There are different reasons for pruning an orange tree. This can be done to guide the formation of the branches on its first year. This can also be done if you are planning to transfer the plant to another location. The most common reason for pruning an orange tree is to make it produce more fruits. If you have several orange trees, pruning these will give you more fresh orange fruits which you can pick and eat anytime of the year or even sell them and make money.
Here are the steps on how to prune orange trees.
- Prepare the things that you will need. These are whitewash solution, alcohol, hand pruning shears, ladder, pruning saw, gloves and long handled loppers. Make sure to wear your gloves before starting to prune your orange trees. Sterilize your things with alcohol to make sure they are clean when you use it to prune your tree. If you will be pruning more than one tree, make sure to clean your things before proceeding to the next tree.
- Decide when to prune the tree. The best time to prune an orange tree is a month or two after its fruit maturation season. If you prune the tree when it’s not its fruit maturation season, it will produce less fruits and it will take a longer time before it starts producing more fruits again. Each variety of orange has its own maturation season. See what variety of orange you have so you’ll know the best time to prune the tree. Smith Orange and Naveline can be pruned starting March or April until the tree is flowering. Barnfield and Lane Late can be pruned from June or July until the tree is flowering. Rhode Oranges can be pruned from June, July or August until the tree is flowering and Valencia Late can be pruned starting September or October until it’s flowering.
- Check the tree. Check which branches to remove on the tree. They can be branches, which are already dead or are already about to die and too much branches crossing at the center of the tree, which blocks sunlight and air to go through the center. You also need to check on the parts with bugs and insects that can affect the tree.
- Prune the tree. Bring all the things that you will need with you. Start with the lower branches. Cut the branches that are dead, with bugs and insects as well as those that look unhealthy. The cuts that you made are prone to sunburn. This will not be good for your tree. To prevent this from happening, make sure to provide proper shading on the parts that you cut by carefully cutting the branches above these and leaving enough shading. Once done with the branches that are within your reach, use the ladder so you can proceed cutting those higher branches. Cut some of the branches that are covering the center so that the whole tree will be able to get enough sunlight and air that it needs.
Prune the tree every other year. This will make your orange tree continuously produce more fresh oranges.