How to Prune Kumquat Trees

The kumquat is an easily grown evergreen shrub or tree (8 to 15 feet) with small yellow to orange colored citrus fruits that are entirely edible, skin and all. The leaves are dark green and glossy and branches have the occasional thorn. Originally from China, they are easily grown in tropical and subtropical climates. They take well to cooler climates but cannot survive temperatures below the 20s. Kumquat trees usually do not need pruning as they are naturally shapely. However, should your tree grow too tall and looks "leggy," you may need to prune the top to encourage growth on the lower branches.

Kumquat fruit

Step 1

Stand away from the tree and visualize how you want your tree to look. Some people prefer a rounder dense bushy tree while others prefer an open airy fruit tree appearance.

Bypass pruners make quick work in the garden

Remove the "water suckers" (long skinny branches growing straight up) and any damaged or dead wood using the bypass loppers. If the branches are too high and not easily accessible, stand on a step ladder.

Step 3

Trim tree from the top using the bypass loppers for branches larger than 1 inch in diameter. For smaller branches, you may use the smaller bypass pruner. Shape as you move down the tree.

Step 4

Prune branches that cross the center trunk to increase air circulation and let light in. This step is important regardless of the desired shape of your tree and helps maintain the overall health of the tree.

Step 5

Step back and view your tree once again. Remove any branches you missed or that appear out of place. Regardless of its shape, a kumquat tree brings long-lasting beauty to your garden.