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How to Prune an Orange Tree

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Orange trees add beauty, a citrusy scent and shade to a garden or property. Although they do not require a lot of pruning when they are older, it is important to prune occasionally in order to shape the tree and promote new growth for the highest fruit yield you can get. The ideal time to prune is about every other year, between January and March right before it blooms.

Examine where the orange tree needs pruning to decide if you need a ladder or not to get to any high branches. You need to look for any dead, rotted, diseased or awkward looking branches that could be blocking air circulation and sunlight from lower branches.

Put on the heavy duty gloves and use the shears to cut off any suckers around the base of the trunk or lower part, cutting them off vertically where it connects to the trunk.

Use the pruning shears next to focus on getting rid of smaller branches in the middle part of the tree that are overlapping any branches, or are growing straight up or down awkwardly. Use the loppers for larger branches that are growing this way, or that are dead or broken.

Use the pruning shears or loppers on the top part of the orange tree if you see any dead or broken branches up there. This is the area you want to leave as many branches as possible, but get rid of any dead or diseased branches. Make sure your ladder is securely against the trunk before climbing up it.


Things You Will Need

  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Ladder, if necessary