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Get to Know on Why Does Orange Tree Have Thorns

Does orange tree have thorns?

Do you think it is some anomaly?

Did you know that most citrus fruit trees have thorns in them?

If you are one of the many who is curious about the question, does orange tree have thorns, then the information below will enlighten you.


Orange Tree Infographic

Citrus Trees

Citrus Trees have thorns

Almost all citrus trees including the orange trees have thorns and these thorns usually develop at the trees' nodes, which will often produce fruiting wood and new grafts.

Typically, as the tree matures they outgrow the thorns, but there are also times that they don’t.

Why Does Orange Tree Have Thorns?

Why Does Orange Tree Have Thorns

You may be wondering why an orange tree has thorns, the reason behind this is the thorns will protect them from the predators, including animals that are hungry.

Typically, a tree that is juvenile can develop thorns to keep themselves protected, while there are mature orange trees that no longer have thorns, which makes it easier for the person to harvest the oranges.

The cultivation and the popularity of oranges have already led to varieties that are thornless or some that have blunt or small thorns, which are usually found at the leaves' base. But there are still a lot of types of oranges that have thorns that are larger, which produces a bitter taste.

Trifoliate Orange Tree

Trifoliate Orange Tree

The trifoliate orange tree is one of the orange trees that have thorns, while it is named like that because of the leaflets that it has that consist of three leaves.

The roots of the trifoliate tree are harder than other types of orange trees, which makes it grow even during colder weather. This makes this tree a rootstock that is most preferred by many.

Trifoliate can reach fifteen to twenty feet in length and width, while the branches are tangled in web and are thorny. The thorns are two inches in length and serve as barriers to protect itself from numerous predators.

Culture of Trifoliate Orange Tree

Trifoliate orange trees have the ability to perform at its best when they are receiving full sunlight. But of course, they can also tolerate shades that are lighter for as long as the soil that they are in can freely drain.

Typically, the optimal ph of the soil should be 6.2 to 7.5. The soil should also be fertilized by a 10-10-10 feeder during the winter season.

Growing an Orange Tree

Growing an Orange Tree

Knowing how to grow your very own orange tree in your backyard is essential, so you no longer have to purchase oranges in the market.

You will also get to eat them anytime you want, without even the need to get out of your home.

Seeds or Budding

Orange Seeds

There are two ways to grow an orange tree, and this is by seeds or by budding. If you choose to use a seed, you should know that they are prone to root and foot rot.

They don’t also have the ability to produce a fruit until they reach maturity, which can take fifteen years. Budding, on the other hand, is easier since it is grown commercially and can produce fruit in a short period.

Orange Tree Caring

Orange Tree Caring

How Do You Water an Orange Tree?

Of course, you need to water your orange tree for it to be able to grow healthy. The frequency of the watering will depend on what climate is.

During the spring season, it would be best to water the tree regularly to avoid wilting. Typically, an orange tree will need at least an inch or an inch and a half of water every single week.

Fertilization - What is the best Fertilizer for Orange Trees?

When using a fertilizer for your orange tree, you need to make sure that you know the effect of it on the fruit.

For instance, if your fertilizer has an extra amount of nitrogen, it will make the peel of the orange to be oilier, while potassium will lessen the oil in the orange’s skin.

The fertilizer that you are going to use should have phosphorous and potassium, and a pound or two of nitrogen to help your tree produce the needed fruit.


Some may say that it is no longer necessary to prune the orange tree, but removing the branches that are already near the ground is essential.

You also need to remove branches that are already dying and the ones that are already damaged.

Harvesting Your Oranges

Typically during the fall season, the fruit will start turning orange, but this does not mean that they are already ripe. You will have to wait until later during the winter season.

Put in mind that you won’t know that the orange is already ready to be harvested, not unless you try to taste it.

So does orange tree have thorns?

The answer is yes, but not to each and every variety of orange trees. If you are planning to grow your orange tree, then doing the above tips on how you can take care of them is essential.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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