Heritage Citrus

(Question)

I found seeds in the orange given to me by one of the fathers at the Santa Barbara Mission, in California.  These organic orange trees are direct descendants of the original mission trees, and have never been altered genetically.  I kept the seeds and once home planted them.  Two of them have now sprouted.  Now I am not sure what to do with them.  They are very special trees, but I realize they will not survive in Ontario.  Would you happen to know if there is an organization which could benefit from them, or one which would like to help preserve their unique history?

(Answer)

Firstly, bringing unauthorized fruit, vegetables, meat, plant cuttings, seeds or soil into Canada is restricted by the Canada Food Inspection Agency.  This is done to protect the various crop species and natural vegetation that grow here.  Importing banned substances can introduce harmful disease and pests that may be difficult to control if they get established in a new environment.

From my research, certain produce from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington is banned in some Canadian provinces.  These restrictions seem to change regularly in response to production issues such as disease or pest prevalence in these US States.  Bagged and Commercially packaged Oranges from California are imported into Canada regularly, but the CFIA website states that “loose oranges” should not be brought in.

This being said, you now have two little orange plants that you don’t know what to do with and would like to see in a good home.  You do not specify where you are located or if you have the space & conditions to grow orange trees in your home.  I would suggest you contact an institution that have greenhouse facilities such as the Royal Botanical Garden in Burlington or the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & School of Horticulture in Niagara Falls – see links below for their websites & contact information:

https://www.rbg.ca/

https://www.niagaraparks.com/school-of-horticulture/