Meyer lemon trees are a great addition to any citrus collection, and with a little care, they can produce fruit for many years. In this article, we’ll show you how to prune your Meyer lemon tree for optimum health and fruit production.
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Pruning is a horticultural and silvicultural practice involving the selective removal of certain parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of pruning, but properly pruned trees are not only more attractive, they’re also safer. Pruning removes dead and dying branches that can fall and injure people or damage property. It also clears awaycrossing and rubbing branches that can damage the tree’s structure, Not to mention, it stimulates new growth and encourages fruit production.
There are two main types of pruning: heading back, which involves cutting off the tips of branches to encourage bushiness, and thinning out, which removes entire branches to reduce crowding. You’ll need to do a combination of both to keep your Meyer lemon tree healthy and productive.
When to prune
Meyer lemon trees are best pruned in late winter or early spring, before the tree’s flush of new growth begins. You can prune again in summer if needed, but avoid pruning during the fall, as this can encourage new growth that won’t have time to harden off before winter.
What tools to use
Pruning shears are the primary tool you’ll need for pruning a Meyer lemon tree. These are also called hand pruners, and they come in two basic types: anvil and bypass. Anvil pruners have one straight blade that closes onto a flat surface. Bypass pruners have two curved blades that come together like scissors, bypassing each other to make a clean cut.
For larger branches, you’ll need a pruning saw. A handsaw is fine for branches up to about 4 inches in diameter. If you’re dealing with larger branches, you’ll need a motorized pruning saw or chainsaw.
You’ll also need a ladder if you can’t reach the branches from the ground.
Pruning a Meyer Lemon Tree
It’s important to prune your Meyer lemon tree regularly to encourage new growth and maintain the shape of the tree. You should prune the tree in early spring before new growth begins. You’ll need a sharp pair of pruning shears and a step ladder to reach the higher branches.
Remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches
To keep your Meyer lemon tree healthy and productive, it’s important to remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches. This will also help encourage new growth.
Here are some tips on how to prune a Meyer lemon tree:
-Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Use sharp pruning shears and make clean cuts just above where the branch meets the trunk.
-Next, remove any branches that are rubbing against each other or crossing over each other. Again, make clean cuts just above where the branch meets the trunk.
-Then, thin out the canopy by removing some of the smaller branches. This will help increase air circulation and prevent disease. Make sure to still leave enough leaves on the tree so that it can photosynthesize properly.
-Finally, cut back any long branches that are hanging down low. You can either cut them back to a desired length or just above where they meet a lateral branch.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have a healthy and thriving Meyer lemon tree that produces delicious fruit!
Remove crossing or rubbing branches
Meyer lemon trees are grown both indoors and out, and with good reason. They are attractive evergreen trees with glossy green leaves, fragrant flowers, and juicy, unique-tasting fruit. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and either an orange or a mandarin, and were first introduced to the United States in 1908 by Frank Meyer, after whom they are named.
If you have a Meyer lemon tree that is in need of pruning, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always use sharp, clean pruning shears or knives to make your cuts. Second, remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other as these can cause damage to the bark and create entry points for pests and diseases. Finally, don’t be afraid to prune back quite deeply – up to one-third of the total branch length – as this will encourage new growth.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to pruning your Meyer lemon tree:
1. Begin by removing any dead or diseased branches with your pruning shears or knife. These should be cut all the way back to the main trunk or branch.
2. Next, remove any crossing or rubbing branches. Cut these back to where they originates from another branch or the trunk.
3. Once you have removed all of the dead, diseased, and crossing/rubbing branches, you can begin pruning back healthy growth if desired. For example, you may want to thin out the canopy of your tree to allow more sunlight through or reduce its overall size. To do this, cut branches back to where they originate from another branch or the trunk. When making cuts into healthy wood, be sure to angle them so that water will run off them easily (this helps prevent Rot).
4. Finally, remove any suckers (new shoots growing from below the graft union) that may be present on your tree. These should be cut off at ground level with your pruning shears or knife.
Remove suckers and water sprouts
Suckers are shoots that grow from the rootstock below the graft union. They are usually more vigorous than the grafted plant and will not produce fruit. Suckers should be removed as soon as they are noticed.
Water sprouts are fast-growing shoots that emerge from the trunk or main branches of the tree. They are usually more vigorous than lateral branches and produce little fruit. Water sprouts should be removed to encourage lateral branch growth.
Thin the canopy to increase air and light penetration
Pruning a Meyer lemon tree is important to maintain its shape, size, and vigor. It is also necessary to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. The best time to prune your Meyer lemon tree is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
There are two main types of pruning: thinning and heading. Thinning involves removing entire branches, while heading involves cutting back individual branches. Thinning the canopy of your Meyer lemon tree will increase air and light penetration, which can promote better fruit production. Heading cuts are usually made to control the size and shape of the tree.
To thin the canopy of your Meyer lemon tree, start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Next, remove any crossing or rubbing branches. Finally, remove any branches that are growing inward or toward the center of the tree. When thinning the canopy, be sure to make cuts at a 45-degree angle so that water will run off quickly.
To head a branch on your Meyer lemon tree, make a cut just above a leaf node (the place where leaves attach to the branch). When heading branches, be sure to make cuts at a 45-degree angle so that new growth will emerge from the cut.
Pruning a Meyer lemon tree is a great way to encourage new growth and keep the tree healthy. It’s important to prune after the tree has flowered and before new growth begins. This will help ensure that your tree produces plenty of lemons!
Apply a balanced fertilizer
Apply a balanced fertilizer formulated for citrus plants in early spring before new growth begins. Be sure to follow the package directions, as too much fertilizer can damage the roots. Fertilize again in mid-summer, if needed.
Water deeply and regularly
Water deeply and regularly, especially during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Meyer lemon trees are relatively drought tolerant once they are established, but will produce more fruit with consistent watering. Water established trees every 7 to 10 days during the growing season and reduce wateringwhen the trees are dormant.