Trimming lemon trees is significant for the new growth of flowers and its productivity. Estimating the right time, approach, and reasons for achieving a pruned lemon tree. Also considering all these aspects and methods for pruning outdoor lemon trees, you can be successful. Furthermore, should know that these aspects are not the same for an apple tree.
In comparison to others, the citrus tree is one of the easiest to care for when gardening. As long as you fulfill its elementary needs, it will grow and you can bear tasty fruit, for a long time.
However, the question is, how to pruned lemon tree? And when can you start pruning a lemon tree? Answers to these and other questions you will find in the following text.
How to Prune Lemon Trees: Outdoor Trees
In a hot climate, citrus trees are growing outdoors. Does it apply to your place? Then you may notice that sometimes your tree grows above ground and the roots are on the soil. It is possible that under your soil the roots of a tree reached rock or concrete a few feet away from the trunk.
There will be a limit to which your fruit tree can support a certain amount of branches and leaves. That is why you have to prune it. Pay attention to the number of fruits on the soil and the water accessible to the roots of the lemon tree.
The Three Cut System
The best way to cut the branches of a lemon tree is to follow the approach that shows you three different types of cuts. You can prune branches and at the same time keep the lemon tree healthy. For your first cutting, you can use the same pruning system for smaller and for larger branches. The right way to cut is at an angle of 10-12 inches distance to the trunk.
The following step is to undercut the other side of the branch to loosen it and to cut it from the trunk or other place of the lemon tree. After that, put your tool a few inches above the branch and cut there.
Carry on until satisfied
How many branches you are trimming depends on your personal choice and the good state of your fruit tree. Gardeners who are specialists, advise to remove not more than a third of the growth when you prune a lemon tree. If you have cut more the harvest of the lemon tree will suffer the next season. This means that it cannot easily produce edible fruit.
Adapt cuttings citrus tress
Your goal is a propagation of a citrus tree? Then you should choose to prune only healthy branches that are half an inch to a full inch thick. It is better not to take ones that are too thick or look unhealthy. As they won’t grow after the transplantation into new soil and can stay dry and die quickly.
When should lemon trees be pruned?
The perfect timing to prune lemon trees begins after the main harvest of the year and before it flowers heavily.
There are lemon trees that will bloom and produce fruit the whole year, but mostly they will bear fruit one or two bigger yields throughout the year.
Noticing dead wood on a lemon tree means that you have to cut it immediately. This applies also to a branch with dead wood, having leaves on it. This method leads to a healthy state when pruning.
video: Pruned Lemon Tree
Choose the ideal time for trimming
You don’t have a lot of experience in gardening and trimming a lemon tree?
Then you could overdo it. There is a perfect moment, to begin to remove branches. It is better to leave a lemon tree as it is and wait until the fall harvest when the crop of lemons can’t be influenced.
In case your fruit trees grow in a country with a hot climate, you should do the trimming in the fall or winter. This pruning system gives the lemon tree time to recover before it begins with fruit production the next season.
At times removing also good growth is better
Fruit trees can grow very high. A lemon tree that hasn’t been cut, can grow 30 to 40 feet (10 to 13 meters) tall and 30 to 40 feet wide at appropriate conditions.
We recommend letting them stay smaller to the size you want when you prune a lemon tree. You can take care of it throughout the whole year little by little. Cutting a branch at the part just above two healthy leaves helps to get the size you want to have. Do the trimming at an angle, so that rain cannot stay where the cut has been done. Otherwise, the raindrops will cause the wood to rot.
How do I fix an over-pruned lemon tree?
An over-cut tree, caused by over-zealous trimming, needs extra care for recovering. In general, a lemon tree requires pruning only for cutting crowded branches and shaping the tree a little. The risk for sunburn gets higher if you remove more than one-third of the growth. your plant can lose fruit and get pest infestation. With mindful organization, the tree should recover from severe pruning.
A space between the tree and the leaf cover arises as a large amount of leaves has been cut when you prune a lemon tree. The rind is sensitive and can get sunburned as it is not protected anymore by leaf cover. Painting it with a mixture of white interior latex paint and water (50/50) over the part that needs protection, helps to prevent damage by the sunlight.
Most fruit trees produce flowers and fruits in the first year. A lemon tree that has been trimmed too much, suffers from losing its productivity. After trimming, it needs a lot of energy to let grow new branches and leaves instead of lemons.
Pest as a Danger
At the time the lemon trees recover from trimming, it is sensitive to diseases and pests. Over-watering can cause the development of root rotting diseases. Furthermore, new tender leaves can get pests such as aphids, mites, scale insects, and whiteflies. When checking on the lemon tree for eventual diseases and pests you can spray it with the right horticultural oils or pesticides to control the pests.
Help to Recover
What to do to help recover an over-pruned tree? There are two possibilities, watering and light fertilizing. Both of them can support or block the production of new foliage.
After pruning a lemon tree too much, it needs less water. In case you over-water it, the roots will suffer and possibly die.
Regarding fertilizing with a solution of half-strength, high-nitrogen fertilizer, this approach helps to grow new leaves.
Do you prune a lemon tree and it gets cut too much? How can more trimming help for recovery? In this case, you should take off suckers at the base of the tree and under the grafted part, to protect it. It is important to do, as otherwise nutrients and energy are taken away from the grafted upper part of the lemon tree.
The lemon tree can get water sprouts from the trimmed branches. You should cut the branch or the water sprouts so they do not come upon new and healthy growth.
How to Prune A Lemon Tree
One important part when taking care of a lemon tree is to cut it to get it growing further and prevent it from having dead wood or disease.
Fruit trees with leaves have to be cut regularly to cultivate a flourishment that is healthy and brings more light and air to the citrus fruit.
Do you plan to grow bigger lemons? Then it requires more care as citrus branches tend to be hardy and robust. If you follow our recommendations, you can cut your lemon trees successfully.
Pruning by a Top-Down approach
Following method, you achieve the goal of providing healthy growth and nourishment of the whole tree. Most lemon trees have issues transporting water and nutrients to the top when the limit of their resources is reached.
Most branches with signs of disease will be situated at the top of the citrus tree. Here are the following tips for the successful pruning of your fruit tree.
Check for spots in the canopy in sunlight to recognize branches that are hanging down. This is a sign to prune this branch at the main stem and to cut flush branches.
When you are trimming a lemon tree that grows outside, you have to take off branches on its stem. The cutting should be done close to the branch. Notice that stubs should be avoided when you remove branches.
Check your tree well to be sure that no diseased or flagging branch on a stem has been left. The cut has to be as flat as you can do the pruning. Then the lemon tree recovers from the cut by growing a bark on top of the former stem bud. This cutting system prevents your lemon tree from generating further flagging branches.
Select where you want to trim
At the beginning of the process, you first have to find out where to trim a lemon tree. When you prune a tree, you should get rid of unneeded branches that are shortening the light and aeration of the fruit harvest.
Begin trimming thinner branches in the first place, and then continue to the larger branches. When you notice a sign of disease or a damaged branch, remove these. This has to be done to enable new growth and that the diseased brunch won’t be spreading bad bacteria or mold into the lemon tree.
to improve the growth of trees healthily, you should prune a branch at different places. Usually, it is recommended to trim root suckers, broken branches, water shoots, and branches that are rubbing against each other or are crossing one another.
When you recognize such a tree branch that is not necessary to the plant and could be threatening for the tree to grow further, it is important to remove these parts of the branch.
Cut a certain angle
In the beginning when you start to prune you have to cut your lemon tree in a certain manner to prevent hurting the sensitive bark. Remember not to trim flush to the trunk, and cut in the blade in the direction of the tree.
To start cutting, first begin to cut at an angle of 10-12 in. away from the main trunk. Remove smaller branches before you continue to the bigger ones. It is important to cut the lemon trees so that the branch collar can be saved. This part is called the branch defense zone, it will support the tree to recover from pruning and develop a hard protective layer on the parts that have been just cut.
How To start pruning A Lemon Tree: What You Will Need
The right tools you need to start cutting your lemon tree have to be considered depending on the age and the size of the fruit tree.
Usually, it is recommended to avoid the use of saws. Alternatively, use hand pruners when working with young trees that have thin branches. Other tips, in case you are planning on doing more intensive pruning on an older tree, then the advice is to invest in a hand saw. When you start trimming a lemon tree, take also some disinfecting alcohol with you, to avoid the transfer of potential disease or pests.
How do you prepare your tools for pruning?
As you are planning a good time for cutting, prepare your shears, lopper, or handsaw. Before starting, it is essential to rinse the blades with a disinfection product to avoid the spread of disease or mold spores between plants. Make sure that the blades are dry before you begin pruning, in order not to harm the lemon tree by the alcohol on your tools. It is also possible to use a 10% bleach solution to disinfect your tools if you don’t want to take isopropyl alcohol.
You may need special tips to prune a lemon tree especially when you are new to this process. Regular maintenance the whole year, also in winter helps to keep the tasks low at the end of the harvest. Furthermore, take away dead growth when you check your citrus trees. Also, you do good to your plant by topping it so the lemons get more sun and light to stay healthy and strong.
Generally, to prune a lemon tree doesn’t have to be a complicated proceeding. You have to prevent too much growth and provide space for the lemons to receive the right amount of sun and air.
When gardening, you need the following tools to prune a lemon tree, hand pruners or loppers, hand saw as well as disinfection alcohol, pr 10% bleach solution.
In case you don’t feel content with your results after you prune a lemon tree, next time you can trim a little more and check on the health of the fruit tree.
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