Caring for Citrus Trees in Arizona


How to Best Plant and Care for Your Citrus Trees in Arizona

If you are thinking about planting citrus trees in Arizona, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind pertaining to their planting and care. Even though Arizona does provide you with access to an optimal climate for citrus trees, there are a few things you’ll want to consider for their optimal health and growth.

Position your Citrus Trees Appropriately

First, you need to make sure that your citrus trees are appropriately exposed to enough sunshine. Sunshine is critical when it comes to cultivating any type of citrus. In general, you want to make sure that your citrus trees are going to sit in direct view of the sun for at least five hours per day. At the same time, the more exposure you can give them, the better. Try to plant your citrus trees in an area where they will be exposed to the north. That way, they can benefit from as much radiated heat as possible. You may also consider placing your citrus trees near a wall so that they will be protected from strong winds.

Plant Your Citrus Trees Properly

The planting depth of your citrus tree is just as important as watering correctly. Make sure the root flare is exposed when planting. Planting too deep can dwarf a tree and not allow it to establish properly, reducing crop production and longevity of life. When you are ready to plant your citrus tree, make sure that the hole that you dig is at least twice as wide as the pot in which your citrus tree is located. Furthermore, it should also be about one and a half times as deep as the pot itself. Take some of the soil that you have removed from the hole and mix it with some compost. Then, put the tree in the hole and fill it with plenty of soil. Water it well and make sure that the soil is packed tight, but not too tight. 

Water Your Citrus Trees Regularly

Your citrus trees are also going to require plenty of water. Try to make sure that you irrigate them at least once or twice per week for at least six weeks after you initially plant them. That way, they will have plenty of time to get established. Make sure the ground also has plenty of drainage. This will prevent the roots from rotting. Think about watering your citrus plants either early in the morning or late in the evening. That way, they will have the most time to use the water before it evaporates in the sun.

Trust Green Keeper Tree Care for Help with Your Citrus Trees!

If you are looking for additional information or help with your new or area already established citrus trees, give Green Keeper Tree Care a call today!

Why Desert Trees Blow Over in Monsoons and Dust Storms


Hoping to Keep Your Trees During the Monsoon This Year? Here Are Some Tips.

Have you lived in the Valley for at least one summer?  If so, you’ve probably seen the aftermath that often follows the storms during the Monsoon (aka rainy season). Typically, that includes a lot of broken tree limbs and even uprooted trees. You would think that desert trees would be a little more sturdy considering they’re in, well, the desert. So, why is it that some trees hold out strong throughout all of the storms, and others seem to snap like twigs? Though there can be several contributing factors, two of the most common things that play a part are issues with watering and pruning.


When watering their trees, people often only water near the base of the trunk and don’t water long enough. As a result, the tree develops a shallow root system and is likely to be uprooted during a high-wind storm.

In order to have a sturdy foundation and grow properly, desert trees require “deep watering”. Deep watering entails watering in a wider area around the tree for a longer period of time. That way, the water can get deeper into the ground. This allows the root system of the tree to grow deeper, thus strengthening the base of the tree and making it less likely to be uprooted.


Another common reason for desert trees getting blown over during Monsoon storms is that the canopy of the tree becomes too thick and almost has an umbrella or parachute-like effect. Instead of the wind being able to blow through the canopy of the tree, it gets trapped in the top-heavy canopy, and the pressure from the wind can become too much for the tree to handle, (especially if the root system is weak).

To combat this, it is important to regularly have your desert trees pruned. This will prevent the canopy from getting too thick and will allow the wind to pass through more easily. 

How Green Keeper Tree Care Can Help


We  know that we can’t prevent all of the damage that might result from the intense Monsoon storms. However, we can provide preventative maintenance that will help decrease the likelihood of losing your tree(s). When necessary, we can also assist in tree removal following storm damage. Need to schedule tree care services? Give us a call at 480-822-8775 or fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch with you shortly!

Don’t Prune Palm Trees in the Winter

How often palm trees should be cut back

Arizona is a beautiful state with the capacity to grow plants and trees from all over the world, and palm trees are among the most common, at least here in the valley. Palm trees are made for the heat and can grow in Arizona as well as they do in the tropics, without too much trouble. They need little maintenance and only need to be trimmed or pruned once or twice a year, but knowing when to prune palm trees is the tricky part. (Hint: Don’t prune palm trees in the Winter.)

Did You Know?

Many Arizonans consider winter the perfect time of year to prune trees because most trees come from colder climates than ours and go dormant in the winter, but you don’t actually want to prune palm trees in the winter. In fact, there are some people who suggest never trimming your palm trees, but that isn’t a practice we recommend.

There are a number of different heights and types of palm trees, but despite their differences, one thing is universally true—they look nicer and healthier when they’re properly maintained. Here are a few rules of thumb for maintaining strong, attractive palm trees:

  • Don’t prune palm trees in the winter. Wait until the spring.
  • Only remove the dry, dead palm fronds.
  • Call a professional for anything you can’t comfortably reach from a 5-6ft  A-frame ladder.
  • Trim Safely.

Waiting Until Spring

There is a great reason to wait until spring to prune your palm trees: Insulation. Dead palm fronds, though they are ugly and droopy, can protect the trunk of your palm tree from the sunlight and heat of the summer sun, as well as the frost and cold of the winter. Palm trees thrive in Arizona for 8-10 months of the year, but in our cold season, without their umbrella of branches to trap warm air in and protect their core from the cold, you could lose them.

Removing Dead Palm Fronds

Palm tree branches (or palm fronds) are not like regular tree branches. They don’t sprout new branches from themselves supporting more and more weight. Instead, each branch comes directly from the trunk. With other trees, you can trim off branches and manicure the canopy to a pleasing shape, while removing the deadwood. Palm trees have leaves that taper from wide to narrow at the end of the frond, like a bird’s feather. Thus, trimming any branch back will result in a “V” shaped end, which won’t look good.

Palm fronds can be left to their own devices in general as the tree naturally spirals fronds in a manner which staggers the branches, so each one can receive maximum sunlight. It’s only the dead leaves you need to worry about cutting. With a few simple tools like a pruning saw, pruners, and a garden knife, you can remove the dried-out limbs without much trouble. The reasons you need to remove the dead branches are:

  1. Dried out branches are a fire hazard. They can catch a spark quickly and spread it to other trees or structures in a rapidly expanding inferno.
  2. If left to build up, some of the fronds that are very heavy and high up, can fall or be blown off during our summer monsoon storms and other wind and rainstorms. Falling branches, otherwise known as “Widowmakers” are unpredictable, but as you drive around the valley in the summer, you will probably see some dried out fronds hanging in neighboring citrus trees, over fences, or from power lines.
  3. Rodents and birds like to make nests in or behind dead hanging fronds. They also often burrow into the trunk of the tree itself. This can damage and even kill the tree, which presents a whole host of other problems, such as dead palm trees snapping and falling over in a monsoon, which would be like a thousand-pound widowmaker.

When to Call in a Professional

If you’re pruning your trees yourself, you’ll need to be sure you have a ladder you can reach the fronds with, without standing on top of the ladder or leaning it against the tree. Few things are as disorienting as balancing on a ladder and working with your arms over your head. It’s easy to lose your balance and fall or get knocked off of your perch. Not to mention a 10lb+ cutting tool over your head and a 30-100lb tree branch that you’re cutting off. Please stay safe: It’s cheaper than hospital bills or funeral arrangements.

If you don’t have the tools, the time, or the desire to prune your palm trees, give us a call. We’ll give you the information you need to know, and we’ll prune them safely and quickly. If you are considering pruning it yourself, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

DIY Safety Tips

If you are able to manage your own palm tree cut, there are some safety tips that will help you.

  1. Start with the lowest branch and work your way up and around the natural spiral of the tree. This will ensure that your branches aren’t getting hung up on neighboring fronds, or dropping on your own head.
  2. The closer you are to the trunk the more new leaves you will come in contact with. New leaves at the base of the fronds start out as stiff spikes 4-10 inches long. If you’re not careful, they stab you. I have seen it happen, and it will quickly bring your job to a halt! If you’re at the top of a ladder, it can startle you into an even more dangerous situation.
  3. Wear safety glasses, protective gloves, heavy pants, and a long sleeve shirt while working. This ensures that neither the fronds, the trunk, nor your tools are able to reach your skin during accidental contact.

So, while you’re trimming your other trees and shrubs this winter, remember to wait until Spring for your palm trees. And unless they’re small palms, it’s probably a better idea to call in the professionals here at Green Keeper Tree Care to handle all of your tree needs.