Q. I have a dwarf Rio Red Grapefruit tree and a dwarf Valencia Orange tree both from Durling Nursery in my back yard in Mesquite, Nevada . They are 2 years old (planted in May 2011) and about 3 feet tall. The grapefruit produced 1 grapefruit in December 2011 and 2 grapefruit in December 2012. The fruit was great. The orange has not produced so far. This winter I thought I lost both due to the cold but they came back strong and look wonderful except some yellowish leaves. The problem is they are very bushy and crowded with some branches touching the ground. I feel they need pruned. I found a lot of information on how to prune the trees but the when to prune is conflicting. I have been told do it in the spring, the summer, the fall and not to do it in summer, etc.. Can you please help me with this? Thanks for your time.
|Grapefruit produced in Las Vegas back in about 1986 by Hobby St. Denis.|
A. In the desert it is a bit more tricky because of our high light intensity and potential for sunburn if we prune too much at the wrong time. But the bottom line is this. You can do SOME pruning any time of the year. BUT only do aggressive pruning during the winter months OR if you have fruit on the tree wait until after harvest and prune then.
On citrus you want to prune before it flowers again. The other thing about citrus is that it can be damaged by winter cold as you know. It is best if you can wait until you are pretty sure most of the cold has passed and then prune it. This way if there is some cold damage you can remove it at the same time as you prune. Or prune and protect it from any cold damage. I hope this helps.