Guava Tree Pruning – How To Prune Your Guava Tree
Pruning your guavas are very easy if you follow these simple steps:
1) Know the size of your guavas.
You will need to know their approximate weight before deciding whether or not to prune them. A good rule of thumb is that they should weigh at least 1/2 pound per foot (or 0.5 kg per meter).
If you don’t have a scale handy, then just estimate it.
2) Take some time to count the number of leaves on each leaf node.
For example, if there are 4 nodes with 3 leaves each, then you will need to cut off 2 leaves per node. This is because the fruit develops from one leaf node and all other branches develop from another leaf node. So, only two of those four nodes will produce fruit while three of them won’t produce any fruit at all!
3) Once you’ve determined the total number of leaves on each node, you’ll want to decide which ones to remove.
There are several ways to do this. You could use a sharp knife or scissors; you could use tweezers; or you could simply grab the top part of the branch and pull it down. Whatever method works best for you is what’s going to determine how many leaves get removed from your guava tree.
4) After removing the leaves, you’ll want to cut off any damaged or weak branches.
You can tell which ones are weak by gently pulling with both hands. The more it pulls out easily, the weaker the branch. Cut these out at the base of the leaf node where it meets the main branch.
Afterward, check that there aren’t any other weak or damaged areas on the guava tree and perform this step again if needed.
5) Finally, you’ll want to trim away any excess fruit.
The easiest way to do this is to pick off the fruit and place it on a plate for your own later consumption. If there is more than six fruit clusters, then you may need to remove excess ones as well. However, make sure you don’t take too many off or else your guava tree won’t be able to sustain itself!
That’s all there is to it! By performing these steps, you should have a pruned guava tree that will grow to be many times larger than it was before. If the weather is good and you’re using a healthy guava tree, then new branches may start growing in about a month’s time.
Guava Tree Care
For proper guava tree care, there are some important steps you’ll want to take in order to guarantee its survival. The following is a short list of tips you’ll want to follow:
Watering – Guava trees require a lot of water. In fact, they need water on a daily basis. Even when they are dormant (in the winter), they still need water.
If you don’t live in an area that gets a lot of rain each year, then you will need to water your guava tree at least once per week (ideally two or three times). To water your tree, you can either use a sprinkler or a soaker hose.
Fertilizer – Guava trees also benefit from the occasional fertilizer. If you have access to manure, crab shells, or bone meal (from a pet store), then you can use these as a part of the guava tree fertilizer. Simply apply some around the base of the tree (but not too close to the trunk or roots) about once every three months.
Pruning – If you do a lot of pruning when caring for your guava tree, then you’ll want to apply some manure or fertilizer in those areas as well. This will help the tree to grow new tissue and spur growth. Just be sure to follow the steps listed above for how to prune a guava tree.
Insecticides – Guava trees are prone to infestation by several different types of insects. In fact, some of these insects can spread disease as well. You’ll need to regularly check the tree for any signs of infestation and get rid of them immediately (see below for instructions).
Pests – Several different types of pests are known to target guava trees. The most common ones are aphids, mites, mealy bugs, scale insects, and root borers. You’ll need to regularly check your tree for any of these.
Aphids – Aphids are small, soft-bodied, green, pink, black, or yellow insects that suck the juices out of plant tissue. They sometimes produce a sticky substance called “honeydew” which is later secreted onto the surface below the infested plant parts. This honeydew will later grow a blackish soot-like fungus called sooty mold.
Leaves with heavy infestations may die.
To get rid of these insects, you can try spraying your tree with an insecticidal soap. You can also try introducing natural predators such as lacewing larvae or ladybird beetles to eliminate the aphids.
Mites – Mites are very small eight-legged arthropods that feed upon plants. These tiny creatures are more dangerous than they appear because many of them tend to cause damage secretly by feeding upon plant cells at night. The damage they cause is known as “hidden feeding” and appears as various signs of physiological disorder.
Black Vine Weevils – Black vine weevils are among the most destructive pests that affect guava trees. These insects use their snouts to burrow into the tree’s bark, which disrupts nutrient transportation. They then feed upon the exposed phloem (the inner bark) with a diet heavy on sapwood.
This activity starves the tree and eventually kills it.
If you believe your tree is being attacked by these weevils, then you’ll need to spray with insecticide as soon as possible. You’ll also want to remove and discard any dead or dying branches on the tree.
Pistol ants (affects adults only) – Pistol ants are known to feed upon the fruit of the guava tree. These ants do not poison the fruits, but they do cause it to rot faster than normal by feeding upon it. This will cause the fruit’s taste to become very sour and inedible.
To combat this, you can try picking off the ants as they crawl over the tree or using an insecticidal soap that is non-repellent to insects.
Fruit flies (affects adults only) – Guava fruit is known to attract fruit flies, which are especially drawn to overripe or damaged fruits. If you see a lot of these flies swarming around your tree, then you should pick the fruits as soon as possible.
Birds (affects babies only) – Guava fruits are sweet and soft, making them attractive to local birds that may come and peck at your tree. The fruits will become deformed or unappealing due to bird feces dropping on them. To combat this, you can try covering your tree with bird netting.
Ants (affects babies only) – Black sugar ants are known to feed upon the sap of the guava tree. Due to their ant poison, they cause the fruits to rot faster than normal and have a very foul taste. If you see a lot of these ants swarming around your tree, then you should try using an insecticidal soap that is non-repellent to insects.
Sources & references used in this article:
Guava growing in the florida home landscape by JH Crane, CF Balerdi – 2015 – egovlink.com
Effect of foliar application of urea and zinc sulphate on fruit quality and yield of pruned guava trees (Psidium guajava L.) cv.’Sardar’under high density planting system. by RP Meena, S Mohammed, SS Lakhawat – Udyanika (Journal of …, 2005 – cabdirect.org
Effect of time and level of pruning on vegetative growth, flowering, yield, and quality of guava by S Adhikari, TP Kandel – International journal of fruit science, 2015 – Taylor & Francis
Crop regulation in guava-A review by RS Boora, HS Dhaliwal, NK Arora – Agricultural Reviews, 2016 – indianjournals.com
Studies on effect of pruning time on fruit maturity, yield and quality of guava (Psidium guajava L.) by R Singh – krishikosh.egranth.ac.in
Effect of pruning intensity on fruit yield and quality of guava (Psidium guajava L.) cv. Sardar. by JS Brar, T Anirudh, NK Arora – Haryana Journal of Horticultural …, 2007 – cabdirect.org