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So I had a “small” ponderosa lemon tree and a much larger Meyer lemon tree in my greenhouse. The ponderosa was healthy, however his growth was extremely erratic with tons of tiny twig branches with just 1-2 leaves on them. A severe pruning was overdue. I skelatonized it about a month ago to get rid of the craziness and refine the shape. As of yet I see no signs of new growth…. I skelatonized my Meyer tree also at the same time. Although healthy, they Meyer is planted into the greenhouse floor and counldnt be moved. Sadly he had somehow developed a massive infestation of scale bugs. Since he’s in the corner, getting to the back side of him was incredibly difficult and getting rid of the scale was just impossible…. He was also overgrown and had not had a big trimming EVER… So I did them both and now I’m worried that I did something wrong. I’ve never done a big cut back like this before.enter image description here These trees are my babies!! Please tell me if there is anything g I can do to help them recover! I’m sending a picture of the Meyer after his trim…. Hopefully I did it correctly.

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  • my lemon tree lost all of its leaves a couple of times, when i brought it inside to protect from frost. it started growing new ones during the winter. there were also a lot of dried off branches afterwards. you can check your branches (look healthy to me) - if they are not dry, do not snap off, they should be all right. reduce watering while the tree does not have enough leaves to evaporate the water
    – G. B.
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 8:37
  • In any case, go on taking care of it, mine lost all its leaves after early frost last autumn (about same size as yours, maybe even smaller). I saw no leaves during all the year, thought it was dead. Two months ago a sapling started to grow from the ground
    – Kaddath
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 14:51

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These sites (California Rare Fruit Grower and Gardening Know How) indicate that major pruning should be done after last freeze in spring, but before summer's heat. Unfortunately, your timing on pruning your lemons could be an issue with their recoveries; you probably won't know whether they'll come back or not until spring. There's nothing you can do now to help them.

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  • My bet's on the tree snapping back soon. I might even shorten the highest branch to create a topiary or bonsai. Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 22:06
  • @YosefBaskin Well. it's been a month with no new growth, which makes sense, since it's going into winter now, even in a greenhouse. Perhaps he'll see new growth in another month, but my money's on Feb or March.
    – Jurp
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 3:31
  • Since citrus are evergreen, there is no leaf loss in Winter under normal conditions. I'd water lightly and see. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 14:22

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