Kumquats are a tart-sweet, oblong fruit the size of a plum that resembles an orange in appearance. The fruit is among the most cold-hearty of the citrus fruits. For this reason, kumquats are grown throughout the Gulf Coast region of the South. Like many citrus trees, as the kumquat tree ages, the production of fruit declines. But you can force the tree to produce again by cutting it back in a process known as rejuvenation.
Time pruning for just after all chance of freezing temperatures has passed, but just before the spring growth flush.
Plan to remove no more than one-third of the tree's total height and width all around the tree. Kumquat, like all citrus, will regain its shape with the next flush of growth.
Sharpen all of your pruning tools and clean them with a solution made of one part bleach and nine parts water. Soak a cloth with this solution and swipe the blades of your tools with it, while removing branches, to prevent the spread of diseases.
Prune limbs smaller than 1 ½ inches with a pair of branch loppers. Cut the limb at the point where it forks away from the trunk of the tree. Position your loppers just outside of the growth ring where the branch joins the tree and angle the cut so that it slopes at a 45-degree angle outward away from the tree.
Cut away limbs larger than 1 ½ inches using a pruning saw. Make three cuts to remove these limbs. The first cut should be designed to prevent stripping bark from the tree when the limb falls. It should begin on the underside of the limb at a point 15 inches away from the trunk and should only extend one-third of the way through the tree's limb. Make the second cut 18 inches from the tree's trunk. Start this cut at the top of the limb and extend all the way through. The final cut should remove the stub of limb left behind. Start cutting just outside of the growth ring, where the branch joins the tree. The cut should be at a 45-degree angle, away from the tree.