Umatilla giant orange: Landmark of Florida citrus industry restored

UMATILLA – One of Florida’s most iconic landmarks has been restored. The giant orange has weathered many of the ups and downs of the state’s citrus industry.

The orange came to Lake County in 1971 when the industry was booming and more than 130,000 acres were dedicated to citrus farming.

But as the industry struggled over the years, plagued by canker, greening and freezes, the number of acres plummeted to 10,000.

And for nearly three decades, the once shiny giant orange was covered in mold and vines placed in the back of the woods.

Sunsational Citrus in Umatilla bought the orange and a giant crane hauled it away.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the restored fruit is now erected outside Sunsational’s citrus and gift shop business and its new owners hope it will become a beacon for the next generation.

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