What Is A Lime Tree?
A lime tree (Citrus limon) is a shrub or small tree that grows in warm climates from Mexico to Florida. They are native to tropical regions of South America and Africa. Their common names include Spanish lime, Indian lime, African lime, Mexican limes and American limes. They have long been used as ornamental plants throughout the world due to their striking orange coloration. The name “lime” comes from the Latin word for orange.
Lime trees are members of the mint family. These plants produce fragrant white flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. They grow up to 10 feet tall with a spreading habit and can reach a height of 20 feet if they are planted along roadsides or other areas where there is little space between them and buildings.
They prefer moist soil but will tolerate dry conditions if provided adequate drainage.
How To Prune A Lime Tree In A Container Or Potted Landscape?
There are several methods for pruning a lime tree in a pot. Some of these methods involve cutting off the top growth at the ground level and others require removing all or part of the branches above the trunk. If you choose to remove all or part of your branch(s), then it is best to do so before planting out into a landscape.
First you will need to keep the pot size and root growth in mind when choosing how to prune your tree. Do not prune all of the top growth off as this will produce more branches and smaller leaves which will lead to a less healthy looking tree. If you have a small tree with only one trunk removing the top 1/3 to 1/2 of it will encourage bushy growth without sacrificing the health of the plant.
If you have a large tree with multiple trunks then removing the top 2/3 of the tree will encourage low branching and a more full look.
Here are some common ways to prune a lime tree in a pot:
Pruning Lime Tree With A Single Trunk
If your tree has one trunk then it is best to remove up to half of the branches and this should encourage low branching. Be sure that you hold the blade at an angle just above a branch to make a cut. A clean angled cut will help it heal over and encourage growth in the direction you desire.
Do not prune all of the branches as this will cause the tree to grow upwards and become lanky instead of spreading out.
Pruning A Tree With Multiple Trunks
If your tree has two trunks that are about the same diameter then you can cut one of them down to about 1 foot above the base. Now take the higher trunk and cut it at a slant so that the top of the tree is now at the height you desire. Cutting it at a slant will also make it grow outward more instead of up.
Sources & references used in this article:
Lime-trees and basswoods: a biological monograph of the genus Tilia by D Pigott – 2012 – books.google.com
Flush development in Tahitian lime by T Olesen, G Smith, SJ Muldoon – Australian Journal of Botany, 2013 – CSIRO
[Tahiti lime development and tip shoot pruning].[Spanish] by CDS Alberto – Agrociencia, 1996 – agris.fao.org
Pruning stress: Changes in the tree physiology and their effects on the tree health by D Clair-Maczulajtys, I Le Disquet, G Bory – … Symposium on Urban Tree …, 1997 – actahort.org