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 shops around the fall vacations, they’re desirable for their usually seedless pulp, smooth skin and petite size. Clementine trees vary in size based on the time of this tree and also the cultivation habits of this grower. They’re winter-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 11.
Clementine trees are as appealing as the fruit: compact, around and usually free of thorns, though some hybrids are spiny. The trees have long, slender, bright-green leaves that stand out vigorously against the bright orange of this fruit. Clementine trees possess a rounded crown formed from the drooping branches. They aren’t dense trees, so they don’t require much pruning, as stated by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sometimes they’re pruned to mend damaged branches, as the wood is brittle and tends to break.
Mandarin trees in general achieve a maximum height of about 25 feet and width of 12 feet. They’re classified as medium-sized trees. Most don’t achieve their maximum size, nevertheless. Just the oldest trees achieve this height. The Clementine tree can be pruned to stay much smaller, though it requires less pruning than other citrus trees. Some Clementines and other citrus trees are cultivated as bushes rather than prepared to develop on one pioneer as a tree. Clementines may also be grown in containers, either inside or outdoors. These potted trees usually range between 8 and 11 feet in height.
Fruit Size and Appearance
Clementines are the smallest among the mandarins. The fruits average a little more than 2 inches in diameter, tending to be somewhat broader than tall. Their small size, coupled with the sweet taste of this pulp, means that they are most frequently consumed as snacks rather than used for canning or juicing. The fruits have bright orange, smooth skin and rich, red pulp.
Clementine trees must be cultivated correctly to achieve their optimum lawns. They enjoy warm but not humid conditions, which means they can’t be easily grown outdoors in many regions of the southern United States. The trees grow best and make the most fruit when cultivated in subtropical conditions, according to the Texas A&M; Agrilife Extension. Clementines prosper in well-draining soil and full sunlight. The fruits are normally prepared for harvesting in November and December, but the fruit is occasionally damaged from early frosts.