By John Panzarella
In the late Stewart Nagle’s pamphlet, Stewart wrote that there is a tree growing near Angleton, Texas, which has existed since the days of the Republic of Texas. Many people reading this article have interpreted the article to mean that the original tree is still alive and located there. Chris Kneupper, a chemical engineer and citrus researcher at heart, has spent many hours looking for that tree on land sites, pastures, woods, fields, and old homesteads. He did not find any old orange tree growing anywhere in the Angleton area that came close to being as old as the one reported that was planted during the Republic of Texas. He did find several locations where an orange tree had been planted many years ago, but it had died or was frozen to the ground and then seedlings had come up from them.
In conclusion, orange trees get foot rot easily on their own roots, so if there is a tree that has been around a long time, it may have good resistance to foot rot which is a plus for growing on its own roots. But it appears that none have survived since the Republic of Texas era since no one can find the tree. The tree that is being sold as the Repbulic of Texas orange is probably a seedling of a seedling and produces a medium sized orange of good flavor with lots of thorns.
If you disagree with this conclusion, please furnish a location that is accurate enough so that we can locate the tree and photograph it.
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