Trimming Your Citrus Trees: When, Why and How

21 January 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Growing citrus trees in your backyard will offer you an excellent source of fresh fruits as well as a shade where you can relax. The brightly coloured fruits and the green and glossy foliage of these trees will also create for you an elegant yard. Citrus fruits, unlike other fruits, may not need regular pruning to produce more fruits, but this doesn't mean you should not prune them at all. Therefore, when you choose to do so, you need to know the best time for pruning as well as how to keep your trees disease-free and healthy during the process. Here are things you should know about trimming your citrus trees.

When to Trim

If you live in a warm area or a zone that's frost-free, you need to prune your citrus tree just after harvest. This may be the time from late winter through early spring. This will be the time when the flowers to produce the fruits for the following season start appearing. This is essential because it will assist you to decide easily the growth that you want to retain.

On the other hand, if you live in frost-prone or cool regions, you have to wait until mid through late spring when you won't have to worry about the risks of frost, such as exposing the new growth to damage by frost.

Why You Should Trim

Unlike many other fruit trees like apples, citrus trees don't need regular pruning to maximize production. Your citrus trees may continue producing fruits, even if you don't trim them at all. You already understand the benefits of pruning your trees, including keeping them healthy and compact to ensure constant production for an extended period. Nonetheless, the most significant reasons why you need to trim your citrus trees are the ease to harvest fruits and treat the trees for diseases and pests. You don't want your trees to grow extremely big so that you can't even identify unhealthy branches or twigs.

How to Trim

Sprouts are the easiest to remove, especially when they are still small because all you will need is your hands to remove them. Make it a habit to remove sprouts when they're still small to prevent them from growing larger. If you identify branches that have to be removed, you can use a lopper, pruner, or a tree saw for larger branches. For these larger branches, you will need to cut their underside first. Next, you should cut from the top, just a couple of inches from your initial cut to remove the branch. Last, to remove the stub of the branch, you will have to make the cut flush with the branch's collar and not its trunk. This will ensure that you've a clean cut that will heal quickly.

If you find the task is too overwhelming, consider contacting a professional tree lopping service.