should you prune Satsumas

informationSeptember 16, 2012

I have read on the Internet not to prune citrus trees and not to thin the fruit. They say it is unnecessary. I have followed this advice and am thinking it is wrong. The branches of my Satsumas are so heavy that the fruit rubs on the ground.

I have read not to cut the lower branches, because they are needed to protect the trunk from freezes. The main leaders grow so long that they bend over and touch the ground.

Does anybody know what to do?

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My rule is I prune/thin anything that touches, or will touch the ground. Fruit on or near the ground invites all kinds of critters and diseases.
You can prune citrus anyway or shape you like; the only thing you have to avoid is pruning up the limbs so as to expose the trunk to the sun; in hot climates the trunk can sunburn and it will eventually kill the tree.
Citrus in general are self thinning; but some varieties like the Meyer and apparently your tree will keep too many fruits if left alone; the result may be smaller or less sweet fruits. I am a fan of thinning when it is obvious that there is too much fruit on the tree.
Here is a foto of a Meyer that is obviously too much fruit.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:48PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Wow! That looks like a bunch of big, green grapes! What do you feed your tree? Those are beauties.

I was talking to an old-timer the other day and asked him about pruning citrus and he said much the same thing as you just did. He said you can shorten the branches, but not a lot and prune off any wild growth sticking up into the air if you want, to keep a nice rounded shape to the tree and keep it lower to make harvesting easier. He told me to make sure not to let the branches, or fruit touch the ground.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 4:06AM
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