Why Does Orange Tree Have Thorns: Should You Be Worried?

If you’re one of the many individuals who wonders if orange trees contain thorns, the details provided below will enlighten you.

The Trifoliate orange, a variety of ornamental hedge that bears bitter, seedy fruits, is the most typical orange tree with thorns. Although these fruits may be made into marmalade, they are not utilized for raw consumption. The thorns provide protection for the tree, while the thorny branches create a lovely hedgerow.

The Trifoliate orange tree isn’t the only one with thorns, of course. There are several more citrus trees that also have thorns. Let’s look more closely!

Common Characteristics Of Thorns

The thorns are typically found in the stems, especially where the buds and leaves first emerge. They are typically short and green as well. Although lengthy thorns may be present, this is only because they develop from the plant’s roots or branches.

The latter kind of thorn has to be cut out. By determining where the thorns are coming from, you can evaluate your plant. Cut them off if you can tell that they are originating from graft unions. This is typically 6 inches from the ground.

However, you must be aware that some hybrid orange plants have no thorns at all. Orange tree cultivation led to the emergence of thornless species. Currently, some prickly orange trees and shrubs are also yielding fruits that are very tasty.

What Kind Of Orange Trees Have Thorns?

Orange Tree Thorns

Thorns may be found on some of the favorite plants. Their attractiveness, alluring perfume, delicious flavor, and prickly appearance make them an intriguing sight to see.

Most citrus fruit trees have thorns, although not all of them. It’s helpful to understand how citrus fruits with thorns are arranged while discussing them. There are seven different types of citrus fruits. Oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, pomelos, limes, lemons, and tangelos are among the fruit options.

Trifoliate orange trees are the most prevalent variety of thorny orange trees (Poncirus trifoliata). This plant is a top choice for creating an ornamental hedge because it creates a web of thorny branches that act as natural barriers. This orange tree isn’t often planted for its fruit because the fruits don’t have the best flavor.

The nodes of many citrus trees grow thorns. A citrus tree’s thorns may grow out as it gets older. The majority of lemon (Citrus limon) varieties are thorny. The ‘Eureka’ variety, however, is thornless.

Lime types without thorns are also available. The thornless varieties, however, are said to be less fruitful, tasty, and appealing. The “Mexican lime” or “key lime” is the lime (Citrus aurantfolia) that is most well-known.

Grapefruits of the “Marsh” type have small, pliable thorns. Because it has the sweetest flavor and fewest seeds, it is the kind that is most sought after on a global scale.

Another well-known citrus fruit is the kumquat. They were reclassified into the Fortunella genus, nevertheless, after 1915. Kumquats are our favorite fruit because of their sweet and sour flavor, edible peel, and practical size. The kumquat variety known as “Hong Kong” is similarly severely thorns. The “Meiwa” cultivar does not, however, contain as many thorns.

Why Does My Orange Tree Have Thorns?

For many of the same reasons that animals like porcupines have thorns—to defend themselves against predators—orange trees have developed to have thorns. Thorns act as natural anti-herbivore defenses, in other words.

You can also use a pruner tool which comes with garden gloves, thorns remover, garden Scissor, and metal thorn remover.

Young fruit trees have extremely sensitive vegetation. Because of this, many young orange tree specimens have thorns. However, mature specimens frequently lack thorns.

The tree changes branches to end in thorns, which have sharp points. Therefore, the tree instructs the new growth to take the form of a thorn rather than directing it to grow into a branch.

When dealing with citrus plants, we always advise long sleeves and gloves. If one of the thorns does scratch you, be sure to properly clean the wound because all the other filth in your garden might lead to an infection.

Do All Orange Trees Have Thorns?

Orange trees do not all have thorns. There are decorative orange trees that don’t have thorns, in reality.

About China, ornamental orange trees were initially domesticated in 2400 B.C. They were later transported to further regions of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Traditionally, they were raised in environments resembling greenhouses, or “orangeries.” Orange trees grown for decorative purposes are therefore well-suited to container gardening. They are simple to cultivate in gardens, patios, walks, and porches.

It might take up to five years for ornamental orange trees to produce fruit. It is crucial to prune ornamental orange trees to promote healthy development and to allow for the passage of light and air.

Do Navel Orange Trees Have Thorns?

Citrus sinesi, the sole species of navel orange, grows on thornless trees. However, thorny rootstocks are frequently used to transplant navel orange plants onto.

To improve navel oranges’ resistance to cold, strengthen their immunity to disease, and control their development, navel oranges are grafted onto rootstocks of several orange kinds. The most popular rootstock for grafting navel oranges onto is the trifoliate orange.

The Trifoliate orange is a more sour and bitter orange, yet it can withstand low temperatures less easily. Trifoliate oranges also have thorns on their branches and stems to deter bothersome predators. The thorns of the Trifoliate orange type are thick and two inches long.

Do Mandarin Trees Have Thorns?

The thorns on mandarin orange trees are true. The orange tree’s thorns are most noticeable before it starts to produce fruit. The most thorns are often seen on orange trees that are developed from seed. However, orange trees that are grafted onto an older tree with fewer thorns can eventually become thornless.

Citrus fruit varieties deemed to be “thornless” may not actually be totally thorn-free. Instead, they frequently just have less thorns.

Do Valencia Orange Trees Have Thorns?

Yes, thorns are used to develop Valencia orange trees. These orange trees develop flexible, thin, blunt-shaped branches. They are regarded as thorns because they taper and become pointed at the ends.

Thorns are technically a component of the tree’s vascular system because they are regarded as branches. The presence of thorns in some orange types is supposed to confer drought tolerance in addition to defense against herbivores, as thorns tend to be more common in arid environments.

Do Tangerine Trees Have Thorns?

Tangerine Trees Thorns

Tangerine trees do really have thorns. There are, however, tangerine tree kinds without thorns. The ‘Fallglo’ and ‘Dancy’ types of tangerines are the most widely available without thorns.

On tangerine trees, thorns can be removed by pruning. A citrus tree won’t be harmed if its thorns are pruned. But ideally, when the tree is grafted, the rootstock should be free of thorns. Compared to young trees, mature trees often have less thorns.

Wearing gloves, keeping an eye out for thorns, and using a long-handled fruit picker are all ways to protect oneself when dealing with tangerines.

How Do You Water An Orange Tree?

Of course, if you want your orange tree to grow well, you need to water it. The climate will determine how often to water the plants.

It would be advisable to routinely water the tree in the spring to prevent withering. An orange tree typically requires at least an inch or an inch and a half of water per week.

Fertilization – What Is The Best Fertilizer For Orange Trees?

You must be aware of the fertilizer’s impact on the fruit while using it on your orange tree. For instance, more nitrogen in your fertilizer will result in an oilier orange peel, but more potassium would result in a less oily orange peel.

To help your tree produce the required fruit, the fertilizer you want to apply should contain phosphorus, potassium, and one or two pounds of nitrogen.

Is It Okay To Remove The Thorns?

I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t cut your thorns if the orange tree’s thorns are bothering you and you have the luxury of time to get rid of them. Do not be concerned; it won’t harm the health of your citrus tree.

Make sure you wear the appropriate safety gear when trimming your orange trees to prevent injury to yourself. Additionally, learning the right procedures is essential if you want to see results that last. Finally, while caring for bonsai trees is more fun, be sure the equipment you want to use are efficient and won’t add to the stress of the process.

Are Citrus Thorns Poisonous?

Citrus thorns are not dangerous since they don’t contain any hazardous substances. They still have the potential to pierce your skin and result in serious medical issues. It might be challenging to harvest citrus fruits from trees with thorns that don’t get smaller as the tree ages.

Final Thoughts

Citrus trees develop thorns to shield the young plant from potential predators that could try to eat the fruit and kill the plant. In places of the world that are experiencing drought, thorns also expand to store more water.

Let’s say the original orange variety does not naturally produce thorns. In such scenario, to strengthen its defenses against predators, it is frequently grafted onto a rootstock type that grows with thorns. On rootstocks without thorns, however, oranges are occasionally grafted on purpose.

Although having thorns grow on orange trees may provide some harvesting challenges, having thorns develop on orange trees is ultimately beneficial. Just keep your gloves handy and proceed with caution.