One of the essential care of an orange tree is pruning. Not only does it help control your growth, but it also supports your health and benefits from increased production, meaning you will have more and better quality oranges. But, How to prune an orange tree?
If you have an orange tree and you do not know how to prune it, or when, then we want to tell you everything you need to know about this care so that you provide it as well as possible.
When was the orange tree pruned
Normally, when we think of pruning an orange tree, or a citrus tree in general, we always think that it must be done at the end of winter or early spring. But the truth is that in the case of the orange tree this will depend on the age of the tree since the pruning of a young tree is not the same as that of an old one.
To give you an idea, a young orange tree can be pruned at any time of the year. It is not recommended in winter, because the cold can affect the health of the tree, but if good care is maintained there would be no problem (seal the cuts, cover against frost, etc.).
In the case of orange trees already grown, it is best if they are always pruned when winter is over And spring begins because, in case you don’t know, these are more delicate and low temperatures can affect them.
How often could
Another question that would arise regarding the pruning of the orange tree is the frequency of pruning. Is it pruned several times a year? Every x years?
The normal thing is that branches are cut once a year. In this way, you not only heal the tree by eliminating branches that cross, that are dry, damaged or diseased, but you also oxygenate it. However, it is said that when pruning every year the branches remain thin and not thick. To get it to “fatten up” it would be necessary to leave it for a few years without cutting anything.
Types of pruning
You have to know that pruning is not unique, there are several types of them that you must know to be able to apply according to what you want. And, sometimes, you can prune in the middle of summer, or at times when it is not usual, but it is allowed as long as it is minimal.
Thus, you find:
- Maintenance or training pruning. It is the most basic and in which the tree is least affected since only a few branches are cut. It is used to prevent the tree from losing its shape or to cut a branch that has been damaged or that is damaging its health.
- Fruiting pruning. Main branches are chosen, usually 3-4 to achieve greater fruit production. And it is that the suckers are cut and trimmed a little to help the tree focus on that part.
- Production pruning. This also serves to improve the quality and quantity of fruits, as well as to help it receive more light and greater oxygenation between the branches.
- Rejuvenation pruning. This only occurs in trees that are already many years old, between 20 and 40 years old, and there can be two cases: that it is a drastic pruning, that is, removing all the foliage and leaving only the base and main branches; and progressive pruning, which means pruning from the crown to the base in 3-year phases.
In general, each type of orange tree has a specific pruning:
- Up to three years: it is called training pruning.
- The third and fourth year: fruiting pruning.
- From the fifth year on: production pruning.
- From 20-40 years: rejuvenation pruning.
How to prune an orange tree step by step
Next we are going to present you a guide so that you know how to prune an orange tree step by step. As you have seen in all of the above, depending on how old that tree is, you will have to prune it one way or another. Therefore, we talk about all of them.
Formation pruning of young orange trees
This pruning can not only be done for young trees, but you can also use it for dwarf orange trees.
To do this, what you must do is choose 3 branches, as long as they are separated at an angle of 120 degrees, and that they will be the ones that make up the tree itself, as if it were its skeleton. Through these three it will branch out, but it is not advisable to have more branches.
Normally it is said that you should place a guide one meter from the ground and, all the branches that remain below, cut them. This way you make sure of a trunk base.
When the tree is 3 years old, and has already made the skeleton, it is necessary establish which will be the productive secondary branches. And, as we have told you before, it would be allowed to branch from those three main branches, but now you have to choose the secondary branches, removing suckers and cutting those that grow too much, are sick, intersect, etc.
This occurs from the fifth year, when the tree is well established and has defined branches, both main and secondary.
In this case, the objective is not so much to find “productive” branches, but rather to find sanitize the interior of the tree so that it can be oxygenated, so that there are no branches to get stuck and so that the sunlight enters the whole tree. So the goal is to open it up a bit.
It is made in the oldest orange trees, between 20 and 40 years old, which have decreased their production. To do this, you have to cut the branches that no longer produce fruit, those that look weak, that cross each other and that are not necessary.
The goal is to leave the glass as clean as possible, almost to the point of leaving you with only the skeleton itself. To avoid a drastic pruning, it can be done in several years, in order to sanitize little by little and that the tree adapts to these changes.
Do you have more questions about how to prune an orange tree? Then contact us.
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