Ask a Question forum→Lemon Tree Trunk Split into 4. Should I cut?

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Florida
Nick3003
May 1, 2020 8:39 AM CST
I have a lemon tree thats trunk splits into 4, should I cut 3 off and leave only 1?
Its about 3 1/2 years old, has never grown any fruit and never gets taller. I live in FL.
Any help is appreciated.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 1, 2020 9:43 AM CST
Welcome!

Did you grow it from seed? Has it always had four stems? How old is it? Can you post a photo of the leaves?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Milpitas, CA
SoulReaver009
May 1, 2020 10:10 AM CST
Do not cut more than 1/3 of a lemon tree in one pruning.

You will shock it and kill it.

In your case, it will need to done over several prunings, over several years.

Best time to prune is right after last frost.
Florida
Nick3003
May 1, 2020 11:23 AM CST
DaisyI said: Welcome!

Did you grow it from seed? Has it always had four stems? How old is it? Can you post a photo of the leaves?


Yes, it was grown from seed. I think when it first started growing it only had one. Its 3 1/2 years old. I'll try to get a pic of the leaves. Sometimes they are super dark green and sometimes yellow after it rains a lot.


Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 1, 2020 11:48 AM CST
Seed grown is good because it explains your tree. Citrus are polyembryonic or monoembryonic. I suspect the seed your tree grew from was polyembryonic and four of the embryos grew into trees. No, you can't separate them. You can either cut 3 stems off or you can let all of them grow and have a multi-trunked lemon tree. Personally, I would keep it multi-trunked.

Its too young to bloom. I can see some thorns - when new branches grow without thorns, it will mature enough to bloom and bear fruit. That will be anywhere between 7 years and about 20 years.

PS: The plus side to polyembryonic is the tree you are growing will be a duplicate of the fruit you got the seed from.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: sumire
Reno, Nevada (Zone 6a)
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sumire
May 1, 2020 12:43 PM CST
From just the trunk you have a beautiful balanced tree. Because it is polyembryonic it will take a while but will eventually (citrus take years) mature into a beautiful productive lemon.

Because it has grown this way from a seedling, it has balanced itself into a nice even "I am one tree, ignore all the trunks" look. If you chop trunks out, it will probably never look balanced or even again. And in cutting out multiple trunks you risk destroying its ability to withstand wind and sun. I would advise against cutting it.
www.sumiredesigns.com
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 1, 2020 1:54 PM CST
And to add to what Sumire said, your 4-trunked tree will grow to the same size as it would with just one trunk.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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