Pruning citrus trees - Knowledgebase Question

Gold Canyon, Ar
Question by cardelltribe
January 2, 2010
We live in Arizona and have a well established lemon tree that is over grown. When is the best time to prune the tree and how much pruning should be done?

Answer from NGA
January 2, 2010


Pruning should be done now that the fruit has been harvested, and before your lemon tree develops flowers for next year's fruit. The general rule of thumb is to prune it back by one third and then completely thin out random branches so the canopy is more open. I've seen citrus trees pruned into lollypop shapes and they still manage to develop fruit so I don't think you need to be too concerned about hurting your tree when you cut it back. As long as you don't remove more than about a third of the tree in your pruning session, it should be just fine. Next summer when it begins to develop long, rank growth, prune it back again to keep it in shape and under control. Best wishes with your tree!

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