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How to Care for a Tangerine Tree

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How to Care for a Tangerine Tree

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Overview

A tangerine tree is actually a type of mandarin tree; the "Clementine" variety is one of the most popular grown. A tangerine tree is generally cold hardy to zone 9; however, some varieties are hardy to zone 8. In areas where freezing temperatures are an issue or a possibility, they need some cold protection to thrive.

Step 1

Water a tangerine tree with about 2 inches of water every two to three weeks. However, for the first year, you should water a tangerine tree with 1 inch of water every two to three days for the first two weeks, then once a week thereafter.

Step 2

Maintain a bare, 1-foot diameter around a tangerine tree. Do not allow weeds or grass to grow. They will compete with the tree for valuable water and nutrients. Do not mulch tangerine trees.

Step 3

Fertilize a tangerine tree three times a year in the early winter, mid-spring and early fall. Use a fertilizer labeled 20-0-0. Apply as many cups of fertilizer as the tree is in age--split among the three different applications. For example, a three-year-old tangerine tree should be fertilized with 1 cup of fertilizer at each of the three applications (totaling 3 cups for three years old). However, the first year, do not fertilize a tangerine tree the first time until new growth appears (with 1/3 cup of fertilizer).

Step 4

Protect a tangerine tree from cold injury. Loosely cover young tangerine trees (younger than four years) with a plant blanket or tarp when temperatures drop below freezing. Also, during the winter, usually from November until February, build a sloping soil bank around the trunk of your tree several feet high. You can also use a tree wrap for the trunk during this time.

Step 5

Prune only damaged limbs. Tangerine trees do not need regular pruning. Make a clean, sharp cut with lopping shears within 1 inch of the parent branch.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Tree blanket or tarp
  • Lopping shears

References

  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Productions-Mandarins
  • Texas A&M University: Citrus Cold Production
Keywords: care tangerine tree, grow tangerine tree, cold protection tangerine, care citrus tree

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.