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Lemon Pruning

I have a meyer lemon that is about 5 years old and is planted in a well sized pot. He has really taken off in the heat this year and has grown very tall with little outward branches. Should I prune the lemon top and promote the lower sprouts or leave it be. BTW it has to be held up as without a stake it bends far over.

Posts: 12819
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Lemon Pruning

It is better to prune trees right before a flush. You should also be careful about topping any tree. Don;t take off more than 1/3 at a time. and you need to have a leader, otherwise you will get a lot of watersprouts wanted to be the leader. Lemon trees not always so lanky. Is it in full sun?

Staking has its good and bad points. If the tree is top heavy and leaning it can use some straightening, but a rigid staking hurts the tree in the long run. Trees get stronger by having to naturally resist the wind. The roots have to get stronger as well as the trunk. Staking takes away from that. instead of staking, are you able to build a support cage around it to help it stay straight but still allow for movement?

Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Lemon Pruning

As Imafan has said you need to have a leader to help keep control over your tree.
If you are not getting many shoots low down in your tree and the darn thing is trying to reach for the sky you can help by using the leader.
When you prune, if you have a choice of leader shoots, remove the strong leader that you obviously have and just leave a weak shoot in its place.
It will continue to grow up, but with the steam taken out of ithe upwards growth you will find a lot more strength being put into those lower shoots.

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