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Pruning Citrus Trees

Pruning Suckers & Branches Video

Pruning Branches

In a 15-gallon pot, your tree will grow ~ 7 feet tall, and in a 1- gallon pot, it will grow ~ 4 feet tall. Prune your tree twice yearly to keep it between 3-7 feet, as desired.

For aesthetic purposes, prune the top and bottom branches. Keep the upper and middle branches longer.

Prune flowers and fruit the first year, as your tree needs 30 leaves to produce one quality fruit. Growing flowers take energy away from leaf growth. If you want to keep flowers, expect slower growth.

Pruning stimulates new growth. Prune with pruning shears or scissors. Cut 0.5 cm above a leaf/thorn at a 45 degree angle. Clean your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol prior to use.

Pruning Suckers

Every citrus tree is grafted. The bottom half is rootstock, and the top half is from a graft. They are joined at the grafting junction.

What are suckers? They are branches that grow below the grafting junction. These should be removed regularly.

The grafting junction will be marked with a colored stretchable tape that you can keep on the tree for future reference. The branches at and above this junction will provide good fruit.

The branches below this junction (suckers) will not produce fruit and will steal energy from the tree. They may grow large and overpower the desired grafted portion of your tree. Remove branches below the grafting junction (suckers).

For aesthetic purposes, you may remove branches right at the grafting junction.

Often after a freeze, a citrus tree will die at and below the graft site. If suckers re-grow from this site, it may be the rootstock growing out. If this is the case, the rootstock suckers will not produce good fruit.