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TOPIC: Pruning a young lemon tree from seed

Pruning a young lemon tree from seed 4 days 3 hours ago #61501

Hi!
I've never done any bonsai and I thought I'd give it a shot. So I planted some lemon seeds and the first one came out in February. Since then it's been just growing, haven't done any pruning on the top nor the roots. I repotted it around 2 weeks ago into a perlite/peat mixture I made myself. The lemon tree itself is about 30cm (~12in) tall and about 1cm (3/64in) thick measured from the bottom of the trunk.
I have watched several videos about pruning and cutting bonsai, but the thought of making a wrong cut is rather terrifying for me. I'd like to start with thickening the trunk but I have no clue where (or even if) I should prune it. I'm planning to make an indoors light/growroom fixture for the winter since it gets well below freezing in the winter where I live.
Any advice on pruning, growing, lights etc. is very welcome, thank you!

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  • Chedras
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Pruning a young lemon tree from seed 4 days 2 hours ago #61502

This is a Lemon plant it is not bonsai. You need to let it grow, I would have it outside and in the sun right now. It needs at least another couple of years' growing unchecked before you think about any pruning. It also needs fertiliser for the rest of this year and it looks very dry to me.
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Pruning a young lemon tree from seed 4 days 2 hours ago #61508

I would like to make it into a bonsai.
It's in the greenhouse outside. Is it not essential to start pruning rather early in order to keep it small? I'm aware of the fertiliser.
Why do you think it's dry? The brown leaf has been like that for ages. I believe it got sunburnt a bit or there was a problem with nutrition, can't really remember.
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Pruning a young lemon tree from seed 4 days 2 hours ago #61510

Lemons grow outside in Florida all year. You can put it outside and it will do fine. When you bring it inside, before temps drop below 50F or 10C, watch it for spider mites and other bugs. Carefully means every two or three days look very closely for webs in the short angles between leaves and trunk and branches. They are very small and will suck the leaves dry. You might have the same problem in a greenhouse.

The more leaves you have the thicker the trunk will grow. Let it grow several years and the trunk will thicken up nicely and you can then cut it back to as small as you want. You can cut smaller but you can't cut bigger.

Be brave about cutting. If you go to the jaboticaba thread you will see mine which is over ten years old and never cut back much and Leatherback's which he cut back last year and already looks better than mine. A lesson to learn.
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Pruning a young lemon tree from seed 4 days 1 hour ago #61514

You should pay attention if you want to prune a lemon tree. The tree need a lot of energy , energy that's stored in the leaves as sugar and starch. By cutting and pruning, The tree loose energy that it needs to resist insects, diseases or whatever.
If you remove the end of branches, it wil stimulate the tree to backbudding, if you cut a branch it wil stimulate the tree to make longer internodes.
So, only pruning if the tree is healty and not every year. To save energy you can remove the flowers and the fruit.
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Last edit: by FrankC.

Pruning a young lemon tree from seed 2 days 10 hours ago #61546

Thank you all!
I'll be checking for the webs every 2-3 days (there's none at the moment) and I'm going to let it grow for some while then, let's see what happens. I'm extremely excited to seeing my lemon tree after a few decades.
And again, thank you!
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