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Author Topic: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options  (Read 340 times)

Vigo Carpathian

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Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« on: June 12, 2020, 11:56:28 AM »
My eureka lemon tree has been in the ground about four years now and has developed some watersprouts that have completely taken over (about half the tree now). One watersprout in particular has dominted as a central leader of sorts, and the other half of the tree leans off to the side.   Initially, I had cut off a large sucker at the center of the tree, and that triggered watersprouts above the graft. I mistakenly allowed the the large waterersprout to stay (among others), but now realizing this is not fruiting, I will be removing (two major watersprouts pictured).  I was wondering if I cut off the central watersprout as a short stump and allow to branch out (removing the new watersprouts along the way) if these will be viable branches, or just lead to more non-fruiting or poor quality branches. The other option is to cut off completety, but this would leave the other half of the tree leaning off to the side. What would you do to resolve this since these watersprouts are now a large portion of the tree? Thanks for any feedback.




brian

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 01:06:36 PM »
One thing I have never understood about watersprouts: wonít they grow normal side shoots and fruit normally in next flush?  And isnít this just normal growth?  So they may be unproductive on their own, but I assume they are simply scaffolding for new fruiting growth.

I am no expert, but if it were my tree I would let it be and expect that new growth to put out side branches and become just another major limb
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 01:09:09 PM by brian »

Bomand

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 01:13:21 PM »
It appears from your pics that this broth is a ll citrus....no rootstock growth. Were this my tree I would just leave it as is. It may be a little ugly as in our normal perspective of a tree.....but....it will all bloom, fruit an become a productive member of the garden. Since this is not rootstock, not sucking nutrients from the tree, all citrus why bother it unless....you can not stand the ugly beauty of it. In that case prune till you get the shape you want. Good luck & welcome to this place.

brian

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 01:15:59 PM »
Glad you agree.  When I have small or damaged trees I welcome vigorous growth shoots as they sprout horizontal fruiting shoots soon after.  It is only on well-shaped healthy (non-citrus) trees that I remove watersprouts as I don't need their contribution

Millet

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 05:12:17 PM »
Fast growing vigorous sprouts, even those that start on the scion portion of the tree, sometimes grow straight up the tree 4 to 6 feet without any side branching, thus the sprout has no fruit production.  I normally cut them out. However, thinking about the vigorous sprouts, I presume that the apical bud force on this type of sprout  must be extremely potent, thus stopping any branching.  I wonder if the top 4 or 5 inches of the sprout is cut off, removing the dominant apical bud, if the vigorous  sprout would begin to branch out with new  growth, and perhaps able to produce fruit?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 05:15:38 PM by Millet »

Bomand

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 06:44:16 PM »
Many years ago I let some Meyer and Eureka at a cabin in the swamp go several years without care. Upon my 1st visit in a year I found all of the lemon overgrown with water sprouts. Deciding to take of them I drew my trusty big cutters and went to work. The sprouts were so healthy I found it hard to prune them out. I did not. I topped them out at the height of the rest of the tree. They then started to develope lateral branches. They were still growing faster than the trees themselves. Today they are just part of the tree. They bloom, bear fruit and have no problem. They sometimes send up other water sprouts but I top them also. It takes longer for water sprouts to develope lateralz, bloom or fruit but they will.

kumin

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 08:33:36 PM »
In many bush type plants water sprouts are a natural means of generating new, vigorous replacement growth. Blueberries and roses come to mind.

The vigorous stem on the right is the straightest, most upright of all the growth. Personally, I would allow it to mature another year or so, then remove all growth to the left of it. This should result in a nice straight, upright tree mature enough to begin fruiting. This stem is positioned to improve the tree branch scaffolding.

Vigo Carpathian

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2020, 09:47:47 PM »
Thanks everyone. I will probably top off and allow the central shoot to branch out.  Later on I can cut off the portion leaning off to the side like suggested. Hopefully this will give a good structure and yield some fruit. The first year in the ground I got about twenty lemons, but in the past three years...zero.  Meanwhile my orange tree has too many fruit to keep up with.

Millet

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2020, 11:44:03 AM »
Further, I would only keep the vigorous shoot if it is occupying an empty space within the tree.  If the shoot is growing in a space already occupied by another branch it needs to be removed.  It is not good practice for two or more branches occupying the same space.-

poncirsguy

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2020, 01:51:18 PM »
Spread them.  My in ground Fukushu kumquat tree had 3 suckers just 2-3 inches apart.  I spread them 16-18 inches apart.  They will fill in nicely.


Millet

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Re: Huge watersprouts on lemon tree - options
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2020, 02:24:40 PM »
If spreading the vigorous shoot in Vigo's tree, so that it permanently grew and  filled a vacant area of the tree, as shown in Poncirusguy's picture, then that would also be a good solution.  Thanks poncirusguy for your usable suggestion.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 02:27:52 PM by Millet »

 

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