Dwarf orange trees (Citrus sinensis) grow just 6 to 12 feet tall and produce full-sized fruit. These streamlined citrus trees work well for container growing over a patio or porch, or in a greenhouse or large indoor place. Standard pruning keeps dwarf orange trees healthy and looking neat. Dwarf orange trees are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 10.

Dwarf Orange Trees

Mature height is what distinguishes a dwarf orange tree from its regular-size relatives. To generate a dwarf tree, then growers graft a cutting from the desired kind or orange, like “Valencia” or “Navel,” onto a dwarfing rootstock. True imprisoned are grafted onto “Flying Dragon” root inventory. The trees produce full-sized fruit but the trees complete mature height is just 6 to 12 feet while conventional orange trees may grow up to 40 feet tall.

When to Prune

Winter or early spring is the time to prune dwarf orange trees. If your area experiences frosts, wait until the final frost date to prune. Pruning too early will stimulate new development, which makes the tree exposed to frost damage. It is important to prune before the warmth of the summer.

Pruning Practices

Pruning is done to thin out the canopy, remove fast-growing shoots that appear on the upper branches and to improve the overall shape of this tree. These jobs are done at the regular pruning time in winter or early spring. Prune off suckers — new shoots that grow out of the base of this tree — once they appear beneath the graft line. Prune these off throughout the year, whenever you visit them. Throughout the year, prune out broken divisions and diseased branches as soon as you find them.

Damage and Disease Prevention

When pruning a dwarf orange tree, then it’s imperative not to nick or damage the delicate bark. All wounds raise the odds of diseases attacking the tree. All pruning cuts should be created at the base of a division where it attaches to a larger branch or the main trunk of this tree. Always use sharp pruning shears and tree gears to create clean cuts to disinfect the tools before and after use to avoid spreading disease.

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