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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Sunday - August 17, 2008

From: San Gabriel, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Can orange trees be grown in Albany, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can we grow an orange tree in Albany, CA?

ANSWER:

The orange is unknown in the wild state; it is assumed to have originated in Southern China, northeastern India and perhaps Southeastern Asia. The orange was brought to San Diego, California by those who built the first mission there in 1769. According to one site we found, if you live in Zone 9a to 11, with an annual rainfall of 40", you can grow oranges. Albany, CA in Alameda County is in the Central California coastal zone, and appears to be in Zones 9a to 10a. Since the orange is non-native to North America, we probably can't tell you too much more about growing them, but the University of California Alameda County Extension Office should have that kind of information available. They may very well have information on what are the best cultivars to grow there, what adjustments are needed for soil types, and how much supplemental watering might be required.

 

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