Bushing out this lopsieded, and rather straggly, lemon.

ourarkaNovember 7, 2012

Hi everyone,

I am in the UK and wanted some advice on how I can bush out this lemon tree of mine. It was bought some years ago and I believe is Eureka. Whilst it hasn't thrived, it is doing ok and throws some fruit out each year. It is out all summer, and has wintered before in an unheated greenhouse. This causes the caterpillars to go crazy so I have covered a brick area with polycarbonate this winter and intend to keep it out unless it turns really cold.

As you can see it is fairly lopsided, and very straggly. It hasn't been helped by recent strong winds knocking some brickword down, which snapped one of the main middle branches.

Just hoping for some advice as the really bushy citrus trees always seem healthier, more stable and hold fruit better.

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Lemon trees naturally have a much more open and straggly form than other citrus species.
You could try cutting back the new growth by about two-thirds and hope this encourages some new shoots on the weaker side. However, in the UK you are unlikely to get any new flush of growth before the spring, and new shoots are always likely to appear close to your pruning cut.
The tree looks a bit underfed. Do you fertise it regularly?
Provide a higher nitrogen fertilser when temperatures are about to warm up again and the light is increasing.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:45AM
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I try to feed it well, but it has been so wet recently that I haven't wanted to great the additional water. However, now it has a roof it should dry out more so I can ensure it has its winter feeds.

I am not expecting growth untitled the Spring, but maybe I'll give it a bit more of a ruthless prune and hope it responds accordingly.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:44AM
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