Citrus pruning

Page last updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2020 - 1:35pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.


Hand, battery or air-operated secateurs are ideal for pruning out smaller branches on citrus (Figure 3).

Air or hydraulic secateurs on extension poles are also available for pruning large trees and to reduce ladder work. Conventional chainsaws can be used to remove large limbs. Machine-operated hedging equipment should only be used by an appropriately trained operator.

Figure 3 Three types of secateurs
Figure 3 Extended arms and air-powered secateurs can be useful for pruning smaller branches


  • Use only properly sterilised saws and secateurs. A freshly mixed spray or dip of one part chlorine bleach plus two parts of clean water can be used.
  • Oil instruments after use to prevent rusting and corrosion.
  • Avoid contamination of cuts with soil.
  • Protect regrowth from foliar pests and pathogens.
  • Do not open trees excessively in any one season as sunburn can severely damage the bark. If there is a risk of sunburn apply white acrylic paint to exposed trunks and limbs.
  • Ensure that anyone operating mechanical saws and machinery fully complies with occupational health and safety training requirements. (Mechanical saws and pruning equipment can be very dangerous if misused.)


This page replaces Farmnote 60/95 on Pruning citrus trees by John Dick. Some information was also provided from Dr Andrew Krajewski, International Citrus Technologies.

Contact information

Kevin Lacey
+61 (0)8 9368 3546