Meyer Lemon Tree

Asked October 19, 2017, 6:16 PM EDT

I live in Michigan but am visiting my sister in Sun City Arizona. She has a Meyer Lemon Tree that has shooters growing off it. We do not know whether we should cut them off or what. There is no Arizona Extension Service in the area. Would you be able to help me?

Eaton County Michigan pruning trees

1 Response

Hello,

We are glad to help. I haven't grown lemon tree myself but, I can give you references from Extension that will guide you.

The small diameter shoots or sucker growth from the base of the tree can be pruned off with sharp, clean hand pruners close to the trunk. Don't tear or cut into the trunk bark.

Any branches that don't conform to the overall shape of the canopy of the plant can be pruned back so that they blend with the canopy- prune back to just above a pair of leaves or a bud. The tree will branch into two shoots where you pruned and continue to grow from there, making it a bushier plant.

Here are articles with detailed info from southern states' Extension services, so that the timing and climate is similar to your sister's---

https://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1455.pdf

https://extension.arizona.edu/citrus-management

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/lemons.htm

While Extension does not endorse any retailers, this video from a retailer contains good technical info on pruning a Meyer lemon---

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IcbrnOLoIsw

A good rule for all woody plants is- Don't prune more than 1/3 of its green growth off at a time, so the plant has enough leaves to support its health.

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