Hand Pruning and Training of Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Trees

Heading cuts (tipping) are made toward the end of a branch near a node or growing point. Credits: R. J. Campbell, UF/IFAS

This new 6-page document explains the proper way to prune fruit trees using hand tools. An important aspect of growing tropical and subtropical fruit trees is size control through pruning. In addition to size control, pruning also makes it easier to spray the tree and harvest fruit from the tree. Pruning also makes the tree more hardy to wind events and healthier in general because you can remove damaged or unhealthy parts of the tree. Written by Jeff Wasielewski, Jonathan Crane, and Carlos Balerdi, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Propagation

Part of the grafting process

Propagation is an important technique used by tropical and subtropical fruit growers worldwide, allowing plants to be grown cheaply and efficiently. While sexual propagation (by seed) results in plants that are not genetically the same as the mother plant, asexual propagation (cuttings, division, air-layers, and grafting) creates offspring that are clones of the mother plant. Cloning fruit trees is important because it allows different cultivars to be preserved over time. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department explains both sexual and asexual propagation techniques, why they are used, and what type of propagation is best for which species of tropical fruit. Written by Jeff Wasielewski and Carlos Balerdi.

Fortunella spp., Kumquat (FOR300/FR368)

Figure 1. Kumquat (Fortunella spp.)Many people find kumquat trees attractive and useful yard specimens. Their dark green leaves and contrasting bright orange fruits give them ornamental quality, and their relatively small size makes them easy to care for once they’re established. Because kumquats generally require less care than other citrus trees, they may be a good choice for gardeners with less time or experience, but who still desire an attractive and tasty citrus tree. If space is an issue, kumquats also do well in containers as long as they receive proper sunlight and watering. This 2-page fact sheet was written by Michael G. Andreu, Melissa H. Friedman, and Robert J. Northrop, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, July 2012.