We have actually several citrus trees including orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, kaffir lime, and also loquat, however we noticed only some that them have actually thorns. So, why perform citrus trees have thorns in the an initial place?

Citrus trees advanced to have actually thorns together a defense mechanism versus herbivores. This protection method is crucial to stop any type of predators from eat leaves and also fruit from the plant. Additionally, citrus trees evolved thorns together a means to retain water in dried regions.

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Now the we know a bit about why citrus trees developed to have actually thorns, let’s take a closer look at how citrus trees arisen thorns and a couple of other inquiries you might have. Inquiries such as, “Which species of citrus trees have thorns?” and “Are these thorns poison or dangerous to gardeners?”. Check out on to find out more!

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Why do Citrus Trees have actually Thorns?


As mentioned, young citrus trees have actually thorns to defend the tender fruit and leaves from being eaten by any animals. As soon as the plant grows bigger and stronger, the can better protect itself from predators and also stops producing as numerous thorns.

Thorns can also prevent tree from gaining thirsty in dry areas. They execute this through trapping moisture around the plant as a consistent source the water.

But how exactly do this thorns form?

Thorns space actually branches that the tree modifies to end in a suggest through the use of stem cells. Rather of the tree telling the cell to keep cultivation and kind a branch, it speak them to do a thorn.

But no all citrus trees create thorns. Let’s take a closer look in ~ which people do.

Which Citrus Trees have actually Thorns?

Citrus Trees v ThornsCitrus tree Without Thorns*
Mandarin OrangeEureka Lemon
Navel OrangePersian Lime (Tahiti Lime)
Blood OrangeFallglo Tangerine
Meyer LemonDancy Tangerine
Lisbon Lemon
Key Lime
Mexican Lime
Kaffir Lime

*Keep in mind that the surname “thornless” no only consists of citrus trees through no thorns but likewise those v fewer thorns 보다 average. So, also if friend do gain a “thornless” variety, there’s a an excellent chance several of the branches will have a few thorns. In general, it’s rarely for a citrus tree come be truly thornless as they have evolved to be this method over countless years.

Citrus is one of the most well-known fruits in the unified States, with an ext than 200,000 tonnes harvested in 2019, for this reason it’s relatively common to come throughout these thorny fruit trees.

Here are some of the most typical citrus trees through thorns:

LemonLimeOrangeGrapefruitKumquatTangeloMandarin Orange

Out that these, the most generally planted room lemon, lime, and orange trees.

However, not all varieties of these fruits will have actually thorns.

Some types of citrus trees room specifically bred to have fewer or no thorns.

While lemon tree are included on this list, your thorniness likewise depends on the specific type that lemon. For example, Eureka lemons are practically thornless when the Lisbon selection has countless thorns.

Many gardeners would favor to plant non-thorny citrus trees to avoid gaining their fingers pricked yet this can’t constantly be avoided. So, what specifically happens if a thorn pokes you—are they poisonous or stinging like some various other plants?

Are Citrus Tree thorn Poisonous?

Citrus tree thorns are not poisonous and also do not contain harmful link or toxins. However, even though the thorns can not poison you, castle can reason other medical troubles such together infections if the wound is taken on improperly.

Although the mandrel on citrus trees aren’t poisonous, the oil indigenous the leaves can reason rashes and skin irritation. You should still it is in careful roughly the thorns since they can scratch you. With all the dirt and also plant matter in her garden, open up injuries deserve to lead come infection, so be careful!

Can girlfriend Prune Citrus Tree Thorns?

Citrus tree thorns can be pruned without lot consequence. Ideally, thorns on citrus trees aid accumulate water in time of drought, but if friend live in a region that it s okay plenty that water, then there’s not much of a require for thorn on citrus trees.

However, if you generally get tourists from herbivores, especially big ones such as deer, then it have the right to be finest to leaving the thorns together a deterrent. Citrus tree leaves and fruit are basic and tasty snack for countless herbivores, for this reason leaving the thorn on deserve to definitely help keep her trees alive.

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Still, if her citrus trees room mature and grown, and you’re not concerned around citrus tree predators or drought, then you have the right to prune the thorns off without losing a benefit.

As you could have guessed—the best method to avoid getting hurt by citrus tree thorn is to remove them. Check out this video clip by IV essential to uncover out more!