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What is the Life Cycle of an Orange Tree?

By Suzanne Richmond
Orange trees can live ancient lives with proper care and protection from freezing weather.
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Orange trees can live long lives. The St. Dominic's orange tree in Rome, for instance, was propagated in 1938 from roots that originated 800 years ago. With proper care, orange trees can definitely last a lifetime. Oranges have a yearly cycle of growth, flower production, and fruiting.


Oranges are best grown in mild climates in sandy well-drained soils. November through February are peak times to pick fully ripened oranges.


Springtime orange blossoms scent the air with an aroma like no other. Driving past a Florida orange grove in March and April is an aromatically unforgettable experience. The flowers are pollinated by droves of bees and begin the process of setting fruit.


During summer the orange trees convert sunshine into nutrients for developing fruit. Fruits remain green until fall when the decrease in daylight and cooler temperature trigger them to turn orange.

Picking Fruit

Cool fall days cause the orange fruits to become sweeter. A few taste tests will indicate when fruits are sweetest and ready for picking.

Long life

Orange trees grown in the home landscape can remain in production for more than 100 years if tree is cared for with proper pruning of suckers and dead branches, regular fertilizer applications, and protection from freezing temperatures.


About the Author


Suzanne Richmond is an avid gardener and small farmer who resides in Melbourne, Fla. She is an avid Central Florida vegetable gardener and has developed a self-watering container called a Growbox. She writes gardening- and poultry-related articles for Examiner.com, GardenGuides and Answerbag.