Citrus Tree Information

Overview

Citrus trees are flowering plants that are part of the rutaceae family (also known as the rue family). Citrus trees are native to subtropical and tropical regions. The trees bear citrus fruit, which include oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons. In climates that are sufficiently warm, citrus trees are relatively simple to cultivate.

Characteristics

In actuality, citrus trees are large evergreen shrubs. The trees tend to grow to between 16 and 50 feet in height, and are notable for their alternate leaves and spiny shoots. The trees produce fragrant flowers that consist of four or five white petals. The flowers have several stamens.

Soil

Citrus trees must be grown in warm, sunny locations. Soil that is well-drained is preferable. The trees can grow in most soil types, from clay to sandy. Sandy soils require additional fertilizing and watering compared with soils that have more clay content.

Pruning

Citrus trees do not need frequent pruning. However, hedging the tree's sides allows more sunlight to reach the trees, which enhances yield. Pruning by hand opens up the citrus tree, which enables additional sunlight to travel to the middle.

Frost

Citrus trees are, in general, not very hardy to frost. As a result, it is crucial to protect the trees against frost. Some primary forms of frost protection include water and wind. Wind machines are useful for temperatures that are close to freezing. Also, applying some water to the trees allows the air temperatures by the fruit to remain warmer longer.

Diseases and Pests

Some common pests that infest citrus trees include scale insects, whiteflies, aphids, bronze orange bugs and European brown snails. The trees also can experience viral infections and diseases as a result of brown citrus aphids, such as the Citrus tristeza virus, which can be very damaging.

Keywords: citrus trees, citrus tree cultivation, citrus tree information

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.