How to Prune a Tangerine Tree


Tangerine (citrus x tangerina) is a variety of the Mandarin orange and grows best in subtropical climates. Tangerine trees don't require a lot of pruning and, in fact, can be damaged by hard pruning. Like the Mandarin orange tree, the tangerine tends to have weak wood that snaps easily if the fruit become too heavy. These broken branches will need to be cut back to the trunk, presenting an opportunity for you to perform a light pruning anytime from February to April.

Step 1

Remove all suckers: young sprouts that grow either from the soil at the base of the tangerine tree or from the lower portion of the trunk, beneath the graft union. You may be able to rub some off with your hands, others may require the use of the shears.

Step 2

Cut off any branches that rub against or cross over other branches. Remove any branches that appear to be dead, diseased or winter-damaged.

Step 3

Rake all pruning debris from the base of the tree and water until the water puddles.

Step 4

Paint all newly exposed bark with tree paint or a white latex paint to prevent scald. This should be done the same day that you prune the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Bypass pruners or loppers
  • Rake
  • Tree paint


  • Texas A&M University: Mandarins
Keywords: prune tangerine tree, prune citrus tree, tangerine tree pruning

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.