This book is a compendium of observations and practises accumulated over a lifetime in horticulture, particularly concentrating on my passion in citrus experiences. I have written this book with home garden enthusiasts, students of citri-culture and commercial growers in mind, as a factual, interesting and useful guide to the world of citrus.

Tolley’s Nurseries Pty Ltd is located in Renmark South Australia and has operated for 3 generations as a family company.

Ian Tolley is a specialist and global expert in seed production, seedling production, orchard planning establishment and management. He was awarded an OAM, Medal of the Order of Australia, for his lifelong services to development of the Australian citrus industry. Ian is also a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

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Noelle Tolley managed the development of Tolley’s containerized citrus nursery and has participated in many international horticultural congresses. She was awarded the AM as a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to the Australian horticultural industry, and business women.

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Page 7: About the Author

Page 8: Introduction to a World Traveller


Page 13: Fruit Quality Standards

Page 14: Navel Oranges

Page 15: Sweet Oranges

Page 17: Sour Oranges and Variants

Page 18: Grapefruit

Page 20: Tangelos

Page 21: Pummelo (or Shaddock)

Page 22: Mandarins

Page 24: Lemons

Page 29: Citron

Page 30: Limes

Page 32: Ornamentals & Varieties of Special Interest

Page 36: A Passion for Citrus Blossom

Page 39: Native Limes of Australia

Page 41: Finger Limes


Page 49: Rootstock Selection

Page 50: Avoiding Incompatibility Issues

Page 51:Widely Used Citrus Rootstocks

Page 52: Citrus Rootstock Characteristics

Page 54: Dwarfing and Semi-Dwarfing Rootstocks

Page 54: Deciduous and Evergreen Rootstocks

Page 54: Mistaken Identity? – The History of Carrizo and Troyer Citrange Rootstocks

Page 55: Other Rootstock Varieties

Page 56: Citrus Rootstocks in Australia – A Timeline of Trials, Tribulations and Successes

Page 58: Commercial Development of New Rootstock/Scion Combinations


Page 63: Planning Considerations

Page 64: Water Supply & Water Security

Page 64: Drainage

Page 64: Effects of Climate Change

Page 65: Chemical Storage

Page 65: Business Infrastructure

Page 66: Mulching

Page 67: Weed Control

Page 68: Soil Preparation

Page 69: Ground Cover

Page 70: Drainage & Irrigation

Page 71: Windbreaks

Page 74: Planting

Page 76: Citrus Orchard Design

Page 78: Tolley’s Macro-pots

Page 82: Ornamental Citrus Plantings for Streets, Gardens and Communities


Page 91: Visual Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies

Page 92: Essential Nutrient Elements

Page 93: Leaf Analysis

Page 93: Treatment of Common Deficiencies for Home Gardens

Page 94: Soil Quality

Page 95: Soil Analysis

Page 96: Active Pest and Disease Management

Page 97: Pests

Page 97: Integrated Pest Management

Page 98: Common Citrus Pests in Australia

Page 105: Diseases

Page 105: Fungal Problems

Page 108: Common Viral and Viroid Problems

Page 109: Greening Disease

Page 113: Tree Management

Page 113: Early Tree Shaping

Page 114: Tools and Equipment for Tree Shaping and Pruning

Page 116: Orchard Shaping

Page 118: Crop Regulation

Page 119: Pruning Tips for Home Gardens

Page 120: Small Tree Pruning

Page 122: Large Tree Pruning

Page 124: Espaliered Fruit Trees

Page 125: Orchard Curiosities


Page 129: General Considerations

Page 129: Media Components

Page 130: Substrates

Page 131: Composting Substrates

Page 133: Physical Characteristics

Page 135: Chemical Characteristics

Page 135: Nutrient Levels

Page 136: Additives to the Choice of Substrate

Page 137: Examples for Growing Media Formulas for Citrus

Page 137: Quality Control of Growing Media

Page 138: Sustainable Growing Media


143: Seed

143: Seed Trees

144: Harvesting

145: Seed Extraction

146: Tolley’s Shredding/Vibrating Unit

148: Seed Cleaning

149: Seed Hot Water Treatment

149: Fungicidal Treatment

149: Seed Hygiene

149: Drying Seed

150: Seed Hot water and Fungicidal Treatment at Tolley’s Nurseries

151: Seed Storage

151: Germination Testing

153: From Seed To Seedling

154: Peeling Seed

155: The Germination Cabinet

156: Planting Considerations

156: Planting Procedure

158: Post-seed Planting Care

159: Raising Seedlings

159: Production Options, Grading and Potting

159: Container Sizes

160: Time Guidelines

161: Seedling Grading

164: Potting Seedlings

164: Repotting Larger Plants

165: Watering in

165: Staking Trees

165: Good Practice in Nurseries

165: Container Placement after Potting

167: Citrus Propagation

168: Plant Physiology

169: Propagation Techniques Overview

170: Sourcing Budwood

171: Selecting Bud Size

172: Tools and Equipment for Budding and Grafting

175: Budding Techniques for Citrus

175: Preparations

175: Bud handling

176: Budding Position

176: Planning, Posture and Productivity

176: Callousing

177: The Drawbacks of Conventional vs. Micro-Budding

178: T Budding

180: Micro-Budding

182: Chip Budding

184: Micro-Chip Budding

186: Apical Budding

189: Grafting Techniques for Citrus

189: Preparations

190: Cleft Grafting

194: Micro-Grafting

196: Mini-Grafting

198: Interstock Grafting

199: Inarching

202: Top Working by Budding or Grafting

202: Preparation of Trees

202: Process of Top Working

202: Aftercare After Budding

203: Bark Grafting

204: Marcotting

205: Tree Care during Growing on

205: Watering

206: Fogging vs. Misting

207: Removing Budding Ties

208: Topping

208: Sucker Removal

209: Producing a Straight, Single Pole Tree

209: Colour-Coding your Trees


Page 212: Increasing Soil Carbon in Farms and Gardens by Alan Broughton

Page: 216: Innovation and Inventions


Page 220: Glossary

Page 221: References & Recommended Reading

Page 222: Index of Citrus Varieties

Page 223: Index of Rootstocks

Page 223: Index of Keywords



Note: Due to the popularity of his Books and ABC Television and Radio programs, Ian receives an extraordinary amount of telephone calls and email questions on horticultural issues. Ian kindly requests that in the first instance you consult Commonsense Citrus’s contents to see if the book provides the answer you require. Commonsense Citrus is a representation of his life’s work in horticulture and provides an unequalled compendium of practical advice.

Mailing Address: PO Box 2, Renmark 5341, South Australia

Nursery Address: 152 Tarcoola Street, Renmark 5341, South Australia