Why the Page Mandarin Makes a Special Patio Tree
Mani Skaria, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, US Citrus, LLC
Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (www.uscitrus.com)
Page mandarin would make an extraordinary patio tree because:
It produces fantastic, tasty fruit, easy to peel
Great looking fruit with its deep reddish-orange color
Juicy, rich sweet flavor
Fruit season last long
This fine fruit is not commercially traded; therefore, not available to the general public because of the fruit size and shipping problem
6. The above reasons make Page mandarin a variety that makes an ideal one to plant for home use
In the name: This variety has 75% mandarin and 25% grapefruit in its blood.
A cross between Duncan grapefruit and Dancy mandarin Minneola tangelo, which was released in 1931. A decade later, a cross between Minneola tangelo and Clementine mandarin resulted in a variety released in 196, named Page orange. It is also called Page mandarin.
Technically, it is a tangelo hybrid because of mandarin and grapefruit parents. Tangelos can be a substitute for a mandarin and an orange for consumption purpose. Therefore, the confused nomenclature.
The reasons for commercially not grown goes back to the 1960s when this variety was released in Florida. The state of Florida was emerging as the orange juice capital. The size, shape and the design of juice plants were not in line with using the Page mandarin as an ideal juice source. Unlike today, there was no emphasis on easy-peel varieties. Moreover, plucking the fruit like an orange caused Page mandarin skin peel off easily, causing fruit rot in transit. Commercial planting of this variety at that time required special handling at a time the Florida processing industry was not supportive when juice extractors were designed for round fruit and not flat mandarins.
The tree is best as a patio plant when it is placed to get maximum sunlight. Use a 15-25-gallon size container, with well-draining holes.
A good commercial variety candidate: Today, Page mandarin would be a good candidate for those who are looking for a new fresh fruit for the market. The reasons are:
Unlike in the 1960s, today’s consumers are interested in fresh mandarins, easy to peel, tasty, juicy and colorful. Page has got those characteristics.
Unlike in the 1960s, the importance of the consumer preference is fresh fruit.
The page gives fruit for an extended period of time.
Page has all attributes to demand better returns.
Harvesting, packaging, and shipments are improved to handle cultivars like the Page mandarin.
Fruit harvesting practices, and fruit processing practices are different today compared to the 1960s.