Q:

How do you prune citrus trees?

A:

Quick Answer

Citrus trees do not require regular pruning to stay healthy and produce fruit, but trimming helps maintain the tree's appearance. Items needed to prune citrus trees are garden clippers and a sharp knife.

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Full Answer

  1. Remove suckers and dead branches

    Remove suckers, also known as water sprouts, from the base of the tree throughout the year as soon as they appear. Remove dead branches at the point of origin using garden clippers. Use a sharp knife to scratch the bark of the branch before removal. Green wood underneath means the branch is still alive.

  2. Thin the tree

    Use garden clippers to remove branches that are rubbing together. Prune damaged and broken branches back 6 inches.

  3. Trim the tree

    Sanitize the garden clippers before trimming the tree to prevent spreading disease to other parts of the tree. Remove the lower layer of branches. Trim the next layer 6 inches into the healthy wood. Cut the branches where they connect to the tree. Do not leave stubs. Prune either in the spring, before the tree produces flowers, or in the summer, after harvesting is complete. Do not use tree seals when pruning the citrus tree because they interfere with the healing process after pruning.

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