As part of our “Commitment to Education” we are members of Arizona Landscape Contractor’s Association, also known as ALCA. ALCA provides specialized training to help our team utilize proper installation methods and the best sustainable landscape maintenance practices. Below are some tree pruning tips from ALCA as we get ready for the summer heat and monsoon season.
If you are like many of us you may be considering scheduling your tree pruning before strong winds take down those heavy limbs. We have found that proactive pruning versus reactive storm damage clean up saves money. Once temperatures reach over 110 degrees, care must be taken not to stress trees excessively.
Here are a few tips to keep your trees healthy before and after pruning during the hottest months of the year:
– Make sure trees are well watered before and after pruning. This will help them recover from the wounds created during the pruning process.
– If a tree is under drought stress, wait until the tree has recovered before pruning to prevent the tree from going into shock.
– Do not over-prune trees: the rule of thumb is only to remove up to 25- 30% of the living tissue in one year, and much less for older, more established trees.
– Do not lion-tail trees. Lion-tailing puts more weight on branch tips, increasing the risk of failure in wind.
– Do not over-elevate canopy, which can put the tree at risk of sunburn. Sunburned trunks can lead stem borer infestation and branch dieback.
– Do not over-prune date and fan palms. The lowest fronds should drop to the horizontal plane. Request all palms to be pruned to 9 and 3 o’clock.
– Allow some small ‘sucker-like’ branches to remain on trunks and limbs of newly planted trees, which helps protect from sunburn and also encourages the branches increase in girth.