citrus hedge; want low-hanging fruit!

dancerdeb(23)January 22, 2011

buying 3 orange trees (semi dwarf?) to serve dual purpose -

partial screening from sidewalk,street, and fruit to eat. How do we get the trees to branch low and full almost to the ground, like the commercial orchards in the Central Valley?

Our front yard is raised and smallish - already have a kumquat, dwarf lemon, and fig tree - all behind a wall of rose bushes, which discourages passersby. We'd be looking at these trees from a new front deck. Is it just a matter of pruning, or should we look for specific varieties? We want to keep them relatively short so they don't completely block out sun from the rest of the trees/plants, etc. Thanks!

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Semi-dwarf citrus will naturally grow to 6 to 12 feet tall, depending on the type. All oranges, regardless of variety, will get about the same height with the same vigor.

NON-pruning is the key to having a "tree" with branches from the ground up (almost shrub-like). Simply allow the plant to fill in as it would naturally.

You can easily keep a semi-dwarf to about 6 feet by clipping off the top on a regular basis (2-3 times a year).

In the future, should you want more "hedging"/screening, oranges aren't the best for that. Kumquats, calamondins, and willow-leaf mandarin make nice, dense screens. And there are many other fruit trees/shrubs that do even better than citrus for this purpose.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 3:47PM
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Thanks Joe: I'll def look at the mandarins/calamondins too.
I'm sure everyone would be interested in the other fruit trees/shrubs for screening.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Look for the smallest plants offered. Many in the nurseries have already been pruned up. You will need to keep your low hanging branches from touching the ground or they become disease or pest highways into the trees. Al

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 8:59AM
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If you go to any nurseries, you will find many hedge varieties easily.

However, why bother? I think the concept of citrus hedge is so fantastic! I have two Eureka and Meyer lemon trees in my yard and they too have formed very dense canopy. Another advantage of citrus is that blossoms are very fragrant. However, you will need to be careful of bees.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 1:27PM
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thank you all - have gotten a navel (hope we have enough heat on the coast in so cal) and a valencia; love the flowers, love the bees! Will also be trying container key lime indoors and on the patio....

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:10PM
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