How to Prune Ornamental Orange Trees

Updated July 20, 2017

Ornamental orange trees are chosen for their visual effect rather than the taste or quality of their fruit. The fruit is less sweet than other oranges; some ornamental oranges are sour or bitter. Among the varieties you can choose are Cidro Digitado (Buddha's Fingers), Naranja Amarga (Seville Orange) and Bergamot. To help your ornamental orange trees thrive, you must practice a yearly routine of careful pruning. Prune ornamental orange trees once each year between January and March, before they begin to flower.

Look for broken, dead, insect-infested or diseased branches.

Pour alcohol in a bucket. Cut all broken, dead, insect-infested or diseased branches with pruning shears or loppers. Dip the cutting tools in the bucket of alcohol each time you use them to cut a diseased branch.

Use pruning shears and loppers to prune branches that are growing too close together, or are too long or too low. Cut these branches back to the main branch/trunk or to the new leaf bud.


Prune your orange trees to maintain their natural form.


Do not cut the main trunk (branch collar); it can spread infection to the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Bucket
  • Alcohol
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About the Author

Barbara Freeman is a teacher and has been writing since around 1995. She's written curriculum for Discovery NutshellMath software and her NutshellMath tutorials appear on the Discovery Cosmeo homework website. She's also written for Freeman earned a Bachelor of Arts, a credential and a Master of Arts in educational technology.