Ask a Question forum: Long Tall Clementine

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Lynchburg, Virginia
Apr 23, 2017 10:09 AM CST
My potted clementine is now 4 feet tall and still no branches. I hate to cut it because it is so healthy but is so spindly I had to stake it to keep it from bending over. It is more like a vine than a tree. Will it ever stop growing up and start growing out without cutting?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Apr 23, 2017 3:21 PM CST
I am going to assume you grew this tree from seed. It looks like it needs a little help in the branching department. Decide how tall you want your tree to evenutally be and where you want it to start branching.

Get out the pruning shears and put on your brave hat. Cut the trunk a couple inches above where you want it to branch. The leaf nodes (where the leaves are now) just below your cut are your future branches. Those are growth points but need some encouragement. You may end up cutting at least half and maybe 2/3's off but, right now, all its energy is going into getting taller, not wider.

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

Lynchburg, Virginia
Jul 9, 2017 10:13 AM CST
Hi Daisyl,
Thank you for your reply. I apologise for taking so long to respond being 75yo and social media challenged I had forgotten how to get to the Q&A section of the weekly newsletter. Unfortunately I read your reply well after I only removed about 1/3 of the plant. It wasn't long before I realized that I had not taken enough. It is still to tall and spindly to support it's new top. The plant is responding nicely to it's new look but is going to need some outside help if it is going to survive long enough for the trunk to catch up with the top. Any suggestions for a next step to help this beauty continue it's healthy growth?

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