July 29, 2022
The Meyer lemon is believed to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or an orange. Sweeter and less acidic than a standard lemon, the Meyer lemon is prized for its intense fragrance and complex flavor. Their white flowers are fragrant and loved by bees.
When it comes to pruning, Meyer lemon trees are different in that their wood (and citrus wood in general) is stronger than average. This means that breakage due to the weight of the fruit is less likely. Also, pruning to increase light exposure isn’t as crucial because citrus trees will produce fruit even in shaded areas. That being said, Meyer lemon trees should still be pruned occasionally, as doing so will allow your tree to produce larger and higher quality fruit.
Lemons can take up to a year to progress from bud to fully grown fruit. Lemon trees should be pruned starting from their second year. Pruning a young Meyer lemon tree will involve removing its sprouts and weak limbs. You should make a habit of removing sprouts from fully grown trees as well. Any deadwood and crossing limbs will also need to be removed from mature trees.
The best time of year to prune Meyer lemon trees is spring or autumn. For mature trees, the best time to prune is after your tree has produced its fall harvest. This will give your tree plenty of time to recover before the next season’s harvest.
The age and size of your tree will determine whether you will need pruning shears or a small handheld saw. It is best to use very sharp pruning tools so that cuts are neat and precise. This will prevent tears in your tree that can make it vulnerable to disease and stress. It is also important to wear protective gloves when pruning.
The first step in pruning is to remove suckers or basal shoots from the base of your lemon tree. Suckers should be removed as soon as they are noticed, otherwise they will steal water and nutrients from the rest of the plant.
The next step will be to remove any deadwood, as well as any branches that appear diseased or damaged. Cuts should be made at a 45-degree angle to avoid damage to the main stalk.
It is also best to prune out any branches that are overlapping. This will even out aeration and light access throughout your plant. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is never to prune more than one-third of your tree in a year.
For more instructions on caring for your Meyer lemon tree, please visit our Meyer Lemon Tree Care page.
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