Friday, January 13, 2017

Trees of My Youth Number 4: Orange Trees

Your basic "friend's backyard orange tree"

Orange Trees are kind of the unheralded tree of my youth. They were so common they blended into the background.

A grove (we used to pass these on the way to Palm Springs all the time)
I remember we would drive from Orange (the city and county) to San Diego with my grandparents (mom's side) to see my Great Grandmother and pass through fields and fields of Orange Trees.  They just marched down the 5 - where houses now dot the hills and where "Irvine" has become a city, not a ranch or a military airport.

My other grandparents (dad's side) took us driving every Sunday for a picnic when we weren't camping.  Many was the time we would stop along the roads in the Malibu hills and pick up Oranges. From everyone's point of view, the ones on the ground were fair game. So you had to find the ones that had only recently fallen.

Ones on the ground are fair game - so you find the freshly dropped ones.

It was never hard to find plenty of good oranges.  In fact, most of us got sick of oranges by a young age.

And Orange Trees had, what seemed like at the time, a typical life cycle.  They would develop a big leafy covering, then flowers and oranges - which grew and grew. They they were picked and either the tree grew more, or it was pruned way back for the cycle to repeat.  No changing colors.
Orange Trees, Canary island Date Palms and the San Bernardino Mountains in the background. So right off the 10.
Also, although you don't see it in your friends back yard tree, orange groves were trimmed so that the trees were almost square.  That allowed in the most light and the best way to pick the oranges later.

From an LA Times story on Orange Groves in Orange County now.

Between the houses and the freeway is the Orange Grove referred too.


In the picture above, for my friends or Angelenos: It is the 91 through Yorba Linda after the toll plaza and before the 71.

1 comment:

ShellyH said...

I hate oranges. Too, too many in my youth. Still can't stand them though I like orange flavored things.