Algerian Tangerine

24 Feb

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Algerian Tangerine (Tangerine ‘Clementine’) is an evergreen shrub to small tree, 15-20 feet in height, 8-10 foot tall if grown in a wine barrel sized container. Vertical, semi-open, spreading, slightly weeping growth, Fragrant, white flowers bloom in spring. Best when grown in a sunny location, requires little water when established, Needs well drained soils.

The citrus fruits commonly called Clementines (Citrus reticulata “Clementine”) are small, thin-skinned mandarin oranges. The sweet treats are a variety of class II tangerines, according to Purdue University. Often seen in stores around the fall holidays, they are desirable for their usually seedless pulp, smooth skin and petite size. Clementine trees vary in size depending on the age of the tree and the cultivation habits of the grower. They are winter-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 11.

Clementine trees are as attractive as the fruit: compact, round and usually free of thorns, although some hybrids are spiny. The trees have long, slender, bright-green leaves that stand out sharply against the bright orange of the fruit. Clementine trees have a rounded crown formed by the drooping branches. They are not dense trees, so they do not need much pruning, according to the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sometimes they are pruned to repair damaged branches, as the wood is brittle and tends to break.

Mandarin trees in general reach a maximum height of about 25 feet and width of 12 feet. They are classified as medium-sized trees. Most do not reach their maximum size, however. Only the oldest trees reach this height. The Clementine tree can be pruned to remain much smaller, although it needs less pruning than other citrus trees. Some Clementines and other citrus trees are even cultivated as bushes rather than trained to grow on one leader as a tree. Clementines may also be grown in containers, indoors or outdoors. These potted trees usually range between 8 and 11 feet in height.

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