A person who said they were a "master gardener" completely stripped my Meyer lemon tree down to the trunk. No leaves are left, cut off branches. Will it survive? It has been in the ground for about 12 years, and now is about 5 feet tall. It was about 8 feet tall. I sealed the cut branches and have fed it once so far. Very upset. Is there anything else I can do for it?
Meyer Lemon Tree
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I do think the tree will survive and will regrow over the next few years. Unfortunately, you'll probably lose several years of fruit.
It's usually best to put off fertilizing until you see new growth and leaves appearing, since fertilizer can harm a tree in a weakened state. It also won't need as much water as usual (if you usually water it). Once it has leaves again, you can resume fertilizing with a citrus fertilizer.
Other than that, just keep anyone from pruning it again! Citrus trees don't usually need pruning, unless they have dead/diseased branches or branches growing from below the graft site.