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How to Prune Orange Trees in Arizona

Citrus trees such as orange trees grow well in climates where winters are temperate and there are no freezing temperatures. In Arizona, the desert regions in much of the state are perfect for citrus trees. In fact, oranges and other citrus fruits are grown commercially in parts of the state. Orange trees do not require routine pruning. However, if your trees has dead or damaged wood it should be pruned.

Survey the tree for any dead or damaged wood, starting on the outside of the canopy and looking inside, moving branches to identify all the wood that needs to be removed.

Remove dead, damaged or diseased branches with a hand clipper or a tree saw, starting at the outside of the canopy. Remove all but a small stub of the branch so the cut is not flush with the tree trunk.

Move to the inside of the canopy, continuing to remove dead, damaged or diseased wood.

Remove any branches in the canopy where the growth is dense and thick, and where no sun is getting through.

Remove any of the tree's healthy branches that have offshoots growing downward.


Orange trees should be pruned in February or March or when there is no longer a threat of frost. Always remove all fruit from the tree when pruning. Banches growing less than 1 foot from the ground should be removed from the tree. Water sprouts, or branches that shoot straight up from the ground, should should be removed because they drain the tree of necessary nutrients. Citrus trees should not be pruned excessively at one time. It's best to do small amounts of pruning at several different times. If your tree's trunk is bare at the bottom after pruning, it can be covered with white paint to protect it from the hot sun.

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