The Q&A Archives: Pruning Meyers lemon

Question: My lovely sweet smelling lemon tree is fruiting, blossoming and gaining foliage on top, otherwise getting taller. I am worried that it will be too tall to bring in to the house this winter. How can I prune and not lose the fruit and become more dense with thicker and stronger limbs from the bottom up?

Answer: I wish I had a magic wand to wave over your tree to keep it small and productive, but I'm afraid you'll have to settle for one or the other. I'd wait until after bringing it indoors for the winter and then do a little pruning. Growth will be slower under low light conditions so you won't be sacrificing too many blossoms if you wait. The only other time to prune would be in the spring, just before the natural growth spurt. Either way, you'll lose some productivity, but at least the tree will fit in your house! In the meantime, enjoy!

Whenever you prune you force branching behind the cut, which will make your tree dense. You'll also get new growth from very near the cut. So, when you prune, keep these things in mind. With the proper cuts, your tree will fill out and yet still grow new flowering wood. Best wishes with your lemon tree!

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