How Do You Trim a Lemon Tree?

To trim a lemon tree, prune back around a third of the growth about one inch away from the trunk or main branches. Always cut the branches at an angle facing away from the tree.

Lemon and other citrus trees do not require regular pruning to thrive. However, pruning trees once every one or two years can help leaves access sunlight, which helps improve the harvest. Pruning young trees can also allow gardeners to train the branches. To trim back a lemon tree, run through the following steps.

  1. Choose the right time to prune
  2. Pruning lemon trees too early can cause a smaller harvest. Generally, the best time to trim back branches is in the fall after harvesting the last lemons from the tree.

  3. Choose which branches to prune
  4. Choose branches that allow other parts of the plant to access more sunlight.

  5. Trim back branches
  6. Always cut branches down to around one inch from their host branches or the trunk with a pair of sharp pruning sheers. Leave at least three main branches on the tree. Cutting branches at an angle facing away from the tree causes the tree to grow upward. Never cut away more than a third of the branches, as too much pruning can cause damaged, weak or unproductive lemon trees.