How to Trim an Orange Tree


Orange trees are ideal to have on property to add some color, beauty, flavor and citrusy scent to your home and garden, especially when they are blooming. Orange trees do not require a lot of pruning once they mature, but it is necessary to encourage new fruit growth and make the tree look shaped. Prune your orange tree between January and March (depending on your location), about every other year, before it blooms.

Step 1

Examine your orange tree to see where it needs to be pruned. If you cannot reach some of the branches for pruning, make sure to have a ladder nearby. You are looking for any rotted, dead, diseased or awkward looking branches that may be blocking sunlight from reaching to bottom branches of the orange tree. Do this to determine how much work you will need to do and if you need a ladder.

Step 2

Put on your gloves. Use the pruning shears to get rid of any suckers around the base of the trunk or lower part. To remove suckers, cut them off vertically near where it connects to the orange tree's trunk.

Step 3

Move on to the middle area of the orange tree. Use the pruning shears or loppers (for large branches) to cut off any that are overlapping other branches or any crossing over to the center. This will create more sunlight exposure and air circulation within the tree. Get rid of all sickly, broken or diseased branches.

Step 4

Move on to the top of the orange tree. This is the area you want to leave as many branches as possible, but if there are dead, broken, diseased or awkward branches up here, cut them off. You will most likely have to use the loppers for this, as well as a ladder. Make sure the ladder is securely against the trunk of the tree before you climb up to the top.

Step 5

Discard all of the trimmed branches for mulch or compost, or throw them in the trash (depending on how you take care of things). Look over the orange tree one more time to make sure you didn't miss any branches to be trimmed.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Ladder


  • Pruning Citrus Trees
  • Trimming Orange Trees
Keywords: pruning, orange trees, citrus trees

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.