Guava trees are native to tropical climates and grow well in many parts of the world, including the southern United States. Guava trees can grow to about 30 feet tall and respond well to aggressive pruning. Unlike many trees, Guavas may be pruned more that once during the growing season without causing damage. With careful pruning, Guava trees also can be cultivated in pots in more northern climates but may not produce fruit in abundance.
Prune young guava within three to four months after planting. Prune more mature trees in late summer after fruiting. The small, green ovoid fruit is produced on new growth, so older-growth pruning will not interfere with fruit production the next year.
Remove ground-level suckers and any dead wood on the tree. Skirt-prune low hanging branches to prevent fruit-laden branches from coming into contact with the ground, where rotting fruit can cause disease.
Select branches to remove that will open the crown of the tree to even light distribution. Prune judiciously, circling the tree as you work to ensure the most even thinning. Make cuts just above a lateral branch. Remove the whole branch at the trunk if the pruning will remove more than 1/3 of the foliage on the branch.
Refrain from pruning any dead parts of the Guava tree that may have been killed by late-season frost. Prune dead wood at any time.
Pruning Guava trees to serve as privacy screens or hedges can be done, too. Select the longest branches and prune to within the crown of the tree rather than to the edge of the desired silhouette.