Fruit Salad Trees | When is the best time to prune citrus trees?

June 27, 2019

When is the best time to prune citrus trees

Citrus fruit trees are such a great addition to any garden. Citrus Fruit Salad Trees can grow up to 6 different fruits on the same tree. Choose from Pomelo, Lemon, Lemonade, Orange, Tangelo, Mandarin and Lime. Citrus trees are ever-green so balancing and pruning your tree applies all throughout the year. Read on for more information on when, how and why to prune your citrus tree.

Stone Fruits Salad Trees and Multi-Apple Fruit Salad Trees require balancing during their growing season. 

When is the best time to prune a Citrus Fruit Salad Tree?

After fruiting, cut back just a little and thin out branching so that the sunlight can reach the tree's branchwork.

Apart from the continual pruning for balancing and for shape, apply additional pruning during late May and early June. A guide for this is to prune 1/3 (young tree) to 1/2  of a mature tree of last season's growth.

pruning citrus trees with orange lime pomelo lemonade

How much do I need to cut?

You can tell how much the tree grew last season by the different colours of the bark. Cut just above an outward pointing bud, not a bud on the inside of the branch because you don't need growth going in towards the middle of the tree. All growth needs to point away from the centre.

Keep the middle fairly clear so sunlight can penetrate through the tree. Cut out any dead wood as well.

What shape should my citrus tree take?

The ideal shape of a tree is a V shape coming out from the centre and upwards. All growth needs to be encouraged in a direction away from the centre of the tree. Sunlight needs to be filtering to all branches and fruits, so keep the centre of the tree reasonably open, some light branch work in the centre is ok. Prune out many inward growing branches and those growing in the wrong direction. This will not harm the tree but redirects energy to the outward growing branches.

Tip: Always cut above an outward pointing bud or leaf and thin out the laterals (side branches) to make a strong framework. 

More Fruit Salad Tree growing tips

Remember with younger trees to thin the first fruit that will appear. Dane shows how to prune and balance your young tree here.

You may like to train your grafts to grow in a certain fashion. Read more about training your tree with stakes here.

Did you know that you can also espalier any Fruit Salad Tree? Espalier your fruit tree by attaching the branches to wires or along with a lattice framework, creating a fan shape which results in faster growth. Read more about espaliering your Fruit Salad Tree here.

We love seeing your Fruit Salad Tree grow. Feel free to share your growing pics with us by using #myfruitsaladtree on facebook on instagram if you have a  public profile. Otherwise direct message us your photos. You can also ask us more detailed questions and our nursery staff can give you advice. Follow us on facebook and instagram today for more tips, tricks and specials.

fruit salad tree in the ground in new south wales orange lemon lime pomelo grapefruit tree

Our fast fruiting trees can be grown in the ground, or in pots on your balcony. For more information on growing your tree in a pot, read our detailed guide here. For information on planting your Fruit Salad Tree read our step by step guide here, and for planting your tree in clay soil, watch Sue's informative video in our article on planting in clay soil here.

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