When are Tangerines Ready to Harvest?
Oranges and tangerines are popular not only because of their succulent flesh and excellent taste but also because they are packed with healthy nutrients that help boosts the immune system and improve our overall health.
Of the many delicious citrus fruits to choose from, tangerines are one of the sweetest and are considered a treat throughout tangerine season.
Where Did Tangerines Come From?
Tangerines or Citrus tangerina are a variety of thin-skinned, deep-orange colored citrus hybrids. Tangerines are of the mandarin species of the family Rutaceae. They are carry some pomelo DNA.
The name tangerine came from Tangiers, a seaport in Morocco, where the fruit was first shipped to Europe and the United States in 1800s. Although named after the said port, oranges tangerines are indigenous to Southeast Asia and have been cultivated in Japan and China for over 3000 years.
Tangerine Season & Varieties of Tangerines
There are numerous hybrids and varieties of tangerines and the exact harvest time depends on the region and type of Tangerine. It takes months to fully ripen into sweet, tangy tangerines. Based on the list below you can see the time frame for the tangerines to go from the sweet, citrus-scented, white blooms attract bees and birds to the tree in March and April for pollination to the time green fruits develop and those fruits’ rinds turn orange.
- Dancy – This traditional Christmas tangerine ripens and is ready for harvest from fall to winter.
- Clementine – This seedless Algerian tangerine ripens during winter months.
- Fremont – This tangerine is a cross between the Clementine and Ponkan citrus varieties and has a rich, sweet flavor. The Freemont tangerine ripens from fall to winter.
- Honey (Murcott) – A tangerine variety that is small & seedy, but is sweet. This tangerine is ready for harvest from winter to early spring.
- Encore – A sweet-tart tangerine that is seedy. It is the last variety to ripen and normally occurs in the spring.
- Kara – This is a large fruit with the right combination of sweet & tangy flavor. The Kara tangerine ripens in spring.
- Kinnow – This is a seedy, aromatic fruit that is harder to peel compared to other tangerine varieties. It ripens in winter to early spring.
- Mediterranean (Willow leaf) – Unlike other tangerines that have deep orange color, this variety has fruit with a yellow/orange rind and very few seeds. It ripens in spring.
- Pixie – This is a seedless mandarin that ripens in late January, but can be picked from the tangerine trees until spring.
- Ponkan (Chinese Honey) – This sweet tangerine is a larger tangerine variety with easy-to-peel skin and juicy flesh. It ripens in early winter.
- Satsuma (Unshiu) – This is a medium sized, seedless variety that is harvested from late fall to early winter.