A Tree is Known by its Fruit

January 18, 2021


Photographer: Menashe Davidson
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson

As a curious agriculturist, I'll never be satisfied with what I know, only with what I can learn.

Seen above are some of the types of fresh citrus (Rutaceae) grown both in my commercial plots (Sharon region, Israel) and for my home consumption. Food from the ground is often considered a type of environmental entitlement that predates humans. But what we eat is no less curated than a museum collection. A fruit tree grower is like an artist, enjoying the opportunity to add color and textures to the canvas.

Citrus is the most extensively produced tree fruit crop in the world, mainly for two markets: fresh fruit and the processed juice. The citrus genus was domesticated in Southeast Asia several thousand years ago and then spread throughout the world. Fruit quality is gauged by factors such as size, juiciness, sweetness, color, easy-peeling and shelf-life. The main selection objectives for market cultivars are seedlessness and the extension of the harvest season. Most of the citrus scion cultivars result from the selection of spontaneous bud mutations and, now in our modern time, biotechnology procedures.