Lemon Tree PruningLemon Tree Pruning

Any lemon tree needs proper care to have an appropriate growth, and Lemon tree pruning is one of the most excellent methods to take on and have your tree bloom and produce lots of fruit.

While pruning, you concentrate on cutting dying, crossing, overgrown, and high straight branches of the lemon tree to rejuvenate it.

Lemon tree Pruning is cutting back a tree and helping it improve branch set, increase aeration.

It also allows the tree to access more light and reduce its possibilities of breaking the plump fruit. It helps improve the quality of the fruit a lemon tree produces. 

Why Lemon tree pruning?

Lemon trees benefit from occasional pruning, and you need to do it in the first two years of growth.

Whenever you reduce the branches from a lemon tree, you help reduce its stress and enhance its new growth.

When you prune a lemon tree, you help a tree focus more energy while developing its buds. The tree will be able to produce better yields as it matures.

It would help if you trimmed off a lemon tree’s tiny growths more often in young trees as they gradually reduce the pruning as the tree matures.

Regular lemon tree pruning helps keep the tree size manageable for minimum effort while growing and maximum results when producing fruits!

It would be best if you also pruned an adult lemon tree, cut out the sprout and the dead branches to give the mature tree a fresh new look.

The tree will respond with more stems and more blooms.

The best time for lemon tree pruning

If you want to reduce the risk to your healthy lemon tree while cutting it back, you need to do lemon tree pruning at the right time. You can do it twice a year.

  • You need to prune mature lemon trees right after harvest fruits in the fall to help the plant recover for the next season’s production.
  • Prune lemon trees during the early spring season so long as you don’t wait for the temperatures to become very hot and begin pruning.
  • February through April are the best months for pruning.
  • You can also prune a lemon tree anytime when it’s blooming.

How to Prune Lemon trees?

1. Use sharp shears for lemon tree pruning

Pruning Sharp Shears

When pruning a lemon tree, use powerful and clean pruning shears or sows while cutting back the tree.

Remember to wear gloves since these trees are thorny. A neat tool is to prevent any disease infection to the tree.

The tree’s bark is thin and easy to damage, much as the tree’s wood is vital, so you need to be careful not to damage the crust. 

2. Cut off branches during lemon tree pruning

Prune off branches

Make sure the lemon tree is standing straight to enable you to see where to trim.

Remove lower shoots and suckers to help the trebuchet most of the energy to grow and thin out most of the fruits.

For the mature lemon tree, look out for shoots coming from the base and at the top and cut them off.

And if there are any strong branches in the middle of the tree, remove them, and the tree will access more sunlight. Cut the leaves at a 45° angle.

3. Prune the tree in its first or second year

You should only prune a lemon tree occasionally and target to do it in its early stages of growth to train the tree how you wish it to evolve.

Keep the tree 8-10 feet tall to make it easy for you during caring for it and harvest time. Please don’t cut off healthy branches during pruning.

Even when you are pruning a container lemon tree, the process is still the same; you need to remove weak, crossing, and dying sprouts and limbs.

Pruning lemon trees in pots

Pruning pot lemon trees

The best choice for you to grow lemon trees in a container is a dwarf lemon tree because it’s height does not usually exceed 12 feet. 

Much as a lemon tree in a pot doesn’t need pruning to regulate its size, you will still need to prune it to facilitate its growth and have sufficient fruit production.

Of course, the other reasons for pruning, such as eliminating weak, damaged, and diseased stems, are inevitable. So much as the lemon tree isn’t too tall, it would help if you worked on the above.

The most common dwarf lemons tree varieties are Eureka Lemon and Meyer Lemon, which grow up to 10 feet and 12 feet, respectively.

How to prune a potted Meyer Lemon

The way you prune ground lemon trees is almost the same as container trees; there are only a few differences.

1. Prepare your pruning tools

Before pruning a lemon tree, you need first to disinfect the tools you are going to use. 

Tools include pruning saw for large branches, lopping shears, bypass pruners, which help when clipping small branches, and 10% of bleach as the solution to sterilize.

2. Clip off root suckers

Prune off the root suckers

When pruning a potted Meyer lemon tree, remove all suckers growing below the ground’s graft union. 

Use bypass pruners to cut the soil level. You can remove suckers at any time through the growing season.

3. Remove all bad branches.

When pruning a potted lemon tree, you need to cut off all unnecessary branches.

Remove broken, diseased, dead, crossing, and weak branches every time you notice them developing on the tree.

Removing branches with diseases helps the tree from getting infected with the conditions of the sick stems.

Cut ¼ inches above the bud and cut back to at least 6 inches in the healthy wood. 

In case the whole branch needs you to remove it, cut it outside the branch collar around the joint hence protecting the tree from those diseases.

4. Clip off water shoots

Remove off the shoots during Pruning of Lemon trees

A water shoot is a robust grower that grows straight up from more muscular branches.

It’s rare for these shoots to become productive stems, but instead, they crowd around active limbs. You can prune out these shoots any time throughout the year.

5. Prune overgrown and long-straight branches

Cut ¼ inches above outward-facing sprouts for all those long stems, and it will help the lemon tree improve its branching.

After pruning, your tree will increase on fruiting, and its shape will be better because of the shorter limbs.

Remove those overgrowing branches to ¼ inches too to help you maintain a uniform shape for the tree.

Pruning for dwarf lemon trees is best during the late winter after harvesting before new growth begins.

Pruning of container Meyer lemon is the same with Eureka lemon since both are dwarf trees.

How to prune a dwarf lemon tree is clear as above, and it will also be the same on how to prune overgrown lemon trees.

Avoid pruning more than one-third of a lemon tree in a year. It’s best to keep trees at 8-10 feet tall, making it easy for you while you care for the tree and during harvesting.

Be careful not to cut out healthy branches. Be sure only to remove overgrown branches.

How to prune a lemon tree grown from seed

Growing lemon trees from seeds are excellent and rewarding. You need to make sure you separate the seeds in individual pots to help the trees grow better.

Growing lemon trees from seeds are best in the spring before the temperatures become too hot. It could affect the germination process.

Seed grown trees take years to bloom and fruit, so you need to be patient, give the tree enough care, and make sure the tree is getting enough light.

Fertilize the lemon tree during the growing season to improve its energy.

Once it’s growth is stimulated, you need to first hold onto pruning because it might reduce and delay fruiting. It would be best if you leave the branches to grow freely.

Pruning a lemon tree grown from seed will be necessary when you notice the tree going astray, and you want to shape it in a certain way.

How to make a lemon tree branch out

 If you plant a lemon tree by seeds and you expect to see branches out, but you realize it’s not producing any stalks, you need to pinch off some inches to help the tree improve its limbs. 

Doing this allows you to save the tree’s energy because you direct its branch growth instead of growing the tree to 2 meters tall.

Be sure to feed the tree with fertilizers to give it enough nutrients, which help in its advancement, and you will see branches come from junction to junction.

When branching starts, blossoms will follow after a year because that’s when you expect the lemon tree’s growth.

Frequently Asked Questions 

When can I prune my lemon tree?

The best time to prune a lemon tree is immediately after harvesting in winter to early spring before the buds break. Otherwise, you might lose some new crops.

How do you maintain a lemon tree?

Use the deep-watering method to the lemon tree at least once a week because lemons prefer moist soils to soggy ones. Then, prune the tree to maintain the shape and height and do it in the spring growing season.

Is it wrong to leave lemons on a tree?

It’s not wrong to leave lemons on a tree so long as you always remove most of the tree’s mature fruits to enable it to continue fruiting. A ripe lemon is smooth with a more yellow-orange complexion so remove all when they have that pigment.

How long can you leave lemons on a tree?

You can leave lemons on the tree till late winter and ensure to harvest before the tree flushes in the spring. That time the lemon fruit will still be useful.

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