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The Best Time to Trim Citrus Trees

lemon on tree image by Tomislav from

For citrus gardeners, regular pruning of dead and diseased branches, as well as green sprouts, helps improve citrus fruit production. The best time to prune a lemon or other citrus tree is just after the citrus harvest.


Many citrus trees produce the most fruit in the winter season, according to the Meyer Lemon Tree website. Pruning trees directly following the fruit harvest, allows gardeners to expose interior branches to sunlight and promotes new fruit production, according to University of Arizona Extension.

Seasonal Pruning

In desert climates, citrus trees should be pruned between February and April. In cooler climates, delay pruning until March. All the pruning should be completed before the citrus trees begin to blossom.


Pruning from November to January is not recommended because pruning generally stimulates new growth in the trees. According to the University of Arizona Extension, pruning during these months may cause new growth to be damaged by frost.

Trim A Citrus Tree

Growing a citrus tree in your backyard doesn't just create cooling shade, it can also provide you with a fresh source of fruit. To encourage a strong, central trunk and a stable, erect form, remove these suckers as soon as they appear. Do this throughout the year, as needed. Leaving dead branches on the tree increases the risk of some citrus diseases and may also attract various insect pests. Once a year in the mid to late spring, before the citrus tree has started to produce flowers, inspect the canopy density of the citrus tree. By keeping a citrus tree short by pruning it at the top, you can more easily harvest the fruit of your labors. This helps sanitize the pruning equipment and minimizes the risk of transferring diseases to and from the citrus tree.

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