Hello, I found your website while looking for solutions for Citrus mites. My lemon tree has a severe Citrus mite problem and has had one since I took the property over years ago. I will attempt to make my own White Oil and see if I can correct the issue. I assume the black residue on the branches and leaves is also from the mites? My question is regarding pruning. The previous owner allowed the tree to get very big. It is very large and needs to be cut back significantly so it doesn't climb up the house. I read your article that states not to prune more than a certain amount, however, I'm not concerned with losing the crop this year due to the mite issue. Is it okay to cut the leader and scaffolds to a more manageable height/size? Do you have any suggestions for this kind of major pruning?
Infested and Out of Control Lemon Tree
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You can do this relatively safely, even with improper pruning with little harm. In response, the tree will send up many small shoots that you will need to keep pruned in order to keep the tree manageable. This is best done right before the tree starts to grow vigorously for the year.