How to Prune a Loquat Tree
The Eriobotrya japonica, also referred to as a loquat or japanese plum tree, originally hails from Asia but could now be found growing in backyard gardens during U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8a through 11. It grows rapidly and regular pruning can keep it at a compact contour so that it fits within your garden along with its own juicy, yellow fruits are always within reach.
Combine a ounce of conventional household bleach with 9 ounces of water and mix the solution thoroughly in a plastic bucket.
Pull the blade of your pruning shears from the bleach solution to sterilize them. Soak the shears for five minutes, then rinse in fresh water to remove all traces of the bleach. This helps protect your loquat tree from several plant-transmitted diseases.
Prune the loquat tree every month or two during its initial couple of years of development, cutting off the growing tips of all its divisions to keep them shorter than 3 feet. This forces the loquat tree to sprout more divisions, which means more growing surfaces for future flowers and fruit.
Cut off dead branches, leaves and twigs as soon as you notice them. Allowing dead organic matter to stay on the tree increases the risk of decay, fungus growth and disease.
Prune a mature loquat tree once annually following the summer fruiting season is finished, as pruning before or during the flowering and fruiting months could reduce or entirely remove that year’s fruit harvest. Even though a loquat tree can possibly grow as tall as 30 feet, several gardeners prune it annually to keep it at a easy-to-harvest height of 6 to 12 feet.