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26 Sep 2023
Mesquite Tree

Mesquite Tree Trimming Costs 2023

The cost of trimming a mesquite tree varies depending on a number of factors, including the size and type of tree, the amount of work required, and the location of the tree. On average, however, you can expect to pay between $100 and $700 to have a mesquite tree trimmed by a professional.

Here is a breakdown of the average mesquite tree trimming costs by tree size:

  • Small tree: $100-$240
  • Medium tree: $275-$475
  • Large tree: $600-$800

he cost of trimming a mesquite tree can vary widely based on several factors, including the size and condition of the tree, its location, and the complexity of the trimming job. Here are some factors that can influence the cost of mesquite tree trimming:

  1. Tree Size: The size of the mesquite tree plays a significant role in determining the cost. Larger trees typically require more time, equipment, and labor to trim, so they will generally cost more to trim than smaller ones.
  2. Tree Health: The health and condition of the tree can affect the cost. If the tree is diseased, damaged, or poses safety hazards, additional work may be required, potentially increasing the cost.
  3. Tree Location: The location of the tree can impact the cost. Trees located in tight spaces, close to structures, or in areas with limited access may require more time and effort to trim, which can increase the cost.
  4. Trimming Complexity: The complexity of the trimming job can also influence the cost. If the tree has many branches, dense foliage, or requires shaping and thinning, it may be more labor-intensive and costly to trim.
  5. Frequency of Trimming: Regular maintenance trimming, often performed on a yearly or bi-yearly basis, is generally less expensive than infrequent or emergency trimming. Regular trimming helps keep the tree’s shape and size in check, reducing the need for more extensive work.
  6. Additional Services: If you require additional services such as stump removal, debris cleanup, or hauling away the trimmed branches, these services may come at an additional cost.
  7. Local Pricing: The cost of tree trimming can also vary by location and local market conditions. Tree service providers in urban areas may charge differently than those in rural areas.
  8. Tree Service Provider: Different tree service companies may have varying pricing structures. It’s a good idea to obtain multiple quotes from reputable tree service providers to compare costs and services.

Here are some tips for saving money on mesquite tree trimming:

  • Get quotes from multiple tree service companies.
  • Schedule your trimming for the winter months, when demand is lower.
  • Ask about discounts for seniors, military members, or other groups.
  • Consider trimming the tree yourself, if you have the necessary skills and equipment.

Important safety note: Tree trimming can be dangerous work, especially if you are trimming a large or tall tree. It is important to hire a qualified tree service company to trim your mesquite tree, unless you have the necessary training and experience to do the job yourself.

Mesquite trees are a part of Arizona. Jay Sharp who is the editor and author for has stated that mesquite trees symbolize the Southwestern deserts just as much as scorpions, prickly pear cacti, the Saguaro, Western Diamondback, the Black tailed Jackrabbit and the Coyote do. It is true that the mesquite trees in Arizona are a part of life there just like tortillas and cornbread.

Perfectly Adapted to the Desert

Mesquite trees are a hardy desert tree that has adapted over centuries to live in desert landscapes around and in Arizona. The physical characteristics of these trees help to ensure survival which include the bean pods, root systems and foliage. They happen to grow well in high temperatures and full sun, but they do not tolerate the cold during the winter. They are often found within high elevation areas and can adapt to rocky, shallow soils. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Forest Service has stated that mesquite trees can live for more than two centuries.

The mesquite trees that are in Arizona are able to survive where there will be hardly any type of rain due to their unique root system. The Mesquite tree’s lateral roots that is has can reach out much further than the canopy ever will. Not to mention they happen to have tap roots that go very deep to get water  well beyond 150 feet down, however 50 feet down is more typical. So, the mesquite tree will have access to water both at the bottom and top layers of soil.

The leaflets of the mesquite tree are tiny and waxy and they can retain moisture by minimizing the moisture that is lost through transpiration. The mesquite tree is deciduous which means that they give great shade during summer but will drop leaves and allow the sun to shine on it during the winter to keep warm. During times of extreme drought, they will lessen transpiration even more by prematurely dropping their leaves.

Mesquite trees are considered to be of the legume family which means that it is adapted to arid environments. They also have the ability to fertilize themselves and the surrounding plants using a symbiotic relationship with the soil bacteria colonies. The bacteria that will inhabit the roots of the mesquite tree will fix or convert atmospheric nitrogen which makes it available within the soil. It is a mineral that is essential for the germination and growth of plants. Most gardeners will use the same type of process to enrich their soil by actually using cover crops that are nitrogen fixing.

The mesquite trees that are within Arizona are very prolific. The beans from the tree are very durable when encased within their pods. If a seed has been undisturbed then it can be viable up to about 40 years. Animals will play a big part in the scarification of the seeds which is actually need for germination and the dispersal through their fecal matter.

The Appearance

A mesquite tree is really easy to idenfity, as they look like giant fern bushes. They are able to reach up to 30 feet tall, but the average tree that is growing in the wild are going to be half that size. Most will have multiple trunks and under the harshest conditions, the mesquite tree will look more like a bush than a tree. The branch structure will be jointed and twisted which adds to their uniqueness. During the early summer and spring, they will have finger shaped items that are covered in tiny little flowers. They happen before the formation of the bean pods which are a brown color, but it can vary based on the species. Most mesquite trees will have thorns which can be very long or short and very sharp.

The Arizona Mesquite Tree Natives and their Cousins

There are around 40 different mesquite varieties that are found all over the globe, but there are only 3 species that are native to Arizona. They not only grow in the Mojave Desert, but also in the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts. The range of these trees is amazing as they span from California to western Texas, from southern Utah to Mexica. They are able to survive in a variety of areas that are found within this area.

The 3 mesquite tree species for Arizona are:

  • Prosopis pubescens: These are called screwbean mesquites which earned its name from the coiled or spiraled shape of the seed pods.
  • Prosopis glandulosa: Is called the Texas Mesquite or honey Mesquite. They are normally have a weeping form and is very pretty.
  • Prosopis velutina: Is called the native mesquite or Arizona mesquite. It is also called the velvet mesquite because of the soft hairs that cover the young. They are shaggy and snarled and are very popular in nurseries and will grow well on golf courses and lawns.

Besides these mesquite trees, there are a lot of other types of mesquite trees that happen to grow within Arizona. There are hybrids of Screwbean, honey and velvet mesquite, which happen mostly where the species happen to overlap. There are other nonnative species which originate from South America. There is the Chilean mesquite and Argentine mesquite as well as other hybrids and varieties. The nonnative species will be suited to the climate that is here just like the ones that are native to Arizona. For instance, the Chilean mesquite isn’t as tolerant of winter temperatures in Arizona.

Despite all of the positive qualities, mesquite trees are actually considered to be an invasive weed. In most countries outside of South and North American where they have been introduced, they are extremely invasive and a big issue especially in Australia.

Mesquite trees are also cursed by the inhabitants within the Arizona desert. Cattlemen especially hate them, but overgrazing by herds over the previous centuries have really made the problem that they complaint about, which is that the competition with the grass. In areas that are overgrazed, the cattle are not only threatening the population of natural grass that have often competed with mesquites for water, but it also helps the trees by eating as well as then dispersing mesquite seeds. All of the efforts that have been made to stop and control the mesquite tree have failed and it has been stated to be ineffective and impractical. Whether it be done by herbicide, physical removal, or fire, the costs and side effects to the environment by trying to control the population and spread has made it an issue without an easy solution.

Many arborists state that whether it is a welcomed thing or unwanted item, the mesquite tree belongs in the desert. They have evolved in the desert and they actually play a main role to the desert ecosystem.

Historical Significance and the modern uses

Over the centuries, there hasn’t been another plant that has played a vital role to the population within the southwestern United States than the mesquite tree. Mesquite trees that are all over the southwest have saved plenty of lives. The have provided nutrition for the men on the 1841 Texas Santa Fe Expedition as the beans from the mesquite tree were nutritious, sweet and protein rich.

Another type of food that will come from a mesquite tree within Arizona is honey. The swarms of bees that are attracted to the mesquite flower nectar will do more than just fill in as a role for pollinator. However, this doesn’t complete the list of foods that come from the mesquite tree. Even the sap has been used as black dye or sweet gum.

When the pods without or with the beans inside is called Pinole. It can be used as a flour or as a spice or condiment because of the sweetness. The flour is also considered to be quite healthy for those who are diabetic, as the flour is sweetened using fructose, which your body is able to process without having to use any insulin. That is just a single advantage that a mesquite tree has to offer.

There are also other parts of mesquite trees that have been used as a remedy for various illnesses by settlers and Indians in the frontier era. For instance, the mesquite tree was used to ease and heal colic, sore throat, ailing eyes, headaches, flesh wounds, dysentery, and diarrhea.

The pods, wood and bark of the mesquite trees are very popular to use for barbeques. The dry wood will burn slowly and hot with very little smoke. It has a very unique aroma. Some have insisted that burning the pods with the wood chips and charcoal can make the flavor much richer. Besides for cooking and for heat, the wood has also been used to construct Spanish missions, ranch fencing and houses, and colonial haciendas. The Native Americans have used the mesquite wood for arrowheads and spears, and the bark was used to make fabrics and baskets. The thorns from the tree were often used as a needle. Now the wood is valuable for sculptures making and furniture because of the gnarled patterns and dark colors.

The Arizona Mesquite trees are not only beneficial for humans but for wildlife as well. Animals will use the mesquite trees as food, shelter and habitat. During the fall and summer, the mesquite beans will make up about 80% of a coyote’s diet. The bean pods can even be used for fodder for livestock whenever the grass isn’t enough.

Maintenance, Treatments and Issues

Even though the mesquite tree doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, the ones that are growing around your home could use some extra care whenever there is a very hot summer or during extended droughts. Sun-scorch happens to be is one issue that could hurt a mesquite tree that has been planted within the landscape, however they aren’t as susceptible as a citrus tree. Deep watering every now and again and some occasional fertilization will help to make sure that the mesquite trees are around won’t decline in beauty of health.

During the times when there is plenty of rain, mesquite trees will not need any extra watering. However, when there is a drought, the leaves will become sparse and will allow more sun through the branches. This is caused by the need in cities to keep mesquites thinned out to survive heavy winds and storms, so that it won’t cause damage to structures and homes. If the bark is exposed to too much sun, sun-scorch can happen, especially in direct sunlight. Sun-scorch will cause permanent damage to the sapwood layer under the bark. The dead tissue and cracked bark can cause a secondary infection and infestations like sooty canker and bark beetles.

Sun-scorch can be prevented but it can’t be undone. Reflective paint when placed on vulnerable branches will help a mesquite from being sun damaged. The branches that are affected, need to be removed. The best way to prevent sun scorch is to encourage leaf growth to protect the tree during hot parts of the year by watering and fertilizing. If you give the tree ammonium sulfate once during spring, it helps. Unless it is fed by sprinklers or drippers, water the tree deeply every 2 months from early spring to fall. If monsoons bring plenty of water, then you will not need to deep water.

Mesquite trees that are planted in someone else’s property may not be as strong as the trees in the desert. Most likely they are nursery grown that was planted for use in landscaping and has spent time in a pot. The more time that the tree spends in a pot, the more likely it is to be root bound. Impaired root systems can make a tree struggle to receive what water they need to live, but also makes it prone to falling over because the anchoring isn’t very sturdy. You can try as hard as you want, but it is near impossible to make a wobbly tree anchor into the ground. Whenever you place stronger stakes and wires and putting the tree back in place when it falls, then you are just prolonging the inevitable. The absolute best thing that you can do for a severely unstable tree is to just remove it and then start all over using a healthy tree.

Check out this article that talks about wobbly mesquite trees to gather more information on how you can prevent it and even fix it:

If nothing else, we certainly do hope that this article about mesquite trees within Arizona can help to increase the appreciation for this wonderful native plant as a tree that certainly belongs in the desert that all Arizonan’s call home.

As J. Frank Dobie once stated, “Primroses burn their yellow fires, where grass and roadway meet; feathered and tasseled like a queen, is every old mesquite.”

Liberty Tree Care Offers Tree Services in Scottsdale, Mesa & Tempe

If you are searching for tree service in ScottsdaleMesa or Tempe, Liberty Tree Experts can help! Get a free tree service quote by giving Liberty a call today at 480-482-9374.

21 Nov 2022
Tree Trimming vs. Tree Pruning

Tree Trimming vs. Tree Pruning — What’s the Difference?

When you’re a homeowner that cares for your yard, most likely you’ve thought about tree trimming and tree pruning before. Both are great services throughout the landscaping industry. The differences are minute, though. Pruning is used for the removal inessential branches. Trimming, however, encourages healthy growth. Both services are performed at different times of the year, using extremely different types of equipment, to offer a healthier and better aesthetic landscape. Understanding their differences, though, is vital.

Tree Trimming

Tree trimming encourages trees, shrubs, and hedges to grow in a healthy way. Frequently, commercial client’s trim trees making their property more appealing to potential clients. An improved appearance usually means more visitors.

Is Trimming Healthy for Trees?

Whereas trimming is nourishing when done properly, the removal of too much plant material can be detrimental your trees and/or shrubs. When you remove more than twenty percent of the foliage in one trimming period, it’s been said that you risk injuring your plants. Nevertheless, in most situations, the plant is going to be fine following it recovering.

Arborists generally concentrate on removing greener shoots, which helps promote overall healthier growth. Along with growth, trimming also enhances the appearance of the tree itself.

Tree Pruning

Pruning is not only limited to the maintenance of trees. The term is usually related to the removal of inessential branches and from time to time possibly roots. These branches and roots could be dead and need to be removed from the tree.

Sometimes, branches grow the wrong way. They grow near electrical utility wires or structures. Pruning helps keep unnecessary growth under control.

Is Pruning Healthy for Trees?

Routine pruning is required for the overall health and appearance of your tree(s). Pruning encourages new growth. It also improves air circulation and sunlight penetration, resulting in healthier plants that are more resistant to insects and disease. Without pruning, trees can appear unattractive with dead or unhealthy branches, resulting in even more severe issues like pest infestation and rot.

Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning Equipment Used

Regarding pruning, shears are usually the tool of choice– lopping-shears or hand-shears. These shears are normally strong enough for cutting through thinner branches. For thicker branches, a saw might be needed.

For trimming, trimming shears, and saws are used to provide effective results and overall healthier growth.

Liberty Tree Care Offers Tree Services in Scottsdale, Mesa & Tempe

If you are searching for tree service in ScottsdaleMesa or Tempe, Liberty Tree Experts can help! Get a free tree service quote by giving Liberty a call today at 480-482-9374.

More Articles About Arizona Trees

22 Feb 2021
Best Time Of Year To Trim Trees In Arizona

Best Time Of Year To Trim Trees In Arizona

The best possible time to trim trees in Arizona will vary based on type of tree. Timely trimming can help your trees look better, live longer, and improve overall health. This article will tell you exactly when to cut different tree species.

Best Time To Trim Trees

For all Arizonans, the best time of year to trim certain trees may differ depending on location. Southern Arizona citizens should typically trim trees at different times than those living in Northern Arizona. These differences are based on when the cold seasons set in at various parts of the state. Tree trimming is certainly not a one-size-fits-all task. Different species, located in different areas will need to be trimmed accordingly.

This article will go over the best time to trim these tree species:

  • Citrus trees
  • Fruit trees
  • Oak trees
  • Palm trees
  • Maple trees
  • Mesquite trees
  • Desert trees
  • Evergreens

Citrus Trees

These trees are sensitive to frost damage. While it is extremely rare for the desert to reach frost-inducing temperatures, it is still suggested that you wait until February to trim citrus trees. The prime season to trim these trees starts around the middle of February and lasts until the end of March. Try to avoid trimming any later than the end of March, as the foliage helps protect trunks from being scorched by the summer sun.

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees, featuring apples, pomegranates, nuts, nectarines, apricots and peaches, are best to trim from December until February. Most owners will want to control the height of the fruit bearing tree branches, since trimming makes harvesting all of the aforementioned fruits much easier.

Oak Trees

The colder months of the year are the times when oak trees should be trimmed. Just like fruit trees, it is recommended to wait until December before trimming. Perform any trimming all the way up until mid February, when temperatures begin to rise in Arizona.

Palm Trees

The best time to trim palm trees is considerably later in the year than citrus trees. Experts suggest waiting until after mid June to trim these trees. This is the best time of the year to remove seeds that are forming, plus any dead fronds or leaves.

How To Bring A Dead Palm Tree Back To Life

Maple Trees

Maple tree trimming should be completely avoided during the winter months. During this time, the trees will ooze sap. Trimming will cause the trees to bleed, typically leaving a mess in your yard.

Mesquite Trees

Mesquite trees grow exceptionally fast with long branches developing quickly. Therefore, it is best to trim these trees ahead of monsoon season. The months of May and June are the ideal times to trim mesquite trees. Avoid any storm damage by trimming before the storms.

Desert Trees

Trim desert trees from December all the way through February. These trees need to be dormant in order to avoid any stress caused by pruning.


The month of March is the perfect time to trim evergreens. If you forget or can’t get to the trees in March, then September is the only other month when trimming should be performed.

Liberty Tree Care Offers Tree Services in Scottsdale, Mesa & Tempe

If you are searching for tree service in ScottsdaleMesa or Tempe, Liberty Tree Experts can help! Get a free tree service quote by giving Liberty a call today at 480-482-9374.

More Articles About Arizona Landscaping

19 Jan 2018
How To Trim A Tree - Large or Small

How To Trim A Tree

This guide will teach you how to trim a tree properly, big or small! Learn why trees should be pruned, the best time of year to prune them and steps to prune your trees properly.

When Is The Best Time To Trim or Prune Your Trees?

Fall or winter time is the best time to trim, prune or cutback your trees.

One of the major reasons is because most of the leaves are already gone from the tree, so you can see the scaffolding branches of the tree and also visually inspect some of the non essential branches.

Fall or winter time weather also helps prevent spreading of pathogens and insect investigations in some of the pruning cuts you will be making in the tree.

Why Trim Your Trees?

The biggest reason to prune your trees is to eliminate dead, or diseased or broken branches on the tree. There are many other great reasons to prune your trees including:

  1. For the trees health
  2. Safety for people below the tree
  3. To allow wind and light to penetrate throught the canopy
  4. Create elevation or clearance around structures
  5. To allow for better flower or fruit production

Tree Pruning Safety Tips

  • Use a rope and saddle
  • Wear a hard hat & safety glasses
  • Do not try this at home
  • If the limbs you would like to have pruned cannot be reached from the ground, please call and hire a licensed arborist
  • If the tree limbs are within range of utility wires, please call your power company first and have them come out and do the work

Tools You will Need For This Tree Trimming Project

Tree Pruning Tools You Will Need For This Project

Here are a few tools you are going to need to start this project:

  • Hard Hat
  • Tree Trimming Saddle
  • Rope
  • Safety Glass
  • Tree Trimming Saw

Which Limbs or Branches Do I Need To Trim?

Trim tree limbs that have dead, diseased or broken branches. Also be sure to identify and remove and suckers and water spouts.

Tree Pruning Tips

  1. Look for a strong leader and examine the branch and structure of the tree
  2. Directional prune to tree to make sure it maintains a strong healthy shape

How To Trim A Tree Properly

*Important: Far too often people make only 1 cut up against the tree trunk which results in the heavy limb tearing or ripping the bark at the trunk.

Here is how to trim your tree properly using the best tree cutting method; the 3 point cut!

Step 1. Start By Undercutting The Tree

Come out a little further from the tree, about a 1 foot or so depending on how large the tree limb is, then make your undercut first.

Step 1 - Start By Undercutting The Tree

Step 2. Make Your 2nd Cut 3 Inches Away From The 1st

Then come out about 3 inches away from your 1st cut and make a top cut. This way the branch will fall off cleanly and there is no chance of ripping or tearing at the trunk.

Step 2 - Next Move 3 Inches Away And Make Your Top Cut

Step 3. Make Your Final Cut Near The Trunk

Finally, come back and cut off the remaining stub right next to the trunk to make you third and final cut. Hold on to the stub while you make the cut to avoid any other potential damage.

Step 3 - Make Your Final Cut Right Next To The Trunk

*Important: Make sure you make the cut in the area called the branch bark bridge to allow for optimum healing after the pruning cut has been made


Proper tree pruning is not as easy as it may seem so if you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact a licensed arborist. Liberty Tree Experts is Phoenix Metropolitan’s premier tree trimming company offering professional services for residential and commercial tree service customers.

06 Apr 2017
Why Topping Trees Hurts


When it comes to trees, topping is considered the worst thing to do. While in Hawaii, companies that would top trees would have customers asking if the tree topping was necessary and if it had to be so drastic. Because of no longer working for this particular company, I have the ability of being more honest and less evasive by saying, no. While topping the beautiful trees, it never felt comfortable, because it was causing a bunch of irreparable damages.

The truth is, there is rarely a situation that requires a tree topping. For instance, one of the exceptions is when the tree has naturally died, such as with frost damages which is more common with ficus trees. There are many who are simply scared of the large growth of their trees, requesting them to be topped.

Living within shadows of a giant tree can be intimidating for some. However, trees that have been topped are the most dangerous trees. This is because topping a tree, suckers growing from the ends of a cut will grow quickly. Typically, a topped tree will recover its height in less than 5 years from the tree topping. Generally, faster growth means weaker growth, while the opposite is true too. Suckers that grow frantically, are much weaker.

There are other factors contributing to the tendency of a sucker shedding, such as new growth only being able to attach to the outer section of a branch. Therefore, normal branches have formed a type of root within the trunk.

The larger the branch and trunk, the larger this attachment will be. When suckers begin forming on the outer part of a trunk, it results in a poor attachment, increasing the risk of failure. Storm damage and a trees capacity to withstand it is one of the most over-estimated factors.

There have been situations where an 80-foot high Eucalyptus tree has directly fallen on a house, but caused no structural damages. Although, I have witnessed properly thinned trees never falling over. The tree height, in my opinion, is a small factor associated with the tendency of trees falling over during a micro burst. Usually, it is thicker, overgrown trees that create more surface area and fall over.

What can be done if a tree was already topped?

The term “Crown Restoration” should be an area a professional arborist should be familiar with in the tree industry. Once a tree has been topped, an arborist with experience can try to elevate or repair damages. Generally, after topping, between 5 to 8 suckers try to become the dominant sucker at the top of a tree topping. Certain trees will attempt to self-heal by causing weaker suckers to fall, leaving only the strongest. However, there are safer ways to go about it.

The full process for repairing topped trees can take between 3 to 5 years. It requires a selective thinning of the growing suckers. For instance, the first year two suckers are removed. Year two, remove another two suckers, etc.

When finished, a repaired tree will have a single sucker with a thicker trunk. With time, a stronger attachment will develop between trunk and sucker. The number of pruning’s required to reach the final result will depend on different factors.

Additionally, around the time the crown restoration feels like it is finished, the height may need to be reduced using proper cutting reduction. Therefore, you should not allow anyone to conduct a tree topping on your trees. It is necessary as a consumer to understand the appearance of a nice cut, allowing you to make an informed decision about who you have working on your trees. There are numerous companies advertising ‘Tree topping’ services, you should be cautious when seeing this.

Liberty Tree Care Offers Tree Trimming in Scottsdale, Arizona

If you are searching for tree trimming in ScottsdaleMesa or Tempe, Liberty Tree Experts can help! Get a free tree trimming quote by giving Liberty a call today at 480-482-9374.

06 Apr 2017

When & How to Trim Citrus Trees in Arizona

 was taught the Five C’s of Arizona when attending Elementary school in Tempe, AZ. These were: Cattle, Copper, Citrus, Climate, and Cotton. This article focuses on the fourth factor in the list, climate. While the climate in Arizona is great for citrus tree growing, not everyone understands how to properly care for these trees. One of the largest and most common mistakes made, is knowing when and how to prune a citrus tree. While many stress over ‘when’ to prune a citrus tree, this is not the most significant question. There are some citrus trees that may never need trimmed. The real question may be ‘why should citrus trees not be trimmed?”

Why Citrus Trees Should NOT Be Trimmed

A garden expert with The Arizona Republic was asked by a Valley resident at what time her citrus trees should be trimmed, part of the response included “Homeowners often trim for appearance, but do not realize citrus trees are actually a bush with naturally low growing branches. This is the natural method for protecting bark and fruit…”.

People that drive by the old groves in East Mesa may see old citrus trees and consider them to be overgrown shrubs. It is a common misconception that trimming citrus trees is the same as another tree type, and can cause a shorter citrus tree lifespan in Phoenix.

For this reason, I prefer readers to begin asking ‘why’. What is the reason for trimming the citrus tree? This should be asked prior to ‘when’ citrus trees should be pruned. The overall health of the citrus tree should be considered whether the goal is fruit production optimizing, or just making it appealing to the landscape.

How to Trim a Citrus Tree

When trimming/pruning citrus trees, even at the optimal periods, it should be minimal. It was stated by ‘The Garden Guy’, Dave Owens that “Citrus trees prefer to grow naturally without trimming. The more deadwood and foliage, the better protection from the sun.”

Also, John Begeman, also an Arizona garden expert indicated “The more leaves a citrus tree has, the more fruit and better taste.” In addition, he recommended only pruning “If you must, and only with correct technique”.

A 1987 article from Lowell F. True outlined that while some trimming could be required, but the best approach is to leave low hanging branches, referred to as a ‘skirt’. If trimmed, it should only be enough to provide easier fertilizing and watering. Trimming of errant branches can be done, especially when rubbing against other branches. Meanwhile, the tree’s silhouette created by outer foliage can be ‘shaped’ for appearances, but proper techniques and care should be taken to avoid allowing too much bark to be exposed to sunlight.

There is a single pruning technique that should be used, no matter the time of year, even more important if citrus trees are maintained for fruit. This technique is known as removal of sucker growth. Also referred to as ‘water sprouts’, these suckers sprout out the tree trunk and sometimes the roots. While a layman might find it necessary from desire or intuition towards making the citrus tree more appealing, there are good reasons behind this. It was said by True to “Ensure all suckers are eliminated when developing under the bud union (site of grafting). These are rootstock variety which do not bear an edible fruit. If allowed to develop, suckers take control it will cause your edible fruit to revert into an undesired variety.”

A significant ‘when’ associated with pruning includes limbs which were killed by frost. These should not be removed until after the spring growth has begun, this way you’re sure how bad damage is.

When to Trim Citrus Trees in Arizona

Spring is the optimal time for trimming citrus trees. If they are trimmed between the middle of March to early May, it reduces the risk of the tree being damaged by extreme temperatures. The citrus fruit is ripened during late fall, with most varieties coming in between November to February. It is acceptable to do minimal pruning through this period.

During summer there is risk of heat damage, while winter can cause danger from frost. Citrus trees a very sensitive when it comes to sun damage, especially in the hottest months and days in Arizona heat. If your citrus tree is not properly shaded through the afternoon, any bare branches or trunks will need wrapping or painted (aka. Whitewashed) to add protection from the sun. The areas exposed to direct sunlight in the afternoon are the most vulnerable, these will be on the Southwestern sides. This is the reason over pruning your citrus trees should be avoided. Any branches in direct sun will be burnt, while direct sunlight exposure to the trunk can fully kill the tree.

These are the reasons I emphasize the importance of knowing how and why to trim citrus trees, instead of when you should trim citrus trees. The key factor for when to trim, is the sunlight. The key factor for how to trim a citrus tree is keep it minimal. After all, they are all simply large bushes.

Liberty Tree Care Offers Tree Trimming in Scottsdale, Arizona

If you are searching for tree trimming in ScottsdaleMesa or Tempe, Liberty Tree Experts can help! Get a free tree trimming quote by giving Liberty a call today at 480-482-9374.

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