Sunday, 29 June 2014 00:00

How Tangerines Grow....

The Tangelo is a cross between what 2 fruits?

  • Latin Name:

    Citrus tangerina

  • Growth:

    USDA Hardiness Zones: 8 - 11


    In colder zones,, tangerine trees can be grown as container plants so they may be moved inside during cold weather.

    The tangerine is a small evergreen tree with lance-shaped leaves and small white flowers. It grows best in tropical and subtropical areas. Trees that are planted outdoors grow up to 20 feet in height and produce small, round orange fruit. Container trees usually do not produce fruit, but will produce fragrant flowers and glossy foliage.

  • Propagation:

    Tangerines may be propagated by seed, although it should be noted that tangerine trees planted from seeds often never bear fruit. For fruit-producing trees, budding is the preferred method of propagation.


    Budding involves grafting part of a tangerine limb to a piece of rootstock from a different tree. The bark of a tangerine tree begins to slip between November and April, making these the best months to start a new tree through the budding process.




    A tangerine tree started by seed and grown to approximately ⅜ inch in diameter makes excellent rootstock for budding. It may take several months for rootstock to grow to this size.


    The grafting process begins when one or more twigs are collected from the parent tangerine tree that will become the fruiting portion of the tree. Woody twigs  with mature buds are preferred over fresh growth. The twig is cut to approximately 10 inches in length. The tips of each twig are cut, as well as the leaves and stems--but a stub of each leave stem (petiole) is left that is about ⅛ inch long. All the stems, thorns and twigs are removed from the rootstock tree and an incision is made in the shape of an upside down “T”, approximately 3 - 4 inches above the base of the rootstock. The vertical cut is approximately 1.5 inches, with a horizontal cut at the bottom that goes through the bark, but no deeper.


    The bark is lifted with a knife  along the vertical cut. The budding twig is Inserted into the rootstock by sliding it under the flaps of bark with the bud’s cut surface lying flat against the rootstock. It is then wrapped  firmly in budding tape.

    The tape is removed 14 to 21 days after performing the budding procedure. If the graft  was successful, the newly attached twig  will be green, rather than shriveled. The top of the rootstock is cut off above the bud to force it to grow.  Once the tree reaches approximately 18 inches in height, pinch off uppermost growth to encourage lateral branch growth.

  • Harvest:

    Tangerines are harvested in winter and spring. Color is not an accurate indicator of ripeness because it can vary throughout the year. Taste is the only true way to determine tangerine ripeness.

    To harvest tangerines, the fruit is twisted gently from the tree or snipped with clippers. Tangerines must be harvested when perfectly ripe as they will not continue to ripen off the tree and have a relatively short shelf life.

  • Storage:

    Once picked, tangerines should remain unpeeled to maintain freshness and are best kept refrigerated for up to a week.  The tangerine is more fragile than most other citrus and will only last for a few days once it has been picked from the tree if it is not refrigerated.

  • History:

    The tangerine derives its name from the city of Tangiers in Morocco, from which the fruit was originally shipped to the United States and Europe, beginning in the 1840s

    Tangerines are actually a member of the mandarin orange family, with origins tracing back to to China, where it was cultivated for more than 3,000 years before making an appearance in western culture. The fruit grows abundantly in China, Japan, India, the Caribbean, the Italian Mediterranean, and in Australia.

  • Top Producers:

    According to statistics from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Republic of China is the leading commercial tangerine producer, followed by Spain, Brazil, Japan and Turkey

  • Varieties:

    Tangerines are a variety of mandarin orange. Clementines, dancy, fallglo, lee, and nova are different types of tangerines that range in size and sweetness. The tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, and several varieties of tangerine are tangelo hybrids.

  • Products:

    Tangerines can be used in teas, juices and in salads, dressings, and desserts, or even eaten raw. Tangerines are also used in essential oils, natural beauty products, and household cleaning products.


    Tangerine essential oil has been used medicinally for centuries for its antiseptic, antioxidant, sedative, antispasmodic and cytophylactic properties.

  • Top Health Benefits:

    Tangerines are high in vitamin C, providing the body with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as contributing to skin, bone, and teeth maintenance.


    The high Vitamin C content in tangerines boosts HDL (good cholesterol) levels, control high blood pressure, and promote artery health.  


    The reddish-orange hue of tangerine skin comes from carotenoids, a hearty source of Vitamin A, which promotes wound healing, healthy vision, healthy cell development and immune system health. Vitamin A helps the skin rebuild tissues, and thus tangerines are effective in aiding skin conditions such as acne and the effects of aging.


    The high fiber content in tangerines is effective in restricting cholesterol absorption, as well as in promoting digestive health. Dietary fiber also helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and promotes a feeling of satiety. These attributes, combined with tangerines’ low calorie count (53 calories per 100g), make the fruit an excellent weight loss option.


    Tangerines are rich in calcium (33mg per 100g), an essential component in maintaining healthy bone and teeth.


    Tangerines contain bioflavonoids such as tangeritin and hesperidin, which are said to include antioxidant and cancer-preventative properties. Tangeritin has been shown to inhibit leukemic cell growth and to protect cells against bacterial mutagens, and hesperidin acts with Vitamin C to promote collagen formation in the body.

  • Recipe:

  • Educational Projects: