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How to Prune Satsuma Mandarin Orange Trees

Satsumas are a cultivar of mandarin oranges that are prized for their juicy fruit, easy release peels and nearly seedless interiors. Like most citrus trees, satsumas thrive in sub-tropical to tropical climes and require very little and infrequent pruning. Do any necessary pruning when stress on the tree can be minimized, and when there will be the least disruption to the bloom and fruiting cycle.

Remove dead, diseased, abrading or otherwise compromised branching and foliage in the early spring before bloom, or as needed throughout the year, to prevent the spread of disease.

Cut back vertical water sprouts and suckers that develop in the interior of the tree or off of the trunk in the spring and summer. Place cuts flush with the trunk or parent branch and discard the cuttings.

Prune the tips of branches when the satsuma is outgrowing its planting location and crowding other trees, utility boxes or lines or other structures. Prune for size in the spring and remove only as much branch tissue as absolutely necessary to minimize impact to fruit harvests. Follow the natural form of the canopy and place cuts just above a leaf node or bud.

Time To Prune A Satsuma Orange

Dead branches may be pruned in the winter. Periodically, every four years or so, your satsuma will outgrow the container that holds it. If you wish to maintain the size of your tree, you will need to prune the roots and the crown at the time of repotting. Prune off 30 percent of the foliage on the crown to compensate for the loss of roots. Use sanitized pruning shears. Long-handled loppers may be necessary for taller branches and branches more than 1 3/4 inches thick. Leave your shears in this solution for five minutes before rinsing with water.

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