Tangelo - don't think I got what I asked for

In 2012, I asked the landscape maintenance guy to plant two citrus - a tangerine and a tangelo. The Fairchild had a tag on it, but the tangelo did not. This is the first real crop off of it (about 40) and I’m not very impressed with it. It does not look like or taste the Minnelo that I was expecting.

The fruit does not have the elongated neck of a Minnelo, nor the bumpy skin. The fruits are slightly oblong, not an oblate spheroid, and are 2.5" to 3". They peel about like a Valencia orange, not easily like a tangelo. It does not have a navel.

It’s a bit dry and bland, but that may improve with hang time or next season. Not sour, but not very sweet either. Typically 6-8 seeds.

I did some research at http://www.citrusvariety.ucr.edu/citrus/.html and it does not look like any tangelo that I see. I’m guessing it’s an orange of some kind. Anybody have any ideas on what this is?

If it does not improve next year, I’m going to pull it out and put something better in.


Oops, photos did not upload.

Hi Jim,

I think I’ve met you on another forum. That’s definitely not a Minneola Tangelo as that has an oblong shape and a pronounced hump. Valencias are summer bearing, so not that variety either. Maybe a related cultivar of the Washington Navel. WN are seedless.

possibly jaffa, especially if photos were recent

Definitely not a Minneola. Minneolas do have the distinctive neck, and the skin is darker orange. Could be any one of a number or oranges. I would say that if you do not like it, shovel prune and plant your Minneola. If you’re looking for a good quality orange, better to go with a Valencia, plus, you’ll expand your citrus fruit harvest times, as you’ll have a summer orange, along with 2 traditionally winter ripening citrus. Fairchild is an okay mandarin (not “tangerine”, the term for those fruits are actually mandarins. Tangerine was a marketing term coined for mandarins coming from Algiers.) There are better mandarin varieties out there, but if you like your Fairchild, then I’d keep it. If not, just ask, and I’d be happy to offer up some excellent suggestions.

Hi Bleedingdirt.
Good to chat with you again.

I took the photos this morning. The skins lost all the green mid December so this is the harvest time. I agree, it’s not a Valencia as the time is wrong, but it does have a similar peel, size and shape.

Hi Patty
I was hoping you would jump in here as you are so knowledgeable about citrus. I’ve learned a lot from your posts. Based on your opinion, I have recently added a Kishu and a Pixie. I’m still looking for a Gold Nugget and a Page.

I’ve also planted a Flame GF, Cocktail, Pummelo, Tarraco, Washington and a Cara Cara, but those are several year from fruiting.

I had a Meiawa in a pot, which I planted. It got kind of shocked, but is starting to recover.

I hope the two multi budded peach/plum/nectarine/apricot and the multi budded Asian pear will have the first set this summer. I pruned the Spicy Z at 30" when planted but that turned out to be a mistake as it did not branch out well at all.

I’ve got 6 more stone fruits on order that should be delivered soon. That is going to pretty much fill up the yard. :<)

Oh gee, you’re set, Jim. Well done. Your Meiwa will come back, kumquats are pretty tough. Meiwa is more sensitive in my experience than Nagami, but I think they taste a lot better. Nagami has a very lovely form, though, and make for very lovely ornamental trees. If you have room, and would like a few more citrus goodies, add a Moro, which I adore, as well as a Valentine pummelo hybrid. But, you have the “best of the best”, so you should have some really excellent citrus fruit here in just a short time.

Not a navel either. Maybe an AZ Sweet/Trovita. But those taste very good. The only two tangelos in common circulation around here besides Minneola are Allspice and Orlando.

BTW, if you don’t get those trunks painted and the rock mulch away from the trunks you are going to kill all of those young citrus trees early this summer.

All the trunks are painted, but it’s time to redo the “tangelo” and the Fairchild as they have grown in diameter a lot since I painted them.

Most of the trees have tree rings around them and a layer of compost under it. I painted the rings white. White ones are a lot cooler to the touch than brown.
The white will reflect light back up, but I think the cooler soil is worth the trade.

I need to get some more for the new trees on order and relocated grapevines, but Lowes was out of them last week.

PS. I picked up the Meiwa based on a post you made a year or so ago. I was skeptical as I Iam not a fan of zest. My father loved maralade and always tried to get us to eat it, but it it never appealed (so to speak :blush:) to me. However, I like them!

Well, good, Jim! Glad you like Meiwa. It’s the only kumquat I will eat, and my husband really likes them. Same with my brother in law. Nice little citrus cultivar, especially if you’re a fan of sour citrus.


Minneola is my favorite tangelo. I salute your good taste. If I were you, I would order another one (from a more reliable source) to replace the dud.

The pommelo is a Valentine. I got it based on somebody’s recommendation - probably yours. :grinning:

Oh, and I’ll buy a Tango if I can find one. About the best tasting citrus I have had what was labeled as a “honey tangerine”, which I think is a W. Murcott. Very sweet but really seedy. I’d love that flavor without the seeds. The only fruit tree in the backyard when I bought this house was a lemon. I don’t need 200 (literally, I counted them) lemons, and I yank it out in a heartbeat to put in a Tango. Well OK, it would take more than a heartbeat to take out a tree with a 5" diameter trunk.

Hah, that’s pretty funny, Jim! You’ll love Valentine. I let mine ripen to mid to late March. They are much sweeter for me, then. I love my California Honey mandarin, too. Bought mine from Four Winds. It has some seeds, but not overly seedy, but if you like that sweet, sweet flavor, you’ll love Pixie as well as Gold Nugget. Very similar mandarin flavor. As you know, though, the top of the top mandarin for me is Seedless Kishu. The only other mandarin that might sit at that vaulted spot would be Ponkan. But, Tango is very, very close, and there is no citrus juice that can hold a candle to Page. Period. I am enjoying fresh Page mandarin juice every morning. I’d drink a gallon of that stuff if I could. And yes, lemons can be crazy productive, especially if it’s a Meyer lemon. I love my lemons for lemonade, and it takes 20 lemons to make up a pitcher, so I do go through them, especially in the summer. I make my lemonade with Splenda, so it’s nearly calorie-free.


I’m just curious can’t you graft that one to a variety you want and just use its roots? They seem like they would be compatible.

Hi Jim,
for citrus color is not a reliable indicator of ripeness as you can read here:

they will probably get better with more hang time as you said before …

disfrutando, in general, that is correct. However, for folks living in inland areas of S. California, and in AZ, our temps drop pretty dramatically in the evening/nightime, so we can get a very significant difference between daytime and night time temps right at the time most citrus are ripening (winter). So, for us, skin coloring is timed at just about the right time for ripeness for most varieties that ripen in the winter, coincidentally. Which is why we our here tend to use that, to know when our citrus are ready to pick. Now, go to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, etc, that types of climates that have little difference between day and night temps, you would not be able to use skin color change as an indicator of ripeness.

Best thing to do is to know when each of your cultivars is ripe in your area. It varies a little bit from area to area, and cultivar to cultivar, so it takes a little trial and error, like any other fruit tree to know for sure. For example, in my area (S. California, N. San Diego county near the coast), I have found that Valentine pummelos ripen a little later than the recommended timing on the UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection site, which talks about late February. And in general, with the exception of satsumas, I will pick my citrus about 1 to 4 weeks later than what’s recommended on that site for all my citrus cultivars. I don’t get the heat units they do, and it takes a bit longer for my citrus to ripen, especially grapefruits and pummelos and their related hybrids. Jim will need to check with his local experts for citrus ripening times in his area, so he can time the ripening a little more closely.

Hi Clark
Grafting is a definite possibility. I tried 6 grafts onto the lemon tree in April 2015, but none took. I’m going to try again this week (after the rain stops) to see if it works better with more time before the high temperatures hit. 3 had started to have the bark fuse, so they were close.

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@JimP, your citrus roster looks excellent! I think if you added a ‘Valencia’ orange, you would have fresh citrus year round.

hoosierquilt, of course, rind color depends largely on night temperatures … here temperatures drop enough too … but my late season cultivars like lanelate and ortanique are not very good at this moment, although they lost all the green time ago… I only wanted to tell Jim that a this time all the oranges have lost all green: