front yardPruning can enhance the beauty or the health of a plant, but poor pruning can permanently damage it and turn an attractive landscape into an eyesore. If the right-sized plant is planted in an appropriate location (right plant, right place), then little pruning should be necessary.

You may have noticed that plants out in the desert, especially trees, grow low to the ground. When you think about it, this makes sense – the tree is shading itself. Low branches provide shade for the trunk and the roots. The shade also keeps the surrounding soil cooler so moisture will be maintained longer, and litter falls and stays in place providing natural mulch for the plant.

This is why it’s even more important not to over-prune before the onset of the hot summer months. Leave low branches on trees and shrubs so the plant can provide much-needed shade for itself.

However, there may be dead branches to remove, a need to redirect plant growth, or an occasional reshaping. Quality pruning tools as well as some professional guidance will help you prune properly.

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