ORANGE TREE PRUNING

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by 32379, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. 32379

    32379 New Member

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    I have inherited my dad's tree so far I think it's going ok I've got food for it and I water it regularly. It's taller than me and I was showing a coworker whom has citrus trees at home. She said I could cut off the top part is that true? and if so will it harm the tree? and when can I do this if it's ok? at what point on the tree can I cut it?She said it will help it's shape
     

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  2. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Ideally, you prune for shape at the end of the fruiting season when all the fruit has been picked and the tree is going into a rest period. I don't see any fruit, so this appears to be the time for you. You should aim to keep the tree about the same size and shape, removing about the same volume of wood & foliage as would grow in one year. Looks like you have two poles used for keeping the branches from flopping down. A better strategy is to keep the branches short enough to support the foliage & fruit. You need to decide how tall and wide you want to keep it and prune off anything that exceeds that profile. Look at the branches that are flopping; gauge how long they are; look at branches not yet flopping; how long are they? Don't let branches get long enough to flop. (The photo is not clear enough to offer explicit directions. Take one not backlit by a bright sky if you want specific directions.)

    Normally, you would have a trunk which is decidedly the thickest vertical stem, I can't see that. Your goal would be to build a scaffold system of horizontal branches off one trunk which would be arranged like a spiral staircase, with each branch about 8 to 12 inches above the one below it and rotated one third around the trunk. You would allow twigs and foliage to grow sideways (horizontally) from these branches, and some growing up a few inches, but not high enough to interfere which branches above, and no growth is allowed to grow downward. Once you have that basic architecture you clean it up at the end of each season to allow new growth on your spiral staircase branches.

    New growth will always be bull canes that grow too long (for your purposes), so you need to clip the ends when they get as long as you want them to be. Every time you clip one, another bull cane will grow somewhere else. You continue to do your thing, and eventually there will be a spurt of growth all over rather than single bull canes. That's success. I would expect it to flower about now and take most of a year to ripen fruit. It might also flower in mid-spring, but set little fruit because it is hard to hand pollinate. The bees do a better job in late summer. (Different varieties have different cycles.)
     
  3. 32379

    32379 New Member

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    I'm not sure when my dad planted it. When he moved back to our city from another city his ex shipped his plant along with his stuff. It was roughly just over 2 ft in 2015. I read it takes years for a tree to bare fruit. I have trimmed various branches in the past only a few though not many. we put the stakes in to hold up the tree to help it grow and I recall my dad saying the tree is 4 trees in one he grew it from several seeds
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    You should be aware of the concept of 'node count' in determining the maturity of a seedling tree. Have a look at the following thread: What is the "node" count on an indoor grapefruit. I posted a link to an external forum there which provides a detailed explanation from a respected source. I'm not suggesting that you not prune your tree since it's pretty much a necessity for indoor culture but do keep it in mind.
     
  5. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Four trees in one he planted from seed is an impossible metaphor. Sounds more like he planted four seeds in one pot from store bought fruit, in which case no one would be likely to have any real idea what variety(s) they were or what the pollinator(s) were. Four individuals in a pot is what the picture looked like. That will make it more difficult to prune to a given compact shape. It is whatever it is. If it takes a couple years or many years to produce, it is whatever it is. If you want to keep it, you need to shape them to something resembling a houseplant which means smaller than a refrigerator, so a picture with observable detail is required.
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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  7. 32379

    32379 New Member

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    Thank you I will check out the thread
     
  8. 32379

    32379 New Member

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    Yes that he had an orange and threw seeds in a pot to see what would happen that's what I ment. I have in the past cut off longer branches and my coworker suggested cutting the top part which would make it easier to manage for when it comes in in the winter time. I just don't have Proper sheers it's thicker part of the tree unlike a small thin branch. So in the s0ring websites suggest pruning but I think it's still young yet for fruit because the sites say after fruit season or before the new blooming period. In the beginning of July it started growing new growth then when I got back from my trip at the end of July it was fuller looking now the leaves are getting bigger it looks nice fuller looking.
     
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    It's probably mentioned in that external thread, but should you decide to trim off the top growth, consider propagating it to continue the node count towards maturity.
     
  10. 32379

    32379 New Member

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    I'm still trying to figure out what a node is and if I do touch the top I want to do it properly and safely for the tree knowing me I may not I don't think the tree is very old I think he planted it in 2012 or 2013 it was bent over when his ex shipped it to us so dad got 2 5ft stakes to support it's growth. My grandfather was a great Gardner he had vast gardens and an orchid of fruit tree and at one point a farm where he grew his own produce to sell in his own store. So dad picked up his love of gardening I love it too I'm now trying to keep the tree going since dad passed in 2017
     
  11. 32379

    32379 New Member

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