It’s that time of year again for winter frost pruning and cut-backs. December marks the month for rejuvenation pruning of sages, oleanders, ornamental grasses, rosemarys, etc. and for deciduous trees to start dropping their leaves. Here are some of the things that your property may expect to see beginning this month and through the frost season (December through February).
Sage Rejuvenation Pruning
It can be quite shocking when your landscape crews come in and cut down the sage bushes to just sticks, but don’t worry, there is a reason for this! Rejuvenation pruning allows for the removal of old wood from the interior of the bush and stimulates new growth in the form of new branches that will produce more leaves and flowers in the coming weeks.
Another change you may notice on your property is the trees. Did you know that Evergreen Elms and Sissoo trees are considered deciduous? This means that they will drop their leaves in the winter and will appear as if they are dying. Other deciduous tree types include Bonita Ash, Cottonwood, Mexican Redbud, Modesto Ash, Mulberry, and Red Push Pistache. At times, due to severe frost, it may result in the mortality of portions or the entirety of the tree. Don’t worry! In most cases their leaves will be back in the spring. Come early spring, your property’s professional landscape company should carry out a tree inspection and take an inventory for removal and new plantings if necessary.
Not all plants in Arizona need to be pruned in the cooler months. Actually, with some species they need to be left alone in order to protect their root ball from frost damage. The spread of dead brush acts as a warm blanket to protect the roots and overall health of the plant so that it can thrive in the spring. Some of the plants on your property including lantanas, ruellias, baha ruellias, oleanders, orange jubilee, bougainvillea, and yellow dots are all prone to frost damage, among others, and will be not be pruned until mid-February or at the last chance of frost.