Orange trees grow in our pots and are usually not too big. Still, they need to be skillfully cut on a regular basis to keep them in shape.
Since the orange tree ( Citrus x sinensis L.) cannot thrive outdoors in this country, it is often found in pots on balconies and terraces. With the heat-loving citrus plant, it is worthwhile for the hobby gardener – as with apple trees and other fruit – to prune annually so that the tree stays healthy and in good shape. But how do you actually cut an orange tree properly?
Orange tree: when to cut?
Depending on the motivation, orange trees can be cut at different times. With an annual maintenance and shape cut, you should use scissors from autumn onwards. This measure is ideally carried out in the winter half of the year so that the tree is not damaged too much. In the rare case of taper pruning, you can do the pruning in the spring.
The best time to cut the orange tree is in autumn
How are orange trees cut?
You should proceed as follows for the shape and care cut:
- Use sharp secateurs to remove shoots that are growing strongly inward
- Twigs that densify the crown can now be thinned out
- Sick and dry twigs should also be removed
- Cut the crown of the tree into the shape you want (e.g. round)
- Always use the scissors above a leaf or a bud
Caution: Always be careful when cutting, as the evergreen plant cannot tolerate heavy pruning.
Cutting the orange tree radically
In rare cases, a superficial cut is not enough to keep an orange tree permanently healthy. If the exotic tree has become severely bare over the years or if the tree seems to have died, a radical pruning can definitely be worthwhile. In the case of a supposedly dead orange tree, first test whether the branches are still green from the inside and only cut the dead wood. If a rejuvenation cut is necessary, you can cut the tree back to the stumps if necessary.
You can find out how to properly care for your orange tree in winter in our article on wintering orange trees.