6

I have a lemon and orange tree in my backyard. I have apple and pear trees as well which I prune on an annual basis. I was wondering if the lemon and orange trees need pruning as well and if so, how much should they be pruned back and any other guidance would be helpful. Uploaded pictures of lemon and orange. Does lemon have water shoots? Orange trunk is big bit tree is very short 2.5 ft. . lemon water shoot?lemon closeuporangeorange closeup

5

Citrus only need minimal pruning - if they are growing the way you want, I wouldn't worry. February is a good time to remove overcrowded branches and leggy growth can be cut back by up to two thirds. During the growing season, they can produce "water-shoots" - soft, fast growing shoots from woody material. Allowed to grow they will form leggy, unproductive growth that will compete with more fruitful parts of the plants. They can be rubbed-out or cut flush. Any produced below the graft should definitely be removed.

  • 1
    "Leggy" is commonly used to describes growth that long and thin, without many nodes (the bits where new shoots and leaves develop), and tends to be fragile or floppy. Looking at the pictures I can't see any water shoots - this is what they look like – George of all trades Feb 12 '17 at 10:22
  • 1
    The first two pictures show vigorous extension growth with some form of damage to the leaves. It would be good to trim those back to healthier growth. Some of the photos suggest chlorosis (yellowing) on the edges of the older leaves which could indicate manganese or magnesium deficiency, but could be the time of year. If it doesn't improve once the weather is warmer, you might want to check soil pH (should be around 6 to 7). If pH is alright, a foliar feed might help. – George of all trades Feb 12 '17 at 10:31
  • 1
    The last image shows some sorry looking growth on the left - it looks like leaf drop due to cold. Whereabouts are you? If it doesn't recover later in the year, trim back to healthy growth. – George of all trades Feb 12 '17 at 10:32
  • 1
    Looking closely, it looks like the trunk below the graft is significantly larger than the part above. All this means is that the cultivar on the top is less vigorous than the rootstock below. Citrus are often grafted onto rootstocks to improve cold hardiness which can be quite vigorous, rather than usual control of vigour associated with other top fruit. – George of all trades Feb 13 '17 at 8:08
  • 1
    Being in USDA zone 9b, you are going to experience temperatures that will damage foliage on citrus, though the roots and trunk should be alright. If you are expecting a cold snap, it would be worth putting some horticultural fleece on them overnight. – George of all trades Feb 13 '17 at 8:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.