My Bubbe wants me to whack the hell out of her orange trees and I have done some research - but my Mum insists that ALL of it is wrong. Not that she is an expert in orange trees - but she just needs to be right all the time - so my hours of research on Florida horticulture sites (closest orange heavy state to Louisiana) MUST be wrong.
I don't eat fruit as a general rule, and I don't know anything about oranges other than the research I did.
More about the orange trees below the dooblydoo.
What I do know - there are 4 citrus trees in the yard. They are all on root stock with large heavy thorns. The rootstock is quite hefty while the grafts are fairly small for the number of years the trees have been there - allegedly. I can't get a straight answer out of anyone how old the trees actually are, when they were planted, what they are supposed to be (other than the satsuma) etc.
One is supposedly a satsuma and produced about a dozen good tasting oranges, everything else that comes off the trees is supposedly bitter. This one does have some lower branches with shiny green leaves and no thorns, but only in places - it's not the whole tree by a longshot - or even the whole graft. The oranges my Mum claimed were good were "traditional" looking round oranges, the tree grows some that are oddly shaped with a protrusion at the top where it's attached to the branch, rounding out below that into the traditional orange shape.
However, these are also growing from the rootstock, not just the graft - and I have been "informed" these are NOT satsumas, but "nasty" and cannot be satsumas.
I did not get a clear answer on the rest of the trees - what they are, what they produced (if anything) other than bitter oranges. I am also not sure if the bitter oranges are suitable for marmalade, or simply fruit.
The trees are not very green at this point - I saw them last week. One has a growth on it that looks like greyish lichen on the branches - that is not a happy tree.
My Bubbe wants the rootstock hacked back to the point of non-existence. She also wants it done NOW because she wants it done. The yard is not swampy like my parents, the grass is thick and seems to drain well after rains. These trees are spaced over a 20ft by 15 ft area of the lot in full sun - when we have some - it's been pretty rainy and cold at night recently. It is February in Louisiana after all.
There are also two sad looking fig trees, one of which has a fire ant nest infesting the roots and their front door (they build mud tubes 3 inches wide and about 4 inches tall) coming up at the base of the tree.
So I could use some advice - I will get pictures of the trees if that will help - assuming there's a horticulturalist in the house.