How to Prune a Loquat Tree

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The loquat tree is an attractive ornamental tree with thick green foliage that provides shade and beauty to your landscape and produces a deliciously sweet loquat fruit. This fruit grows in clusters of 3 to 10 fuzzy, orange-yellow ovals that ripen from February to May. Loquats grow to heights of 20 feet and their leaves are evergreen, which makes them a delight to have in patio areas and backyards. They are easy to care for and require only occasional pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Wait until the danger of frost has passed before cutting. Try to time your early pruning so it occurs just prior to the spring bud-break on the tree.

  • Prune out enough branches within the canopy of the tree to allow plenty of light into the branches--which in turn will boost fruit production. Loquat trees are drought-tolerant, but regular watering and pruning are important in order to develop rich hearty fruit.

  • Remove half of the loquat fruit when it is about pea-sized by removing half of each fruit cluster. This will increase both the fruit quality and size.

  • Dispose of diseased wood in a sealed bag or burn it. Fireblight disease---which causes branches to appear as if they are scorched---turns the branches of the tree brown or black and dries out the leaves. Pruning should be done immediately on any branches suffering from this, cutting off a full foot below the infected area into fresh wood. Sterilize your pruning tool with a 10 percent bleaching solution before using on other portions of the tree.

  • Perform additional pruning directly after harvest time, when terminal shoots are bulky and numerous. Loquats thrive with severe pruning, so do not use a light hand. Remove any cross-branches and thin out dense areas of growth.

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