The Tropical Fruit Forum

Citrus => Citrus General Discussion => Topic started by: Empoweredandfree on May 24, 2022, 01:36:33 PM

Title: Thoughts on water sprout removal
Post by: Empoweredandfree on May 24, 2022, 01:36:33 PM
So whatís the latest consensus on this? All my trees were growing low growth (above graft union) and sprouting on the trunk, I removed it but I was curious if I should bother.
Title: Re: Thoughts on water sprout removal
Post by: brian on May 24, 2022, 01:52:03 PM
Water sprouts from the scion wood become new limbs and will host fruiting wood on the next set of growth that comes from them.  If you don't want them, certainly feel free to prune them off.  But they are not the same as rootstock suckers that are completely useless and parasitic from the fruiting parts.

I leave them if their placement is good in terms of overall tree shape.  I prune them if their location is not good, or simply if there are too many of them.
Title: Re: Thoughts on water sprout removal
Post by: kumin on May 24, 2022, 03:01:41 PM
Water sprouts can and do develop into normal fruiting branches. One caution is the initial disparity between host branch diameter and sprout diameter. This can cause an initial weak joint suseptible to breakout under a high wind load. As the joint lignifies this disparity lessens each year, until it eventually becomes a non-issue. The greatest vunerability is during windstorms in the first year or two. Water sprouts are a normal part of tree development and maturation, greatly enhanced by tree breakage, or severe pruning.
Title: Re: Thoughts on water sprout removal
Post by: brian on May 24, 2022, 03:13:53 PM
Yes kumin has a good point, these branches can be profoundly weak and I can snap them off whole with minimal effort when I prune my greenhouse trees.  I can't imagine how they would hold up to wind load.
Title: Re: Thoughts on water sprout removal
Post by: Empoweredandfree on May 24, 2022, 03:21:51 PM
Thanks for the replies. It seems there was mixed reviews on water sprouts based on my research. I know the citrus nurseries cut them all off to leave the trunk exposed.

  We have lots of wind here so weak growth is def not ideal. My chickens already forced me to cut one of my young trees back a year by breaking a limb attached to the main trunk. I pruned the water sprouts off that tree but Iíll let it go now and see what happens.