tree pruning calendar in the southwest

when and how

Tree pruning calendar in the Southwest

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From the months of November to February, your desert trees will not require much maintenance by way of pruning. However, if you have any deciduous trees on your property, such as pine, mulberry, ash, and elm, it’s best to prune these plants when they are bereft of leaves as it’s easier to see the branches and make more accurate cuts.

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If any of your desert trees flower or bear fruit from March through April, it’s best to cut back wild or heavy limbs before the additional weight can cause them to droop and crack. This goes double for any citrus trees. It’s also a good idea to prune these trees before Arizona’s monsoon season begins.

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In general, it is best to prune your drought-tolerant desert trees (including mesquite, willow acacia, Palo Verde, sissoo, and African sumac) in May or June. If your trees are not pruned before monsoon season hits, the storms can greatly damage your precious landscaping. Heavy winds can whip branches around, causing a safety hazard to your plants and to you as well. 

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Once the worst of the summer heat has passed, you can prune any trees that are not highly susceptible to low temperatures. However, be careful not to prune any trees that are used to warmer climates: Cold weather can slow the healing process and ensure that your trees do not recover from pruning. 

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