When Should I Prune My Trees?

Living in the hot, dry, desert-like climate of Arizona makes it possible to prune trees all year long. However, to keep trees as healthy as possible, the best time of year to prune a tree depends on the type of tree being pruned.

The Importance of Pruning Trees in Arizona

The term pruning refers to more than tree maintenance. It also involves removing unnecessary branches that are growing incorrectly, as well as any dead branches and roots. If weak or dead branches remain on a tree, they may eventually break free, potentially causing harm to an individual or a structure.

Properly pruning a tree also allows the leaves to breathe and reduces the likelihood of disease.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Pruning fruit trees helps them resist the damage brought on by weather, drought, disease, and insects. Additionally, pruning can prevent fruit trees from only bearing in alternate years. Furthermore, it enables the tree to bear the weight of a hearty crop.

The Best Time of Year To Prune Trees in Arizona

For optimal results, consider the type of tree when determining the best time of year for pruning.

Trees To Prune November through February

Pruning during the winter months is much less stressful for trees that are sensitive to Arizona’s hot climate.

Pine Trees

All trees that bear cones (i.e., conifer trees) should be pruned during the winter months.

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves.

These trees include:

  • Elm
  • Mulberry
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • Ash

Once the leaves have fallen, the structure of the tree becomes visible, which makes pruning the tree easier. In addition, the winter months are the least stressful for deciduous trees.

Ideally, avoid pruning frost-sensitive trees (e.g., citrus, ficus) during the early months of winter. However, if necessary, they may be lightly pruned.

February through April

Late winter into early spring is the best time of year to prune citrus trees. If pruning in late winter, it should be light. For heavy pruning, wait until early spring. It is best to prune just before flowering starts.

Prune To Prevent Damage During Monsoon Season

Pruning unwieldy trees before the monsoon season, which can start as early as mid-June, helps reduce the risk of, damage to the trees as well as to surrounding structures or people.

March through April

Many of the trees that develop fruit and flowers can be pruned during springtime.

By pruning in the spring, heavy branches are removed before they break off.

May through August

Fast-growing and drought-tolerant trees should be pruned during the summer months.

Native trees and imports to prune during the summer months include:

  • Sissoo
  • Palo verde
  • Mesquite
  • Palo Brea
  • Willow acacia
  • African sumac

September through October

During autumn, it is okay to prune most of the trees that are not highly sensitive to frost.

At Green Keeper Tree Care, our certified specialists and their teams dedicate themselves to providing top-quality service to each customer, as well as exceptional care for every tree they prune. If you are in the Greater Phoenix Area and need assistance pruning your trees, please call Green Keeper Tree Care today at 480-822-8775 to receive a free quote, or if you prefer, click here to use our online form.