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Citrus

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Taxonomy:
Family:
Rutaceae
Genus:
Citrus
Species:
C. Limon, C. sinensis, C. aurantifolia, C. reticulata, C. paradise, C. maxima
Occurrence & Agricultural Importance in this Country:
Cultivation Areas:
Citrus crop is a cornerstone of agricultural production in the coastal areas, especially in Lattakia which is situated between the mountain and the plain down to the beach. Lemons occupy about 10%, oranges 62.5%, mandarins 24% and Pummelo and grapefruit together 3%.  Tartous governorate is also important for citrus production.
Main Varieties:
Orange Group: Naval and Hamlin, Valencia ,Jaffa, Satsuma, Clementine, Fremont.  Lemon Group: Entardonato, Malsiko,  Improved Myor, Khettmali, Tangerine (Yousef effiendi), Mandalina Ponkan, Ortaniqe.
Marketing Information and Uses:
Use:
Citrus fruits have high nutritional value and are consumed fresh or processed to produce jams/marmalade  or juice. The flowers and skins are even used in the preparation of some medicines.
Markets:
Syria exports citrus and sorting, cleaning and waxing citrus fruits takes place to support quality requirements. A Storage Foundation also contributes to ensure quality after harvest; they are involved closely in marketing the fruits.
Crop Management:
Cultivation conditions and methods:
Soil Type:
Successful cultivation of citrus in the heavy land, medium and sandy land, provided that the deep soil, good ventilation, good water permeability. Acidity has an effect on tree growth; citrus may be grown best between pH 5.5-7 and can tolerate up to 8.5.  Soil salinity also has a significant impact on growth and excess salinity reduces the growth of trees and reduces yield.
Temperatures:
Citrus trees begin to grow at temperature of 13-18 ° C but grow best between 32-35C. Growing slows as the temperature rises and ceases around 48C.
Water Requirements:
Citrus trees are need a permanent source of irrigation. Whatever the source of irrigation water,  it must be free of harmful salts (e.g. is sodium chloride salts and oxides of the magnesium-boron salts) and the proportion of these salts in irrigation water must be no more than 0.5 g/l for sodium chloride and 0.05 g/l the magnesium oxide and 0.25 mg/l salts boron.

Heavy irrigation during flowering must be avoided or there is a risk of premature flower fall.  Irrigation during fruit formation must be fast, light and frequent until the fruit gains the size of a chickpea.

Nutrition Requirements:
Citrus may be grown in a range of soils, ranging from sandy land through the light land, medium and heavy clay soils and each has its positive and negative properties. Fertilization is  very important for citrus trees to grow and especially for fruit setting,  Organic fertilization is important as are mineral fertilizers, but soil analysis is required to confirm needs.
Harvesting Period:
Orange: July – December. Mandarin: September – December. Lemon: September
Harvesting Methods:
Hand picking

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