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Dwarf Tangerine Tree Pruning Question

Posted by cmackelvie CA (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 5, 12 at 11:59

I have a dwarf tangerine tree that is bush like in appearance with the exception of one branch that sticks straight up, has leaves and thorns on it but no fruit (the rest of the "bush" is loaded with fruit. This particular branch doesn't appear to be a sucker as it is part of the main trunk. I would like to cut it at the base of the trunk but don't know what effect it would have on the rest of the tree. I know I'll probably have to wait until the tree goes dormant.

Any suggestions?

Thank you,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dwarf Tangerine Tree Pruning Question

  • Posted by TimSF CA Z8B/Sunset17 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 5, 12 at 13:17

Hi Cheryl, welcome! Is there any chance you can take a picture and post it here? All you need to do is place your photo in Photobucket, hover your mouse over the image and copy the HTML code and paste it into the body of your message here. When you "Preview Message" you'll be able to see it just as we will.

From your description, it sounds like your tangerine's just putting on new growth and may just be the first of many to come! You certainly can remove these, but future fruit production will usually occur on these new stems. Why do you want to remove? Is it aesthetic? If so, maybe you might consider trimming it as opposed to removing outright. But please do post a picture (and also one of the graft union), so that we can better determine that it truly is not a sucker.


RE: Dwarf Tangerine Tree Pruning Question

Hi Cheryl....I have the same problem only I have 2 branches growing like a house a fire and those horrible 1" thorns!

RE: Dwarf Tangerine Tree Pruning Question

Sounds like a water sprout which is a sucker that emanates from the graft and not the rootstock (which would be a rootstock sucker). Not unusual for young citrus, and for the sake of the shape of the tree, you can certainly prune it down to the edge of the canopy (NOT to the trunk). They will settle down, lose their thorns and eventually produce flowers and fruit. Tim is correct, if you're sure they are emanating from above the graft, simply prune them to match the shape of the tree. Lemons are particulary prone to water sprouts I've found, and even my Cara Cara and Tango mandarin have produced some worthy water sprouts.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Davis: Pruning, Thinning & Training Citrus

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