why does my orange tree have thorns

Orange tree stems are frequently armed with thorns, which are most numerous and prominent before trees begin bearing fruit. Thorns, along with spines and prickles, are assumed by many researchers to be a plant-evolved anti-herbivore defense mechanism. Some orange tree cultivars tend to have fewer thorns; even within cultivars, there may be differences in thorniness. In general, orange trees grown from seeds tend to be the thorniest. Alternatively, a tree budded from an adult tree that had few thorns can be virtually thorn-free.
No, it s not an anomaly; there are thorns on citrus trees. Although not well known, it is a fact that most, not all, citrus fruit trees have thorns. Let s learn more about thorns on a citrus tree. All are members of the genus Citrus and many of them have thorns on the citrus trees. Classified as a member of the Citrus genus until 1915, at which time it was reclassified into the Fortunella genus, the sweet and tart is another citrus tree with thorns.

Some of the most common citrus trees to sport thorns are, most grapefruits and. Thorns on citrus trees develop at the nodes, often sprouting on new grafts and fruiting wood. Some citrus trees with thorns outgrow them as the tree matures. If you own a citrus variety and have noticed these spiky protuberances on the branches, your question may be, БWhy does my citrus plant have thorns? Б Why Does My Citrus Plant Have Thorns? The presence of thorns on citrus trees has evolved for exactly the same reason that animals such as hedgehogs and porcupines sport prickly hides protection from predators, specifically hungry animals that want to nibble away at the tender leaves and fruit.

Vegetation is most delicate when the tree is young. For this reason, while many juvenile citrus have thorns, mature specimens often do not. Of course, this may cause some difficulty for the cultivator since the thorns make it difficult to harvest the fruit. Most true lemons have sharp thorns lining the twigs, although some hybrids are almost thornless, such as БEureka. The second most popular citrus fruit, the lime, also has thorns. Thornless cultivars are available, but supposedly lack flavor, are less productive and are thus less desirable. Over time, the popularity and cultivation of many oranges has led to thornless varieties or those with small, blunt thorns found only at the base of the leaves. However, there are still plenty of orange varieties that have large thorns, generally those that are bitter and less often consumed.

Grapefruit trees have short, flexible thorns found only on the twigs with БMarsh the most sought after variety grown in the U. S. The little kumquat with its sweet, edible skin is primarily armed with thorns, like the БHong Kong,Б although others, such as БMeiwa, are thorn-less or have small minimally damaging spines. While many citrus trees grow thorns at some point during their life cycle, pruning them away will not damage the tree. Mature trees usually grow thorns less frequently than newly grafted trees that still have tender foliage needing protection. Fruit growers who should remove thorns from the rootstock when grafting. Most other casual gardeners can safely prune the thorns for safety sake without fear of damaging the tree.

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