A: Pruning of citrus can be done in late February and early March. Remember to selectively prune the citrus tree – no shearing. Find a growth bud, which is where a new leaf or limb will grow and cut just above it. Make the angle of the cut down toward the center of the tree and the bud should be facing toward the outside of the tree. The overall look of the citrus tree should be somewhat vase-shaped to allow for good air circulation throughout the tree canopy. Do not be afraid to keep the tree short to assist you with picking fruit. Fertilization should begin in March and occur about once every 6 weeks through September. Allow the tree to produce and mature the fruit from October through February and refrain from applying fertilizer during those months. You may use a general garden fertilizer such as 6-6-6 or 8-8-8, a “citrus” fertilizer or a slow release type of fertilizer – the most important thing to do is read the label to determine how much fertilizer should be applied. If you select a slow release fertilizer then it would not be necessary to apply every 6 weeks. Avoid overhead irrigation as this helps the spread of disease – water citrus at the root only. Remember when selecting citrus to choose only those trees grafted on trifoliate or Swingle root stock as they are the most cold-hardy for our area.
Q: When do I fertilize and prune citrus?