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Do Orange Trees Have Thorns – One Way to Find Out!

Do orange trees have thorns? The answer to this is yes. For sure, there are other questions you want answers to. Without further ado, let’s get into a brief explanation.

Orange is basically a type of citrus fruit and this family has been known not only for their pulps and juices, but also thin trees with thorns. And yes, orange is among those thorny citrus trees.

These develop at the nodes, typically on canopy sprouts and rootstocks. But once the tree is mature, expect fewer amounts of spikes.

Do Orange Trees Have Thorns

A variety of orange called as trifoliate orange is thorny. It’s named that way as its distinctive leaflets feature three leaves. The roots are harder, which make it tolerable to cold climates, including minus 10 degrees.

Furthermore, this variety can grow as high as 15, 20 or even 30 feet. If mature, it spreads wide with several thorny branches. It’s purely a botanical reason why do orange trees have thorns.

Do Orange Trees Have Thorns

More on the thorns, they extend up to 2 inches long. That’s quite very noticeable and obviously a warning to be extra careful when picking orange fruits.

Trifoliate orange trees need full sun so it’s best to place them in an area where they can get direct light from the sun. As for the soil, it can tolerate almost any type as long as it has a pH level between 6.2 and 7.5.

If you are puzzled as to why do orange trees have thorns and why this should be alright, the most reasonable explanation is for protection. Many types of insects and animals, including the omnivorous ones, find plants and trees as food sources.

This means that orange tree is susceptible to that danger too. It’s a good thing that some contain thorns that help prevent those creatures from crawling and eating the leaves or fruits.


All varieties of oranges are potentially infected by a disease called foot rot. But trifoliate orange tree is resistant to it. The problem is that it is vulnerable to another disease named exocortis, which is a viroid that is a type of pathogen smaller than virus.

You can easily determine if the tree is infected by the gummy residues coming out of the base of the trunks.

You also be careful with the spikes when picking orange fruits. If the thorns contain virus or bacteria that carry diseases, the transfer is most likely causing a problem to the health if the fruits are infected.

Thorn Removal

You can definitely get rid of thorns but doing that one by one is a lot of work. The best thing you can do for this is to prune a small branch or stem of the tree. However, this should be done before the tree is mature. Besides, the presence of spikes becomes less and even vanishes once it has fully grown.


Oranges are one of the easy and fun fruits to pick from the tree. You can determine that they are ready to harvest if the green color has turned orange, which is usually during March to December and even January.

Do Orange Trees Have Thorns

However, an orange fruit doesn’t mean it is already ripe. It may take a few weeks more. It can also fall off from the tree on its own, which is an indication of its prime ripeness.

To make sure, it’s best to pick one or two and taste the juice to confirm before removing all fruits from the branches. You also check if it smells fresh citrusy and sweet. If it has some mold or spots, that means it has been infected with a disease.

Do Orange Trees Have Thorns

Twisting is how to pick orange from the tree. A ripe fruit should be easy to detach. Otherwise, use a pair of shears or any cutters for gardening. Since this kind of tree grows really tall, you do need a ladder to collect some fruits.

  • Navel Orange – November to June
  • Pineapple Sweet Oange – November to February
  • Cara Cara Orange – December to May
  • ​Clementine Oragne – October to December or January
  • Valencia Orange – March to October

Oranges can be stored at room temperature for a week. If refrigerated, it can live for 2 weeks.


Do orange trees have thorns? Yes but that doesn’t impose any threat except an injury if you’re not careful. Is lemon have thorn like orange? 

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