N-33 Navel Orange Trees
The fruit of the N-33 Navel Orange tree is a lovely orange color, delicious, easily peeled, seedless fruit. It is produced by this medium sized tree and recognized as one of the sweetest oranges ever developed. The tree offers fragrant flowers in spring and beautiful foliage year round.
Originating in the late 1960's in Edinburg, Texas as a limb sport of the Marrs orange, the trees are more productive and consistent than the older Washington navel variety. Its fruit matures in September. The navel is the hardiest of the oranges with a fruit that is medium to large in size. It is an attractive and heavily bearing tree with fruit ripening in the winter. The tree is hardy to about 24 deg. F
The two most widely planted navel orange varieties in Texas are 'Everhard' and 'N33E'. In some years, N33E suffers extensive fruit splitting in August/September, yet production still remains high.
The navel orange originated from a single mutation in 1820 in an orchard of sweet oranges planted at a monastery in Brazil. This mutation causes navel oranges to develop a second orange at the base of the original fruit, opposite the stem. The second orange develops as a sort of conjoined twin in a set of smaller segments embedded within the peel of the larger orange. From the outside, the smaller, undeveloped twin left a formation at the bottom of the fruit, looking similar to the human navel. Because the mutation left the fruit seedless and sterile, the only means available to cultivate more of this new variety is to graft cuttings onto other varieties of citrus tree.
Most of the world's orange production is the round oranges, all of which are rather difficult to peel. N33 Navel oranges are fairly easy to peel and are the premier orange for eating out-of-hand. The N-33 Navel orange is a wonderful seedless "peel & eat" orange. The thicker, pebbled skin makes it easier to remove by hand and causes orange segments to separate a little bit easier.
Today, navel oranges continue to be produced via cutting and grafting. This does not allow for the usual selective breeding methodologies, and so not only do the navel oranges of today have exactly the same genetic makeup as the original tree, but also, they all can even be considered to b the fruit of that single, now centuries-old tree.