How to Prune Kumquat Trees


Kumquat trees produce a steady crop of fruit from November through April. Prune the tree after harvesting the fruit, but before new flowers appear. Kumquat trees are small, growing to approximately 10 feet tall and suitable for landscape or container growing. The trees have a naturally strong shape that does not require regular pruning, but pruning can be done to shape the tree and remove weak or damaged wood.

Step 1

Prune away dead or damaged branches with hand pruners or a small saw, cutting cleanly away flush with the branch collar. For large branches use the three cut method. Make the first cut from below the branch approximately 12 inches from the trunk. Saw upward until the saw binds. Then cut down from the top approximately 3 inches closer to the trunk. The branch will split cleanly between the two cuts. Make the third cut flush with the branch collar, cutting the stub away cleanly. (reference 2)

Step 2

Cut diseased branches back completely. Make the cut in healthy wood. Dark wood visible in the cut indicates diseased wood and should be removed. Clean pruning tools with rubbing alcohol between cuts to avoid spreading the disease.

Step 3

Remove branches that cross or rub against each other or nearby structures.

Step 4

Remove sprouts from the trunk. Snap them away by hand when they are small or use pruning shears on larger sprouts. Remove small branches from near the trunk that crowd the interior.

Step 5

Remove suckers arising from the roots. Dig around the sucker, down to the root and cut the sucker away at the root junction.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Small hand saw
  • Rubbing alcohol


  • Pasco County Extension Service: Get Acquainted with Kumquat
  • Arizona Cooperative Extension: Pruning Citrus
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Citrus Guide-Pruning
Keywords: pruning kumquats, kumquat care, trimming kumquat

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.