Growing Home ~ lemon tree with buds and fruit

We have been blessed with a lemon tree on our new garden plot.

It has not been maintained for quite some time but it still blossoms and bares fruit.

We decided to give it a prune to get rid of dead and broken branches, as well as to train the branches to grow out and up and not into the middle of the canopy: air flow and sunlight filtration are important.

We will also be planting Comfrey and other Lemon Tree companions for natural pest control as well as to improve the soil around the lemon tree.

Here’s to an amazing harvest of delicious lemons!

 

Here are some tips for pruning lemon trees that you may find useful:

  1. Never prune more than one third of the tree per year.
  2. Remove branches that are growing into the centre of the canopy/cross limbs to avoid too much middle growth. This will help with air flow and allow sunlight to penetrate.
  3. If your tree has two main upright branches/double leaders, you can choose to remove one.
  4. A weak V-Crotch (see diagram below) can result in dense growth, prevented airflow and sunlight from getting through.

image from Off Grid Living Guide

  1. Remove dead and sickly branches
  2. Remove suckers from the stem and trunk

lemon tree sucker

  1. Use sharp pruners so as not to damage the tree.
  2. Cut at a 45 degree angle.
  3. Always cut just above a bud (outward pointing) and on a slant pointing the same directing than bud or stem when pruning healthy growth. IF leaves are opposite each other, then cut straight
  4. Never cut flush with the trunk or mother branch – leave about 5-10cm then make the cut.
    The goal is to preserve the branch collar (the area around the base of a large limb that appears as wrinkled or ridged bark). This area is called the “branch defense zone” and contains cells that activate the callus tissue (wound wood) that grows over a pruning cut and defends the tree against decay.
  5. Be careful of lemon tree thorns – wear gloves if need be
  6. Try not to prune in the high heat of the day
  7. Prune when the moon is waning as the sap will not be rising at this time.

Till Next Time,

Happy Pruning!

Shireen & Kathy

You May Also Like ~

http://growinghome.org.za/2017/05/16/a-lemon-tree-guild/

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