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Why Do Orange Trees Have Thorns

Do orange trees 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 then the information below will enlighten you.


Does Orange Tree have Thorns

Why Do Orange Trees Have Thorns?

Orange Tree with 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. You may be wondering why are you seeing orange trees with thorns, the reason behind this is the thorns protect them from predators. 

Usually, 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.

Orange Tree with Thorns

Do Orange Trees Have Thorns

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.

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. (Find out how to adjust soil pH here.) The soil should also be fertilized by a 10-10-10 fertilizer during the winter season.

Refer to our orange tree growing guide for everything you'll need to know to grow this sought after citrus tree. 

Orange Tree Thorns Frequently Asked Questions

What type of thorns do orange trees have?

These days, after many years of cultivation, most varieties of orange trees are either thornless or produce thin, blunt and flexible thorns found only at the base of leaves.

Orange tree varieties that are very bitter and not as commonly consumed may produce much larger thorns, especially in the wild.

Should orange trees have thorns?

The majority of the citrus trees we grow are capable of producing thorny growth. This is completely natural and has no cause for concern. Thorniness can actually be a sign of strong, vigorous growth in citrus trees. 

Should I cut the thorns off my orange tree?

While many commonly grown citrus trees will produce thorns at some point in their life cycles, growers should feel comfortable pruning the thorns away without worrying about damaging the tree. 

Why do orange trees have thorns?

Citrus trees have adapted and developed thorns as a protective measure against predators which in this case would be hungry animals that want to eat away at the leaves and fruits.

So Do Orange Trees Have Thorns?

The answer is yes, but every variety of orange trees. 

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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