I germinated seeds from a Navel Orange, it has thorns, is this a Navel Orange?

Q.

Hi, I know navel oranges are not supposed to have seeds, but I have found several seeds in oranges I've eaten over the last few years. I have planted a few experimentally. Most have germinated and one has grown to about half a metre high and has long, wicked thorns. It is too young to fruit yet, but I am mystified. Can it be a real navel orange? Tessa

Tessa Farnsworth

A.

Hi Tessa, Navel Oranges are seedless because the flowers do not produce pollen, but, from time to time there might be the odd seed produced. The seedling you have will be a hybrid and from what you have described has the traits of citrus rootstock 'trifoliata' which is used for grafting citrus trees. If you want a Navel Orange true to type then you either need to take a cutting or graft a piece from an already fruiting tree onto rootstock or another citrus tree. It will take at least 7 years for your seedling to produce fruit of unknown quality, grafted or cutting grown citrus will fruit in 3-4 years. Lianne, Tui Team. 

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