I hated to do it!
Whenever I have owned an orange tree, it has been my experience, that although the fruit is ready mid December; you can usually allow some of them to stay on the tree into March. That way, you can enjoy some fresh picked for a 3 months. I use the dropped fruit and pick a few as I need them.
But nooooo! The weather man had different plans for our oranges. We have been told that we will have 2-3 nights in a row of freezes. Down into the 20’s. That does not happen too often here. And me with my oranges trees loaded with gorgeous fruit. So, what did I do?
I went out with my handy dandy trimmers and stripped as many of the ripened fruit as I could reach. If they freeze hard, then they will not be much good, so better to pick them now and juice, store and share as many as we can get. If the rest that stay on the tree ( there are still hundreds on the trees) survive the freeze then we are good, if not- at least we got some of them.
Standing on my ladder, (saying bad things about the gophers and how they make the soil uneven) I snipped the oranges off and let them fall to the ground.
Then I went back with my wagon and 5 gallon buckets. Each bucket load weighed about 27 lbs. I was taking the last of 12 buckets into the house when Steve drove up. He said “Oh honey, that bucket looks to heavy for you to carry.” Like a good “Damsel In Distress”; I acted grateful and allowed him to take the bucket into the house. He asked me where I wanted to put it. I told him in our bathtub. He just laughed and said “But honey, our bath tub is huge!” I said “Yes it is.” I smiled sweetly at him as he went into the bath room and saw all the oranges that were already dumped in the tub.
He shook his head and said “You are just full of surprises”
Yes, I am.