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Do Orange Trees Have Thorns? (Quick Answers)

Orange trees belong to the citrus species. They have pretty tasty leaves, foliages, attractive and vibrant fruits. Moreover, the fruits produce a sweet smell that attracts deer, rabbits, rodents, squirrels and other herbivores. 

However, orange trees have a defense mechanism by which they are able to survive from predators and bad weather. 

Orange trees have thorns

Orange trees have thorns that primarily work as a defense mechanism to survive from the herbivores but also have other positive impacts. Thorns maintain the growth of the orange trees and give it a shape. Moreover, it makes the tree tolerable to any bad condition of the weather. 

Citrus fruits are small-statured evergreen trees or shrubs that are mostly seen having thorns. As they have a sweet smelling foliage, it attracts the herbivores. Oranges also belong to Citrus species and thus most of the orange species trees have thorns. 

Thorns help the tree in various ways. Thorns primarily ensure protection against the herbivores so that the plants, branches and newly evolved fruits that are still delicate don’t get harmed and pass away. Thorns ensure the ability of the plants to survive on earth. 

In fact, the thorns maintain the growth of the orange and help to shape it. Throne also helps to easily absorb its necessary nutrients from the soil and make the tree efficient to toler any bad condition like cool, windy and wet winters. 

However, thrones can sometimes indicate that the tree requires pruning. Pruning is required in spring and summer to prevent any bacterial blow that can happen by getting pricked in fruit by the throne. 

Relatively, most of the orange species have thorns that mainly work as a defense mechanism but also help in many ways. 

Navel orange:

Navel orange may grow thornless but most of the time they have thorns. In fact, they have thorny rootstock. It works as a defense mechanism by which they ensure protection from predators or other hungry animals. 

Valencia orange:

Valencia orange trees typically grow with pointy thrones. These are almost 2 to 2.5 inches long and very much pointy at the end. 

The thrones of Valencia oranges are part of the tree’s vascular system and also works as drought resistant so that the tree survives in the inconvenient atmosphere. 

Blood orange:

Blood orange trees normally do not produce thorns but, however, juvenile blood orange trees can have blunt-shaped, mildly flexible thorns to protect their tender leaves and fruits from the pesky predators.

Osage orange:

Osage orange trees are shrub native have glossy, lance-shaped leaves and its two main characteristics are the big fruits and thick big thrones. The thrones work to defend against the grazing herbivores. 

However, for its spikes, the barrier, it’s sometimes called hedge apple. 

Cara Cara orange:

By the cross pollination between Washington Navel Orange and a Brazilian Bahia Navel Orange, the red or pink kind of flesh with an incredible citrus flavored orange is produced. 

As like the navel orange has thrones, cara cara orange also have thorns. These thorns work to maintain their growth and boost their immune system. 

Mandarin orange:

Mandarin orange trees are usually miniature, having smaller leaves. They usually bear small thrones throughout the branches and on its trunk. Mandarin orange trees can grow much taller but the thorns restrict their growth and shape it. 

Satsuma orange:

Thorns can rarely be seen in satsuma orange. Thorns can appear and surprise you when the tree gets the ability to produce fruit and in order to create a barrier and provide better transpiration. 

Are they poisonous?

Thorns are not dangerous, but if someone gets in contact with the thorns of the hardy orange trees, they may develop a skin lesion

Hardy oranges with these thorns defend the tree against damage brought on by any carnivorous creatures or insects, but they do not have any harmful material in their thorns. However, there is a danger of getting cut by the thorns, which could lead to an infection over time.

Because the thorns are sharp, they can only irritate skin if cut, but because they evolved from the axillary roots of hardy orange trees and took on this form as a protective mechanism without having any toxic effects, we can’t classify them as toxic or poisonous. 

Nevertheless, it is best to avoid touching the thorns as they can prick the skin. Although the leaves occasionally release some oily compounds, neither the thorns nor the three themselves have been proven to be poisonous.

Why do orange trees have thorns? 

Orange trees have thorns, which are growing defenses that keep the tree safe from strike by animals or insects. Typically, these thorns also aid in stabilizing the root in adverse weather. 

Trifoliate orange trees typically feature thorns  which helps them withstand low temperatures better than other orange trees without thorns. 

In addition, the thorns make it easier for the environment to provide carbon dioxide in difficult circumstances, which aids the tree’s transpiration. 

Gives protection:

Typically, thorns protect orange trees from animal strike, aiding the trees’ ability to survive on earth. These thorns act as a barrier between animals when they try to nibble or munch it and the tree. 

Help trees survive the bad weather:

The thorns assist the orange trees in maintaining a firm grip on the soil during climatic change. 

Orange trees bearing thorns typically have greater resiliency; as a result, they can withstand colder temperatures better, absorb nutrients from the soil, and thrive. 

Better transpiration:

The thorns in the orange come from a stem and their axillary root system. 

With this, orange trees may readily obtain environmental air when there is less carbon dioxide present or when they are in humid conditions without access to necessary water. 

Most trifoliate oranges have thorns  which allow the tree to easily absorb nutrients from the soil.

What kind of orange trees have thorns on them? 

Some types of orange trees, particularly the mandarin, bloody, and hardy varieties, have thorns. The rootstock is where these thorns are found. Thorns are produced by orange trees with axillary root systems that are generated from seeds.

Because they can withstand drought and draw moisture from the soil into dry soil while acting as a protection mechanism for citrus fruits, orange trees typically have more or less thorns.

Due to the fact that grafted trees are grown on the roots of other trees rather than being produced naturally, hybrid or grafted orange trees often do not develop thorns. Only naturally growing varieties, mainly the trifoliate orange tree and mandarin varieties, have these.

Mandarin orange trees:

These different types of orange trees develop thorns that spread and sprout everywhere. Because they are not hybrid or grafted orange trees, these trees naturally develop thorns to access water and survive. 

Bloody orange trees:

These types also develop thorns during the course of their lives; some may have them as a kind of sucker, but the majority produce them as thorns. 

These orange trees can withstand the harsh climate by creating these thorns, and they grow from the root stock.

Should I cut the thorns off my orange tree? How to? 

Generally speaking, thorns shouldn’t be clipped if they don’t pose a threat to nearby trees or the environment. The thorns of the orange can be trimmed in these circumstances since they may otherwise hurt the garden or puncture the other trees during grafting. 

Typically, the thorns on orange trees help to defend the tree from animal strikes, and in bad weather, they can be used to store vital water and nutrients. However, it is important to trim the thorns before the end of winter, before the flowers or fruits begin to bloom. 

There are specific procedures to follow when cutting the thorns. To begin, a sharp pruner must be used. Thorns can be easily pruned with a pruner after being sprayed with a copper solution spray prior to pruning.

Getting the pruner clean:

To stop additional disease in the orange trees, the pruner initially needs to be clean and free of any contaminants. Now, clip only the outside third of the thorns with this tool; do not prune the entire plant.

Copper solution spraying:

Making a copper-water solution and spraying it all the way up the orange tree will make it easier to prune the thorns. 

Reduce only one-third of the following:

With the pruner, only one-third of the area should be reduced. 

So, as orange trees’ thorns are necessary for the tree to survive in any challenging circumstances, they should grow back the next year, so you should be careful while cutting the length of the thorns.

Final Thoughts 

As orange trees have a tasty foliage and sweet smelling fruits, herbivores get tempted easily and eventually can harm the tree. To create a barrier against the predators, orange trees produce thrones. Additionally, thorns help better transpiration and determine its growth.