Q.“Short” Key Lime Tree
Hi! I have a key lime tree bought in 2014 and it produces lime every year (about 4 to 7 limes per season). However, I believe that due to my mistake with pruning, the tree it’s very “short” and not really full with foliage (less than 2ft) and frequently the limes touch the base. The tree grows in a pot outside, we are in Central Florida (9b zone). Is there anything I can do for the tree to grow “taller”?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unfortunately, your photos did not come through. I am unable to see the state of the tree.
There is always a way to force a tree into a different shape. It does take patience, and doing too much at once will kill the top of the tree. This will allow the rootstock to take over.
On your tree, select a new leader. Cut away all but that one branch, a little at a time.(No more than 1/3 of the tree should be pruned off at one time, and this should be done over several months.) This branch should be growing directly upwards. You will want to keep focusing on your new leader, keeping all other growth cut, until it reaches the desired height. Then, you can prune it so that it can start branching out.
Here are some articles that will help you with the care of the tree: