The pruning of citrus fruits, and in particular that of the lemon tree, does not present excessive difficulties for realization. This is because very often the young plants, as well as those that have years of fruiting behind them, are left to grow naturally, making the branches develop with the natural growth of the plant, taking care only, in late winter-early spring, to eliminate the suckers and suckers. For several years now it is advisable to moderately prune the plant because recent studies have argued that excessive pruning causes premature aging of the plant and consequently reduces its resistance to diseases. The lemon plant, as a living being, has its own natural rhythm of development and every time it is decided to perform a pruning intervention on it, it is essential to limit oneself to the truly indispensable interventions, to those, that is, that allow the plant to develop in a harmonious way and to produce fruits in warmed and sunlit branches. Thanks to a good and careful pruning, the plant will grow stronger and more harmonious and will bear more fruit, producing larger fruits. All this will be possible because through the elimination of suckers and suckers the lifeblood will reach a smaller number of branches which in turn will produce a greater quantity of fruits qualitatively superior to the previous fruiting. In addition to an excellent yield and a better aesthetic appearance, the lemon plant through pruning can also be cured and preserved from diseases. In fact, when the plant is large, the only way to eradicate the diseases is given by pruning. It should be remembered that if we do not intervene through the appropriate pruning technique, the affection can spread through the lymph circulation routes, thus killing the growing branches and, given that usually the lemon does not always bear fruit in the same branch but on new ones branches, if you cannot eliminate the affection through pruning and using the mastic to cure its wounds this will denote a lack of production of the plant and its proper aging that could lead to the death of the tree itself.
Prune the lemon
There lemon pruning it consists above all in the thinning of the branches and proposes to give the plant, as a final result, a very enlarged physical structure, with branches that are perfectly spaced from each other, so that the sun can enter to illuminate every single part and so that, for each fruiting, the collection of lemons is facilitated. Pruning therefore avoids a disproportionate growth of branches which, if not promptly intervened, would suffocate among them, taking nourishment and sunlight away from each other. The lemon trees should therefore be left to develop in the shape of a globe, avoiding forcing the plant to other unnatural forms. In fact, too radical a pruning would make the plant suffer and compromise its future fruiting. Generally lemon plants produce fruit twice a year, usually in the months of January and February and over a period of time from August to September. Sometimes, however, it happens that the months of production are different because they can be influenced by the climate in which the plant is located.
Breeding pruning and reproduction pruning
To make the plants reach a good production and an excellent development it is necessary to prune them during the summer, in the period between the two blooms. There are two pruning techniques regarding the lemon tree: the pruning of breeding and that of reproduction.
1) We can divide the breeding of the lemon tree into two different techniques to be carried out during two different periods of plant development.
a) When the plant is still young, during the first year of life, the lemon stick is planted. During spring, taking into account the climate that must be mild, it must be shortened to a height of about 70 centimeters from the ground. Once the rod has produced shoots, you will have to choose between only 3-4 shoots, checking their position and the distance between them. The other shoots will be strictly removed through pruning until the seedling has reached a solid development.
b) During the following years, when the branch globe has reached the correct and solid formation, it will be necessary to intervene through a thinning pruning. In fact, the interior must be very carefully thinned out so that the plant reaches its fructification more quickly. Once these pruning procedures have been carried out it will be enough to rarely carry out very slight trimming and thinning interventions.
2) To maintain the fruit-bearing lemon plant, however, it will be necessary to perform a particular pruning, called reproduction pruning, which will run between the harvest of the fruits and the subsequent flowering. First of all we must contain the development of the globe and then cut the branches too vigorous, which prevent the penetration of the sun inside the foliage, and the suckers, which must be proportionate to the new production; and, as the last phase of pruning, the height of the plant must be kept under control to allow it a proper penetration of light and perfect nourishment.
The tools to be used to prune the lemon plant
The tools to be used to easily perform a perfect pruning of the lemon plant are four: the pruning shears, the jigsaw, the saw and the pruner. They are used according to the type of operation that must be carried out and once the pruning is finished they must be carefully cleaned with alcohol or with a flame passed on the blade. Let us look at its characteristics, remembering that, at the end of each operation, the wounds on the plant must be covered with plenty of mastic to preserve them from hypothetical infections:
1) pruning shears (which can be a single blade, two blades or blades, with a straight cut or a curved blade), to be used above all for less robust cuts and slender branches;
2) the hacksaw, usable for branches of good consistency but not very large;
3) the saw, taking care that it does not have a very long blade and that it is flexible enough, to prune the very large branches and 4) the pruner, which serves to prune the upper parts of the top, even though many today use al pneumatic scissors mounted on rods.