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Author Topic: Pruning in ground citrus?  (Read 254 times)

Isaac-1

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Pruning in ground citrus?
« on: June 18, 2018, 10:57:54 PM »
Within the next year I will need to trim / prune a couple of my larger in ground citrus (Satsuma) trees, I live on the 8b/9a line in western Louisiana and have to cover them to protect from occasional hard freezes every couple of years.  We had a 14F freeze 2 nights in a row last January at which point I realized just how much my largest citrus trees had grown since the last time I had to cover them 2-3 years ago.  The largest one is now about 16-18 ft tall, and about 20 feet wide at its widest, making it difficult to cover.  I would like to prune it back to about  12 ft tall and about 15 feet wide as it is now growing into neighboring non-citrus trees.

My question is how and when should I do this, should I wait until after this years fruit are harvested, or winter, spring,  do it in one step or in stages, etc.?

matt_citrus

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Re: Pruning in ground citrus?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 12:33:34 AM »
I have found this presentation on citrus pruning techniques to be informative, although I haven't cross-referenced with any academic papers:

https://crfg.org/wp-content/uploads/CITRUS-PRUNING-Presentation.pdf

Millet

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Re: Pruning in ground citrus?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 12:24:03 PM »
Remember citrus produces fruit only on the new wood.  Pruning removes the new wood, thus no fruit for a year after the pruning .  If you prune only one side of the tree the first year, the other side will still give you fruit.  Then prune the remaining side the following year.  You can prune the top with out much fruit loss.

Isaac-1

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Re: Pruning in ground citrus?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 02:44:32 PM »
Thanks, I will keep that in mind when I do trim these trees back, though even in an off year these trees produce far more fruit than I can use, or give away.  My main concern is to prune them back at a time that will do the least harm.     I don't want to do anything that will increase the chances of damage from freezes, etc.

p.s. matt, I just finished skimming over that link, and their does seem to be some good information there, though given the source a lot of it seems to relate to the California growing environment with much more concern about sun damage than cold damage to trees.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 03:00:58 PM by Isaac-1 »

Citradia

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Re: Pruning in ground citrus?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 09:36:05 PM »
I live where if the tree doesn't get covered and have heater inside green house/ tent the tree will definitely die in winter. I've had to prune back select limbs to get frame and cover over a tree, and I've had a huge frame blown off a tree, breaking some limbs in early winter. I've lost limbs when a high tunnel collapsed under weight of snow and ice. I think it's about perspective; if you have to prune some to save life of tree in winter, you loose some potential fruit. Or, you don't prune, and when the big ol' cold monster comes in winter, you're gonna run around in a panic trying to build bigger frames or wack back the tree to save it. I'd do selective pruning in late fall, trying to avoid cutting off maturing fruit if possible, to make sure the tree will fit in your frame so your ready when weather man says the freak mega drop in temperature that wasn't expected is coming tomorrow night.

Millet

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Re: Pruning in ground citrus?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2018, 10:44:12 PM »
The best time to prune a citrus trees is February through April. Pruning, aside from sprout removal, is discouraged after May. Pruning after May opens up the canopy and expose branches to harsh sunlight. Because of the sun's intensity during the summer months, exposed branches can get sunscald or bark rot, both conditions that will eventually require branch removal. From November to January, avoid removing even sprouts, which can cause re-growth of the sprout only to have it become damaged from cold weather, which could affect the health of the tree.

https://www.doityourself.com/stry/guide-to-pruning-citrus-trees-for-optimal-production
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 10:46:32 PM by Millet »

mrtexas

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