I Want a Tangelo Tree.

I love tangelos. My yard has an orange tree that I use to make orange juice rather than eat as a fruit. The oranges are too difficult and too messy to peel. Tangelos, on the other hand, are very easy and relatively non-messy to peel. They are a great snack citrus.

There are a few varieties available, so I am not sure which one to choose. The ‘Minneola’ is probably the type I have eaten in the past, but I am not certain. Ease of peeling and great flavor are what I am after.

Any dopers have suggestions or advice about varieties, planting, or care of tangelo trees?

You might be better off at some place like the Gardenweb…

I have a satsuma that makes tangelo-like fruits. A very nice tree- I recommend it.

I hang out on Gardenweb a lot and I can definitely second the idea of checking with the folks there. A lot of them are very knowledgeable.
The citrus people there all seem to swear by Four Winds Growers for good quality citrus plants, so check them out. That nursery does have a Mineola tangelo: http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/our-citrus-trees/other-interesting-varieties.html

The Minneola tangelo is the Honeybell – the juiciest fruit in creation. You don’t eat Honeybells, you drink them. They peel very easily and they live up to their name in that they are sweeter than tangerines. They are hands down my favorite citrus. We had two trees in Florida, and I would eat three or four large fruits a day in the winter.

I can’t offer planting or care tips, our trees were quite mature. I just wanted to chime in that I applaud your idea!

Excellent. Thanks everyone!

Probably the biggest issue I’d foresee is that citrus is typically very cold intolerant. Even the most cold tolerant citrus (satsumas) typically don’t take temperatures much below 25 or so, and some types get funny in the 50s.

The good news is that you can get lots of dwarf citrus varieties that you can grow in a relatively large pot and get a pretty good yield from. My dwarf Meyer Lemon is about 5-6 years old, and for the past 4 years, I’ve gotten between 6 and 15 BIG lemons per year. By big, I mean the size of navel oranges.

The other thing to consider is that citrus takes a very long time to mature; my tree takes 9 months for the lemons to go from blooms to mature fruit.

Where do you live?

Orange County, California.

Temperatures here drop to the low 40s during the winter. Should be ok.

You’ll be just fine. As others have mentioned, you’ll like a minneola honeybell. Plant it good and deep with a solid, well draining soil mix. Water the tree in well for the first three weeks, and fertilize with a quality citrus fertilizer. I suggest you invest in an older tree and eat the shipping on it if you want a decent crop at all. anything below a 6’, fifteen gallon isn’t worth your time. I retail them at around 200.00 at that size here in south Florida. If you get a baby tree it is worth snipping off the juvenile fruits for a year or two so the tree will concentrate it’s considerable energy on growth instead. Nothing much bothers citrus, but there are diseases like canker, Med Fly, and a certain type of swallowtail catterpiller to consider. Check your local laws regarding importation of citrus before you order. You should be able to find a local dealer in your area though.