should offer fruit pruning in addition to their other tree services. Thanks!
I live in Cupertino and about 15 years ago, I drove down to Orange County and bought two Don Gillogly avocado trees. I gave one to a coworker who lived two blocks away. She planted hers on the side of her house where the cold winter winds hit the little tree and it died. Mine is relatively sheltered and is about 14 feet tall now, but grows a lot like a bush. The avocados get up to 10” long and a pound each. They are extremely tasty and the tree is prolific, producing over 100 pounds each year in 2 official crops. I highly recommend this cultivar f you can get it and have a relatively sheltered area in which to grow it.
Thanks for the tip Stacy. Many nurseries will delivery to N Cal or at least give you the retailer in your area where you can buy their prodcuts.