Meyer Lemon - How do you prune??

peabody1July 16, 2005

We have a Meyer Lemon which is planted in the ground -- about 2 to 2-1/2 years old. Some of the branches have gone wild -- excessive growth spurt. I assume it is safe to trim these down to be more in line with the other branches of the trees. There are lemons on the tree - I don't know if any are on those long limbs or not. Is it okay to prune in July in Florida or should I wait to a certain time of the year. Also, do I need to thin out any of the interior limbs? Seems like people with fruit trees up north had to prune a certain way, so I'm trying to find out what you do to Meyer Lemon trees. Thanks for your help.

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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

As a general rule, citrus are *not* pruned like other fruit trees are. They need to have enough nodes to bloom/fruit and if pruned too much it really reduces the crop or you get none. Most pruning of citrus is just to remove dead branches.

If you want to shape it a bit, then just take off enough to make it pleasing to your eyes. I think you are describing "water sprouts" which are very fast growing, vertical branches. I leave them on trees that need to fill in, such as my trees that lost their tops from hurricanes. eventually the wild new growth will become more normal looking (will have brown bark)and will fruit.

If you trim the interior, you may get sun damaged fruit. The leaves give the fruit a little shade.

I don't trim my citrus unless I have to. I like the natural weeping look. My Meyer had a very wild looking, upright branch last year, I left it alone, now it has balanced itself out quite nicely.

Bottom line is, trim it if you want to, but it is fine to not trim, or just minimally trim citrus.

Lisa

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 5:31PM
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