When is the best time to prune an orange tree? Is it a good idea to top the tree?
The best time to prune citrus trees is anytime from March to August, after the fruit has set so you can see where it is. That way you don’t prune off any of your harvest. You can remove any “suckers” or shoots that are growing from the root stock at any time.
Topping the citrus tree (or any tree) is never a good idea. It causes the tree to grow improperly and weakens the tree drastically allowing for insects and disease to move in. In general, citrus require occasional pruning, not heavy or regular pruning. You want to remove any wild shoots growing beyond the general shape of the tree. These long branches can be heavy (especially if there is fruit on them) and get caught in the wind and can break and rip causing serious damage to the tree. Thinning out some foliage is recommended in some cases where it is extremely dense to allow proper light and air flow.
If you have any more questions regarding your citrus please let us know, or check out the citrus section in our online VerdeGo library at http://verdego.com/07/citrus/