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Pruning Yard Citrus Trees

Posted by romeethredge on February 5, 2015

We have citrus trees in lots of our yards and most could use some pruning. Most all our citrus trees are grafted, so they have a rootstock that is undesirable for good fruit production. Often we have freezes or other problems that kill some of the top or grafted part of the tree and we have some rootstock that grows up and tries to take over. Usually the fruit from the rootstock will be small, full of seeds and sour. Sometimes all the good wood is dead and we need to start over with a good tree.

What I often see is a real need to prune out this wood and now’s a good time to do it. I went to a yard today that had rootstock taking over a good Satsuma tree. We could tell what was the rootstock since the improved variety of satsuma had no thorns and had large leaves. The undesirable wood had lots of sharp thorns. The solution is to cut it out and keep cutting as it will try to come back. My finger below is behind one of the thorns. See the branch behind my hand has no thorns and will be good for good fruit.

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The gardener ended up cutting more than half the tree away (see it laying on the ground), to get out the bad wood.  But, now things will get better.

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We have sustained some winter injury to trees and so we should wait for new growth to come out and then prune back to good wood at that point, if needed.

Here’s a link to our UGA brochure.  Citrus Trees In Georgia

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