Pruning Meyer's lemon?

Randy31513(Georgia 8b)March 20, 2012

I have always been under the impression that one should not prune a Meyers unless you have too. As I was bouncing around the web and this site, I kept running into pruning guidelines that suggested any limb that touches the ground should be removed to prevent bad things using the limb as a pathway to the tree.

Is this a good idea? If it is then when and how much do you prune back? My in the ground Meyrs is about 10 feet tall and maybe 15 feet wide.

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I'm NO expert but I think pruning your Citrus trees or any fruit trees is a matter of preference, I personally am an Avid pruner and prune ALL my fruit trees because I like my trees short and wide as opposed to tall and lanky. Its easier for me to protect them in the winter and also when I have to spray the trees its much easier on me. Plus when its time to pick the fruits I won't need a ladder or a fruit picker. Of course that is my personal prefernce...I know there are many people that don't prune their Citrus trees at all, but I certainly don't see any harm in pruning mine.

I lightly prune my Meyers once a year and most of my other fruit trees...sometimes the freeze prunes it for me and I come along and shape them a little once they re-grow.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 4:33PM
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johnmerr(11)

I prune my Meyers up at least a foot from the ground; it helps with orchard sanitation and makes it easier to tend to the tree, as in watering, fertilizing, etc. Also, if the tree produces fruit that will come down to rest on the ground you will have problems with fungus and other things like snails,ants,rats eating the fruit.

Aside from that, I don't prune my field trees until they reach the size I want; or when they begin to block the open area between the rows. Note, we are planting our trees at 600 per acre in hedgerows with a meter of grass between them; and we will top them at 1.5 meters... but that really is still pretty much of an experiment.

For my garden Meyers I prune them to keep them in their "space"; and I also prune out criss-crossing limbs, the latter being a personal preference to keep the centers open for light. I also top them at about 9 feet; because I don't want to have to use a ladder to harvest them.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Thanks for the advice. As soon as blooms are done, I will do a minimal prune to get the branches up off the ground.

Johnmerr, there is an interesting cherry experiment going on where they plant the trees at a 30 degree angle then train the side shoots to go up. Make a funny looking lemon orchard. :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:43PM
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johnmerr(11)

That technique (angle planting) works well with citrus... also with tomatoes and marijuana... or at least I have HEARD so. The biggest problem with cherries is to get them to branch early; some success with white paint on the trunks mixed with gibberelic acid. With my Meyers being planted 2.5 x 3 meters on Macrophylla root, I want them to grow in all directions equally, whereas the angle planting pretty much negates growth on the down side. BTW citrus can be pruned almost anyway you want them, including bonsai and espalier and topiary; the one thing you don't want to do is to prune them up so the sun hits the trunk; in hot areas the trunk will sunburn and kill the tree. White paint on the trunks helps with that issue... cheapest white latex paint thinnned one to one with water.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:38PM
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