What Is On the Trees at the Ford Estate?
February 13, 2019
If you’ve passed by the Estates in the past few months, you may have wondered about the small trees covered in white cloth on the Ford property. Those are young citrus trees, part of new living exhibit set to open soon on the Ford property! The exhibit, a collaboration of several citrus industry groups and local businesses, will showcase about 50 citrus trees and educate visitors on the history and importance of Florida citrus as well as Edison and Ford’s interest in agriculture. The white cloth protects the newly-planted trees from insects, specifically the psyllid that causes citrus greening. This gives the trees an advantage as they establish their roots and mature. The cloth will be remain on the trees for at least another year.
The first orange trees in Florida were believed to have been planted in St. Augustine by Ponce De Leon in the 1500s. When Henry Ford purchased his Fort Myers estate in 1916, dozens of fruit trees, including orange and mango, were already growing in grove-like lines in this area of the property. Since then, citrus has become the heart of Florida agriculture, with multi-generational growers working to grow incredible oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. The new citrus grove is set to officially open by March 1 with new signs and interactive displays and will be included with regular admission to the Estates. For more information about the Ford Citrus Grove, click here.