How to prune young container tree for future shape?

Kim L
3 days ago

I got a Meyer lemon tree this week (photo below). It doesn't seem to have a central leader, and all of its new growth is on the circled cluster of branches. These branches point inward or straight up, and they're angled very close together. From the research I've done, my inclination is to remove all of the circled branches. I want a compact, symmetrical tree with a classic central leader or vase form several years down the line. I have a couple of questions about how to start.

  1. Should I remove these branches or tie the main right branch to train it to become the new leader (or both)?
  2. Should I prune now or wait until late June next year?

I understand basic principles such as pruning to remove leggy winter growth, crossing branches, and narrow angles. However, any tips on how to prune going forward are welcome :)

(FYI I'm planning to transfer from its nursery container to a larger pot with Al's 5:1:1 mix very soon)

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