Overgrown lemon-- help!

christymayMarch 10, 2013

I inherited a giant lemon tree loaded with fruit when i bought my house. Most of the fruit is ripe and i read that after harvest is the best time to prune, i just don't know how much to do. I have no idea when the last time was it was pruned. The branches are growing on level and above the roof. Is it safe to top lemon trees? I'd like to get it into a manageable shape.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

If you can supply a photo that would help tremendously. Typically you would prune crossing branches, dead or diseased branches, and anything that would help open up the canopy to let light into the middle of the tree. Sounds to me like you could just start cutting it back however you can to get it under control.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Here it is in all its giant glory. As you can see the base is pretty clean.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:35AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, foo. Your photo is sideways. Helps us "old" folks to have the photo in the right orientation :-) I would pick some of your ripe fruit (you can pick as needed, lemons really do produce nearly all year 'round), and then if you're trying to prune to control height, I would drop crotch prune just the tallest branches. If you're not sure how to do that, and if you're in the San Diego county area (your "Zone" line does not mention where you're located, nor does your profile), I can give you a great arborist recommendation. He is about the best in our county, and also happens to be the past-president of the CRFG San Diego chapter. No one is more knowledgeable than Tom DeHotal in our area, for correct fruit tree pruning, including citrus. Which usually need little to no pruning, but to control height.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Hi Patty,
Thanks for the advice! Sorry about the picture (It looks like it's facing the right way when i look at the forum so i don't know what's wrong with my screen). I live up in sonoma county but used to be from the san diego area. I will have to look into the method you mentioned.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:20AM
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lisascenic Urban Gardener, Oakland CA

Beautiful tree!

I'd tidy up the leggy tall bits, cut out any dead wood, and otherwise leave things alone. The tree looks very healthy. Why fix what isn't broken?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:43AM
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