Skip to Content

How to Prune a Tangerine Tree

How to Prune a Tangerine Tree

You want what is best for your tangerine trees. You know that pruning a tree can support your tree’s long lifespan. Perhaps there are branches that are dead or decaying. Maybe you’re doing so to provide more circulation of air and sun throughout the tree. Or you want to see more fruit growing. There are many reasons to prune. Now you need to know how to do it.

The overall method of pruning a tangerine tree has been laid out. But there are many more factors to consider. Let’s go through these steps more thoroughly and also look into what kind of tools you might need, how often pruning should be done, and how long this process will take.

Gather the Necessary Tools to Prune Your Tangerine Tree

Having some type of pruning sheer or saw will make the whole process easier and better for the tree, as they provide clean cuts. It is also a good idea to sterilize your tools between cutting trees to prevent spreading diseases.

For this, you can use bleach or disinfectant wipes. Protecting your hands with gloves will also be beneficial, as you may come into contact with thorns and shoots. Bring along pruning sealer as well, just in case.

Determine the Shape of the Tangerine Tree’s Canopy

You want your tangerine trees to have a pleasant arch to their look. There is a picture of a tangerine tree on this website that has a line showing this arch clearly. Your goal is to remove branches that are not serving your tree well and to create an opening in the center of the tree.

Decide Which Parts of the Tangerine Tree to Remove

If you live in the northern hemisphere, start from the north side of the tree and cut your way to the center of the tree. This will help you in your vision for what the tree needs. If you see long branches that are sticking out high above the rest, follow those branches to the base and clip them at a downward angle.

Next, get rid of dead branches that don’t have leaves, or didn’t grow fruit, as well as twigs or anything else that doesn’t seem to be clean and healthy.

Cut a Hole in the Center of the Tangerine Tree

The final thing you need to do to prune your tangerine tree is to make sure there is enough light penetrating through the center branches.

This is best done by removing branches that are full of leaves, which are blocking that light. Don’t worry. At this stage, you aren’t taking away healthy fruit from your tree, but allowing for more fruit to be made throughout. This is usually only one or two branches.

How Often Should I Prune My Tangerine Tree?

You really only need to prune your tangerine tree once a year. Be sure to do it at a time when the tree is not blooming, usually around early spring before it has started to bud. Otherwise this could damage the growth of future fruit. Try not to prune during the cold and winter months. Cutting encourages new growth, and cold temperatures are not good for young branches.

When Do I Need to Use Pruning Sealer?

During the pruning process, if you cut a branch that is more than one inch in diameter, it is recommended that you cover the stump with pruning sealer. Additionally, if there are branches that have been damaged by cold, these may begin to split or ooze. Trim the branch until you have reached healthy wood again, and cover it with the sealer. This helps keep out disease and fungus.


The whole process of pruning a tangerine tree only takes about 25 minutes and is done once a year. You want to remove branches that are extra long and extra bushy. The goal is to thin out the bush in order to provide more air circulation and sunlight reaching the branches.

Cut off any dead branches or shoots to clean up the tree. Give the canopy a pleasant, curved arch to make fruit picking more accessible. Be sure to bring along your pruning shears and some gloves, and you’re ready to trim!