How to Prune a Kumquat Tree


Native to China, kumquats are more shrubs that trees, averaging 8 to 15 feet in height. Kumquats produce small cylindrical fruits that are eaten whole. While the trees do not need significant pruning, gardeners should remove unhealthy and dead wood to keep the tree disease-free. The best time to prune the kumquat is once all the fruit is harvested, in March to April. Pruning beforehand may reduce the amount of fruit.

Step 1

Cut off suckers that grow along the trunk of your kumquat tree. These produce only vegetative growth and will never bear kumquats. If they're allowed to grow, they sap energy from healthy parts of the tree.

Step 2

Inspect your kumquat tree for dead, diseased or damaged branches. Container kumquats that are moved can be more prone to damaged branches during the moving process. Damaged or diseased wood appears blemished or distorted, while dead wood won't have leaves and will not move in the wind.

Step 3

Clip off dead and unhealthy wood at its base. In between cuts, sanitize your pruning shears by spraying them with disinfectant. This prevents you from accidentally spreading disease to healthy parts of the tree.

Step 4

Trim back long limbs to a lateral branch.

Step 5

Cut off any branches that crisscross other branches, since their rubbing will cause damage later on.

Things You'll Need

  • Anvil pruners
  • Disinfectant spray


  • Purdue University: Kumquat
  • BJ Jarvis: Get Acquainted With Kumquat
Keywords: kumquat tree, kumquat pruning, trim kumquat tree

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.