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Preparing your Trees for Summer

Preparing trees for summer involves several important steps to ensure their health and survival during the hot and dry months. The most important tasks include proper watering, pruning, applying fertilizer, providing mulch, and protecting trees from heat stress. Watering helps trees maintain moisture and avoid drought stress, while pruning removes dead or diseased branches to promote healthy growth. Fertilizer provides trees with the necessary nutrients to grow and thrive, while mulch helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Finally, protecting trees from heat stress, such as shading or installing windbreaks, can help reduce the risk of damage from extreme temperatures. Following these steps can help your trees stay strong and healthy during the summer season.

We also have an Annual Tree Care Guide.

How to Water

Watering trees in Arizona is crucial in preparing them for summer, as the state's hot and dry climate can strain their survival. Proper watering techniques and timing must be observed to keep trees healthy and thriving.

Watering frequency is one of Arizona's most important considerations when preparing trees for summer. Trees should be watered once a week, often during extended hot spells or drought conditions. The amount of water needed by trees will vary depending on their size and the type of soil they are planted in. However, a general rule of thumb is to provide 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter, applied slowly to allow for proper absorption.

It is also essential to consider the timing of watering when preparing trees for summer in Arizona. Watering in the early morning or late afternoon is best, as it reduces the risk of evaporation and avoids foliage burn from the sun. This also gives the tree enough time to absorb the water before the day's heat sets in.

This method of watering is also critical to ensuring that trees receive the proper amount of water. A slow and steady trickle from a hose, watering can, or a tree watering bag is recommended to deliver water directly to the roots. Avoid overhead watering, which can cause leaf burn and encourage fungal growth.

Soil moisture should be checked regularly to ensure that trees are getting enough water but not too much. Over-watering can lead to root rot and other water-related problems. Mulching the tree's soil can also help conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature.

For more information on Best Watering Practices click here


Pruning trees in Arizona is an important step in preparing them for summer, as it helps promote healthy growth and ensure people's and property's safety. Pruning involves removing dead, diseased, or damaged branches and controlling the tree's shape and size.

One of the most important considerations when pruning trees in Arizona is maintaining the tree's natural shape. Avoid topping the tree, as this can create stubby branches and encourage rapid, unsightly regrowth. Instead, focus on removing dead, diseased, or damaged branches and crossing or rubbing branches, which can cause damage over time.

Another important consideration when pruning trees is safety. Always follow proper safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and eye protection and using a sturdy ladder or bucket truck if necessary. In addition, consider hiring a professional tree care company for assistance if the tree is large or in a difficult-to-reach location.

Finally, it is crucial to properly dispose of the pruning debris to reduce the risk of disease and pests. Branches and leaves should be disposed of in a compost pile or removed from the property, and tools should be cleaned and sanitized after each use.

Click here for more information on Tree Trimming and Pruning.


Fertilizing trees in Arizona is a critical step in preparing them for summer, as it helps to provide the nutrients necessary for healthy growth and survival in the hot and dry climate of the state. Fertilization is adding nutrients to the soil to support the development and health of trees. It is a simple and effective way to improve tree health and longevity.

The first step in fertilizing trees in Arizona is determining the type of tree and its specific nutrient needs. Different trees have different nutrient requirements, so choosing a fertilizer appropriate for the tree you are fertilizing is important. A soil test can help to determine the nutrient levels in the soil and identify any deficiencies that need to be addressed.

When selecting a fertilizer, consider the type of fertilizer and the ratio of nutrients it contains. Trees typically require a balanced mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other essential micronutrients. Organic fertilizers, such as compost or well-rotted manure, are a good choice for most trees and help to improve soil structure and fertility over time. Inorganic fertilizers, such as synthetic fertilizers, are quick-release options that can quickly boost tree nutrients.

It is also essential to consider the timing and frequency of fertilization. In Arizona, it is best to fertilize trees in the spring, when new growth begins, and in the fall, when the tree prepares for winter. Fertilization should be done according to the tree's specific needs and the soil test results.

When applying fertilizer, follow the package instructions and spread it evenly around the tree's base, avoiding piling it against the trunk. The tree's roots should be able to access the fertilizer easily, so be sure to water it thoroughly after application.


Adding mulch to trees in Arizona is a simple and effective way to prepare them for summer, as it provides numerous benefits that help trees to survive and thrive in the hot and dry climate of the state. Mulching is a layer of organic or inorganic material spread around the base of a tree, and it is a critical component of good tree care.

The first step in adding mulch to trees in Arizona is to determine the correct depth. A general rule of thumb is to spread a layer of mulch 2 to 4 inches deep and extend it to the tree's drip line. It is essential to avoid piling mulch against the tree's trunk, as this can cause rot and attract pests.

When selecting a mulch, consider the type of tree and its growing conditions. Organic mulch, such as shredded bark, leaves, or compost, is a good choice for most trees and helps to improve soil fertility and structure. Inorganic mulch, such as stones or decorative rock, can be used in hot, arid climates and helps to regulate soil temperature and conserve moisture.

Mulching also helps to regulate soil temperature, which is especially important in Arizona, where the soil can get extremely hot in the summer. The mulch layer acts as a barrier, protecting the roots from the intense heat and helping to keep the soil cool and moist.

In addition, mulching helps to conserve soil moisture, which is critical in Arizona's hot and dry climate. The mulch layer slows down evaporation and helps to keep the soil moist and hydrated, providing essential water to the tree roots.

Mulching also helps suppress weeds, competing with trees for water and nutrients. A mulch layer helps prevent weed growth and reduces the need for manual weeding.

Finally, mulching helps to improve soil fertility by breaking down and releasing nutrients into the soil over time. This helps to support the overall health and growth of the tree, which is especially important during the hot summer months.

Protect from the Heat

In Arizona, where temperatures can reach extreme levels, it is crucial to protect trees from the heat. One effective way to do this is by providing shade.

Shade is a crucial component in protecting trees from the heat in Arizona. By reducing the amount of direct sunlight the tree is exposed to, shade can help regulate the tree's temperature and reduce the risk of heat damage. There are several ways to provide shade for trees in Arizona.

One of the simplest and most effective methods is to plant trees in areas that receive shade during the hottest parts of the day. This may include planting trees near buildings or other structures or in areas with tall vegetation that can provide shade. When planting new trees, it is essential to consider the mature height and spread of the tree to ensure that it will receive adequate shade as it grows.

Another option is to use shade cloth. Shade cloth is a type of lightweight, porous material that can be placed over the top of trees to provide shade. It comes in different shade levels to choose the right level for your tree's needs. Shade cloth is handy for young or small trees that may need extra protection from the heat.

Finally, surrounding trees with other vegetation can also help to provide shade. For example, planting shrubs, groundcovers, or other vegetation near trees can help to create a microclimate that provides additional shade and protection from the heat.

Click here for more information on Identifying Tree Stress.

In conclusion, preparing trees for summer is an essential aspect of tree care that can help ensure their health and longevity. By following best practices such as regular watering, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, and protecting from heat stress, you can help your trees thrive during the hot summer months. In addition, regular attention to these tasks will help your trees grow more robust and resilient, allowing them to provide shade, beauty, and environmental benefits for years to come. So, whether you're a seasoned arborist or just getting started with tree care, preparing your trees for summer will pay off in the long run.


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