Culling citrus key to a healthy tree

Question: I have a Meyer lemon in a container that still has lemons on it. They are not totally ripe. What trimming should be done at what time of year?

You should remove all the lemons by the end of December even if you don’t think they are ripe yet. If you let them stay on too long, they can interfere with next season’s production, and the fruit might get a bit pithy.

After removing the fruit, you can prune the tree if it is needed. Citrus does not require much pruning. You would prune for size control, remove crossing or damaged branches, opening the canopy for a bit more light penetration inside and maintain limbs that are at good fruiting angles. Remove branches going straight up, straight down, too close together or overly vigorous. I hope this helps.

Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at Visit his blog at

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