Have very old Grapefruit tree and want to start successor with same taste

Hi,
I have a very old grapefruit tree with great tasting fruit. Really the best grapefruit I have ever had. It is white, large, and very sweet. I don't know the specific cultivar or rootstock. It is in S. Florida. How can I find out?
The tree is 30-35 years old and looks like it is declining. There is some bark damage around the trunk. It is about 25.' tall How can I start a new tree with the same traits?
I have done a little research and see that seedlings can work (true to type) but take a long time to fruit and may be not be hardy without grafting them to rootstock.
I also see that budding the original tree onto rootstock will produce fruit much sooner (the bud remembers it's age). Will this produce a tree that is allready old and may not live long? How long would an old bud placed on a young root be expected to live?
Any other methods I should consider?
Thanks in advance for any help, Michael
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Hi Michael, I'll try and answer some of your questions, although most of my experience is with apples and stone fruits.
m v wrote:

Trees are best identified by their leaves and fruit. Try taking samples of these to your nearest horticultural experts.

Grafting is the only sure way to preserve the character of the original tree.

Seedlings carry the characteristics of the previous generation, and may not produce the same fruit you are expecting. If that seedling came from a blossom that was pollinated from another tree, the probability of a mismatch goes up.

The bud does not carry an 'age' gene with it. The important thing is that the bud is healthy and fresh enough to bind to the tree it is being attached to. Once the bud takes hold and grows, it should be just as good as one coming from a younger tree.

A bud graft is where you attach the bud to an existing branch of a tree. Other grafts would involve attaching a piece of scion (a branch of your older tree) to a root stock. If you don't have another grapefruit tree to attach the buds, you will have to get some grapefruit rootstock graft some scion onto it.
Sherwin D.

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Sherwin Dubren wrote:

Citrus are about as bad about cross pollination as apples are. It is very unlikely that you will get the same fruit quality from a seedling, unless there are no other citrus trees of any variety in your usrroundings - which in S. FL I find unlikely.

Any citrus will do. Around here grafting is mostly done onto lemon rottstock.
Maren, in HI.
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On 16 Feb 2004 16:47:31 -0800, m_p_v snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (m v) wrote:

(snip)
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http://tinyurl.com/339cy
"Most grapefruit come true-to-type from seed; however, growing a citrus tree from seed is undesirable. Seedling trees are juvenile, which means the plants will be vigorous, thorny, and have an erect, upright growth habit. Juvenility may last 6 to 15 years, during which time the tree does not flower .Grapefruit can be propagated by budding, grafting, and cuttings, although the latter is least desirable. Budding and grafting are easily done and enable specific rootstocks and interstocks to be used. Budding is usually most easily done in the spring. Budded or grafted trees will usually produce some fruit within three years, if properly cared for. Specific, detailed information on citrus propagation is available from your local Cooperative Extension Office."
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Must not apply to all citrus, cuz there is a lemon down at our club which came from a seed someone there stuck into the ground, and by the time it was 6 or 7 years old it was a big tree producing truckloads of lemons (tho they taste more like they want to be grapefruit, and some are almost that big), and if it's not hacked back with a chainsaw once a year, it takes over the neighbourhood! It grows new canes as much as ten feet long in a single season. No one has ever done a thing with it other than chop back the excessive growth.
~REZ~
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