Overpruned lemon tree
We pruned our very large lemon tree quite severely. It now is all green leaves with very few fruits, whereas before it was very abundant. There are now very many branches growing upright full of green leaves. What should we do to make our tree produce more lemons..?? Thanks Maureen
"Severely" is the key term. Now you know why it is not advised.
Best management practices for tree and shrub pruning is for minimal to moderate pruning only, light thinning and shaping and don't remove more than 25% of the foliage in a one year period. If you need more crown reduction, do it in stages over a couple or three years.
You will just have to give it some time. The rampant re-growth that is a response to the severe pruning, will slow down in time. A 4 digit postal zone, is that Australia? Fall weather coming up should see a reduced growth rate. At which time you can thin and shape the new growth somewhat, but not to heavily. Spring should see a more moderate growth rate and some flowering.
Do not fertilize with a high Nitrogen chemical fertilizer or you will stimulate more rampant growth. Use a complete organic fertilizer with adequate Phosphorus and Potassium that support flowering and fruiting.
The second year will be most likely to get back to balanced growth and adequate fruiting.