Prune Orange and Lemon Trees: [Importance, Time, Tools, Considerations and Steps]

Orange and lemon trees are part of the family of citrus fruits most consumed in the world, so it is not unusual to have one in the home garden.

Among its most outstanding care is pruning, since its main purpose is to improve their production conditions.

Although it could be said that it is a relatively simple mission to apply, it is worth studying in detail all the aspects related to it. So if you are looking to know from the correct time to prune to how to do it step by step, this is the article you need.

Why prune orange and lemon trees?

The pruning of orange and lemon trees responds to a basic objective of production issues due to the characteristics of these species. They have the property of producing the largest number of fruits at the ends of the cup, leaving the center to be filled with foliage.

Lemon tree 4 seasons – Pot 22cm. Overall height approx. 1’3m. – Live plant – (Shipments only to the Peninsula)

Pruning helps to counteract this behavior, facilitating air flow and balanced production.Likewise, it is an action that prevents energy wasting and the possibility of being affected by diseases of different types.

When is it better to carry out the pruning of orange and lemon trees?

For pruning to result in a good procedure, the application time is elementary.

For this case, the beginning of spring is the best. The reason is that the trees are still in their vegetative rest, which prevents the sap from being lost.

Of course, it must be taken into account that there are no risks of late frosts because a pruned tree, with fresh wounds, can die in a frost.

What tools should we use when pruning orange and lemon trees?

The main tools are the two-handed pruning shears, the handsaw and, in very specific cases, the electric saw.Each of these tools will be used according to the thickness of the branches.

GRÜNTEK Two-Hand Pruning Shears for Gardening Grizzly 47cm. Loppers with Double Cutting Gears
Bellota 4587-13 Pruning Saw, Standard, 330 mm
Oregon CS1500 – Electric Chainsaw 2400 W (smooth recoil, powerful and quiet chainsaw, corded and PowerSharp sharpening system)

Regarding personal safety, it is advisable to apply pruning using gloves and protective glasses. Also wear appropriate clothing.

Heavy Duty Gardening Gloves for Men Women, 1 Pair Thorn Proof Leather Work Gloves, Waterproof, Fitted, Reinforced, Durable and Flexible (Large)
Bosch – Garden safety glasses with case

What considerations should we take into account when pruning orange and lemon trees?

The two basic points to take into account are: the age of the tree and the type of pruning to be applied.Normally, pruning is oriented towards three different objectives: training, production or renewal.

Calamondin – indoor dwarf orange tree – edible citrus – ceramic pot 12 cm – live plant (white)

After you are clear about which pruning you will start, it is time to assess the conditions of the tree before looking for the tools. This task will be quite simple because at the recommended time of pruning the trees do not have leaves, so the branches will be easily visible.

How to prune orange and lemon trees without damaging the trees?

When you are going to carry out the pruning work, you have to clearly define which type corresponds to the characteristics of the specimen.

formation pruning

It is the pruning that helps orange and lemon trees develop a vigorous and production-oriented structure and is applied from the beginning of their growth.

The idea here is to ensure that each of the tree parts fulfills an objective within the plant, so the pruning work will be oriented towards:

  1. Remove all shoots that may appear around the roots.
  2. Cut the suckers that develop between the trunk and the main branches and that do not contribute anything positive to the plant.
  3. Establish the 3 or 4 strongest branches that will be the ones that will make up the structure of the tree from which the ones that will produce the fruits will come out.
  4. Pinch the secondary branches that are projecting from the main branches to help them start the flowering process.

production pruning

Although it is known as such, it is also used to maintain trees because part of it is aimed at eliminating damaged areas in the structure. So, in production pruning the task consists of:

  1. Remove all branches that are in poor condition: weak, brittle, dry. In addition, those that grow in the wrong direction are included, either looking towards the center of the crown or colliding with another branch.
  2. Thin the center of the crown by cutting back some branches and pinching off the inner shoots.
  3. Eliminate all those twigs that are already in poor condition and that, in any case, have already produced.

renovation pruning

When the orange and lemon trees seem to have finished their possibilities of fruiting, you still have the opportunity to work them with a renewal pruning.

Its objective is to rejuvenate the branch structure of the tree to motivate them to continue being productive.The idea is to progressively cut the branches (for 2 or 3 years) so that new ones are born.

It is important not to remove them all at once. If you want to help your orange and lemon trees recover more enthusiastically from pruning, don’t forget to fertilize them at the right times.

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