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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pruning Citrus Trees

Pruning Citrus Trees

There is a right and a wrong way when it comes to pruning citrus trees. Read on to get all the tips you need to know before pruning your citrus plant.

Like all fruit-bearing trees, citrus trees require regular pruning. Removing branches and growth improves the health of your tree, and ensures that they continue to grow fruit. Understanding the benefits and basics of pruning citrus trees can help you maintain your crop. 

Benefits of Pruning Citrus Trees

Keeping your citrus trees pruned can help their overall health. By maintaining a smaller size, you can keep rows of trees from interfering with each other. 

Additionally, removing branches and leaves improves air circulation and sunlight penetration, which encourages growth and fruit production. Getting rid of plant matter also means that the buds and branches that remain will receive more nutrients, growing larger fruits. 

By preventing branches from rubbing against one another, you also prevent fruit from being damaged or falling off the tree. 

How Much Should I Prune?

The exact amount you should remove when pruning a citrus tree will depend on the tree itself. You should consider removing specific parts depending on the age of the tree.

For example, older trees should have their new shoots removed, allowing more nutrients to flow to existing branches. You can remove these by hand, or with hand pruners, depending on their size.

Newer trees should have thinner branches removed so that the stronger and thicker ones can continue to grow. Hand pruners are the best and quickest way to make a clean cut, but you may need larger trimmers for thicker branches. 

You should also pay attention to where the fruit is growing on your citrus tree. If fruit only appears around the edges of your tree, you need to thin the interior branches to allow more air and sunlight in. 

If part of your citrus tree is no longer shaded, you may want to consider covering it with tree paint, available at most hardware stores. This will prevent burning and sun damage until the tree can adjust. 

Removing Diseased Branches

Another common reason to consider pruning your citrus tree is if you have spotted signs of disease. Black spots on your leaves or fruit, yellow scabs on the branches, and peeling bark can be symptoms of health issues.

Have a tree professional diagnose the disease before taking drastic measures. Sometimes, discoloration is nothing more than an aesthetic change. 

However, if your citrus tree has become diseased, you will have to remove the affected branches and leaves. Trim entire branches off of the tree to prevent the disease from spreading. For mature branches, you'll need to make three separate cuts - twice on the branch to remove it and leave a stub, and on the stub itself - to prevent the bark from peeling. 

You'll also need to dispose of any and all diseased plant matter. Leaving it in your yard can allow the disease to spread to other trees.

Learn More About Citrus Tree Care

Check out our citrus blog for more information about pruning citrus trees, citrus disease, citrus tree care, and more! We provide all sorts of insightful guides and articles about citrus trees, fruit, and related topics.

Citrus Tree Lifespan: What's the Average Life Expectancy of a Citrus Tree

Citrus Tree

How long will your citrus tree live for? Check out this guide to learn about the average life expectancy of a citrus tree and related tree care advice.

Are you thinking about growing your own personal lemon tree? Have you wondered what kind of care a citrus tree may need to grow strong and produce delicious oranges in the future? How long do most citrus trees live for anyway?

These are all really important questions to consider before going out and purchasing a citrus tree. There are a lot of different factors that go into maintaining healthy trees. 

Read on to find out more and to find out which tree might be the right fit for you.

Lifespan vs. Productivity Lifespan

For most citrus trees, the average lifespan of a growing tree is 50 years. This applies to lemon, orange, and even dwarf citrus trees. Fruit production generally begins between ages 2 and 5

Most trees will produce throughout their entire life once they reach maturity. If your tree has healthy foliage, this is the biggest indicator of its health. 

Can Citrus Trees Thrive in Cooler Climates?

There are many different types of citrus. The ones that thrive the best in North America are lemon, orange, and dwarf citrus trees. These trees can be put in planters or planted in the ground. 

For those in cooler climes throughout the country, it's important to keep an eye on the weather and your tree. Just because you live in Michigan doesn't mean you can't have fresh orange juice all year around! 

Taking care of your tree and keeping it in warm, sunfilled rooms during the winter will ensure its production and health.

How to Keep Them Healthy 

When you plant a citrus tree, especially in a place it may not naturally grow, it's very important to make sure you're keeping it healthy. 

Using citrus fertilizers will ensure the soil is kept nutrient rich for your plant. It's also important to prune it regularly. But only prune it during off seasons. Usually when the tree loses its leaves. 

Do not over water any of your citrus trees. This can lead to detrimental rot. Rot will eventually kill your plant. If you plant your tree in the ground, make sure the soil drains well. 

Containers vs. Ground 

Citrus trees do great either in planters or in the ground. For those of us lucky enough to live in warmer states, having a small grove of citrus trees may be the best dream. 

Citrus can do very well in planters. Making sure you keep the soil fertilized and move the trees in when it's getting cooler will help maintain their lives. 

Need More Advice on Citrus Tree Care?

Still thinking about picking up a couple of citrus trees? Great! 

Citrus trees are great investments, and as long as you take care of them, they'll take care of you. Keeping them healthy will one day lead to you having fresh citrus that you can then turn into delicious citrus recipes

Check out the US Citrus tree collection today if you'd like to start growing your own citrus trees!

Keeping it Contained: The Top Tips for Growing Citrus Trees in Containers

Top Tips for Growing Citrus Trees in Containers

Are you looking to grow your citrus tree in a container? Continue reading below to learn the top tips for growing healthy citrus trees in containers or pots.

Around 90 percent of Americans don't get enough fruit and vegetables. 

But, you don't have any excuses for not getting your five-a-day of fruit and vegetables.

You can even start growing citrus trees by yourself.

You may think you don't have the right soil conditions. Wondering how you could possibly grow an indoor citrus tree inside your tiny apartment?

The answer is that you can grow your own citrus tree inside a container. It's simple. Just check out our tips below!

1. Plenty of Sunlight and Warmth

Your citrus tree requires up to 8 hours of sun per day. 

You can prop your tree near natural light without any blowing wind for optimal conditions. 

During the winter months, this can be especially difficult to get enough sunlight. You've also got to consider the colder temperatures could damage your tree.

If you live in a colder climate, you should opt for mandarin trees, since they can withstand the cold better than lime or lemon trees.

2. A Container to Allow Growth

You can grow any citrus tree inside a container in principle.

However, some trees will quickly outgrow the size of the container. You could select a container which has plenty of room for growth.

It's recommended to select a large container which is up to 28 inches or more. Remember, you may need to move the container around your home, so make sure you can lift it.

You'll also need to include drainage holes. Ideally, the container should also be on feet rather than on the ground.

Use a large (28 inches or larger) durable pot.

You may also pick a citrus tree, such as a Meyer lemon tree, which doesn't grow as large as other choices.

3. Soil Stuff 

You need to make sure you create the right soil conditions. If you're new to gardening and plant growing, this could be a steep learning curve. 

You need to add some inorganic ingredients to your soil mix. This includes vermiculite, peat moss or perlite. 

If you only have organic matter in your soil, it will decompose and compact fast. This blocks the roots from growing.

4. Not Too Much or Too Little Water

The common mistake of citrus tree owners is that they either water too much or too little.

Your citrus tree requires moist conditions. But, you don't want the soil to become soggy either.

You could purchase a moisture meter to ensure you're watering correctly. This will inform you when you need to water it.

Be especially vigilant during summer months, since the container can dry out quickly under high temperatures.

5. Fertilize Regularly

Citrus trees are especially hungry plants.

Since it's in a container, the citrus tree is dependent on you for nutrients. Due to the frequent watering, the fertilizer often washes through. 

Therefore, you need to regularly apply fertilizer for your tree. The amount of fertilizer depends on the size, type, and age of the plant.

But, if you spot yellow leaves developing, this is a warning sign that your tree needs more nutrients. 

Enjoy Growing Citrus Trees

If you're thinking of growing citrus trees in your home, it's important to know the above tips for keeping your trees healthy.

You can keep citrus trees under most climates and conditions so long as you know how to care for your citrus tree.

Do you want ideas for what to do with your citrus fruits? Check out our blog for delicious citrus recipes to try!

A Fertile Start: A Beginner's Guide to Fertilizing Citrus Trees

Fertilizing Citrus Trees

So you're thinking about growing a citrus tree, but how do you ensure your tree has a healthy start? Here's your guide to properly fertilizing citrus trees.

Research shows that gardening boosts your wellness and can help you live longer. Citrus trees make a great addition to your gardening practice because they are easy to care for and add a fun visual element to your space. 

If you've ever thought about growing a dwarf tangerine tree or wondered, "How fast do orange trees grow?" then this guide will help you.

Your first step is understanding the technique behind fertilizing citrus trees. Follow this guide to ensure that your citrus tree has a healthy start. 

Know When to Fertilize

Fertilization is very important for the first few years of your tree's life. Before you begin, speak with a nursery professional about the types of fertilizer they supply. You can also read our citrus care guide to learn more about caring for your tree.  

The perfect time to fertilize your citrus tree is just before bud break. This is because your trees will be starting their yearly growth cycle and eating the most food. 

Remember, not all citrus trees will need fertilizer every year. How do you know what your tree needs?

Measure your tree's growth in winter or early spring while it's still dormant. Depending on the measurements, you'll know which trees need fertilizer and how much they need.

Know How to Fertilize

When you're ready to start fertilizing, the first step is to choose the right kind of fertilizer. No two fertilizers are made alike. For example, lemon tree fertilizer will be different from peach tree fertilizer. 

First: Choose the Right Fertilizerlem

Fruit trees will grow better with an organic, high-nitrogen fertilizer. This is because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for your tree's health. 

Make sure you don't burn your tree with too much nitrogen, though. Using organic fertilizer instead of a synthetic option will be the safer option. 

Second: Measure the Right Amount of Fertilizer

Now that you know the importance of using too much and too little fertilizer, you'll need to measure out the perfect amount. This is the most important step.

The amount of fertilizer you should use is calculated based on the nitrogen-value on the package and the age or size of the tree. Follow these steps to do your calculation:

1. Measure the trunk diameter in inches and write down that number. You can also write down how old the tree is. 

2. Multiply that number by 0.10. This is because your tree needs 0.10 pounds of "actual nitrogen" per year of age or per trunk diameter. 

3. Look at the packaging of your fertilizer to find the NPK numbers. The "N" number listed is the amount of "actual nitrogen" per pound of fertilizer. 

4. Divide the amount of actual nitrogen your tree needs by the amount of actual nitrogen per pound in your fertilizer.

This is the number you need to measure out how much fertilizer to apply. 

Third: Apply the Fertilizer

Finally, evenly apply the fertilizer starting a foot away from the trunk and ending at the "drip line." You can spread out the fertilizer and rake it in or dig small holes around the trunk. After that, spread a layer of compost around the tree and water it well. 

The Rewards of Fertilizing Citrus Trees

Fertilizing citrus trees is easy to do and helps your tree stay healthy. Be diligent every year and soon you'll be enjoying the many health benefits of citrus fruits

Ready to start growing your own citrus tree? Choose your favorite from our citrus tree selection and get planting this season!

Understanding the Water Requirements for a Lemon Citrus Tree

Water Requirements for a Lemon Citrus Tree

Your lemon citrus tree needs enough water to grow healthily. In this post, we cover the essential water requirements for healthy lemon citrus tree growth.

Looking for a way to ensure that your yard is truly breathtaking?

There's nothing quite as lovely as a lemon tree. 

However, to keep your trees beautiful, and to help them grow fresh lemons you can enjoy, you need to get to know the basics of lemon citrus tree care. 

In this post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about watering your lemon citrus tree the right way.

The Basics of Watering a Lemon Citrus Tree

First, understand that rainwater alone isn't enough to keep your lemon citrus tree happy. 

Though you certainly don't want to drown your lemon tree, as this can make is susceptible to all kinds lemon tree diseases, you need to be sure it's getting the same amount of moisture it would in its natural habitat. 

Whether you plant your tree in a pot or place it directly in the soil, you need to completely saturate the root ball. 

If possible, make it a point to water your lemon tree first thing in the morning. 

Remember that, to avoid overwatering the tree, you should make sure to check the area around the roots. If it feels soggy already, hold off on watering. 

Tree Age and Watering

Proper citrus tree watering schedules vary with age. 

If you have a tree that's young enough to still have a trunk under an inch in diameter, you should water it three times a week in the summer, and once a week when it's fall.

When you first get an outdoor lemon tree, you should give it about two gallons of water daily at the trunk for four weeks. 

If you're keeping the tree indoors, remember that it needs 12-18 hours of sunlight every day to thrive. You should give it a cup of water every day for the first month.

In summer, you should use about 5 gallons of water each week for potted lemon trees. Larger trees will need much more than that, as will younger trees

If it's freezing in the winter, you should likely only water the tree a few times every week.

If it's been an especially rainy week in any season, make sure to check your plant's root systems to avoid overwatering. 

If the tree is old enough to have a trunk greater than an inch in diameter, you won't need to water it as often. 

Usually, once or twice a week is fine. Because the root system is thoroughly in the ground, make sure you water the older trees deeply. 

Need More Citrus Tree Care Advice?

Now that you better understand how to water your lemon citrus tree, we know you're likely curious about what else you should do to keep it healthy and happy. 

For more detailed advice, be sure to check out our care guide

Interested in growing other citrus trees

Be sure to check out the different options we have to offer, from lime trees to blood orange trees and beyond. Make this the year you finally give your home, patio, yard or even the exterior of your business the upgrade it deserves.