I have a love affair with trees.


It’s true.  I love their beautiful branch architecture, foliage and the dappled shade that they provide.  Living in the desert Southwest, shade is a valuable commodity with the relief it offers from the intense sun and cool temperatures it offers.



For all these reasons and more, I can’t fathom why people would prune their trees like this, stripping them of all their beauty and much of their function.


The phrase that comes to mind when seeing something like this is badly pruned trees or how ‘not’ to prune trees.

Unfortunately, this is just one of many trees in this parking lot that have fallen prey to terrible pruning practices.

As a certified arborist, I see many bad examples of pruning, but I can honestly say that the trees in this parking lot are the worst.

Years ago, my husband and I used to live next to the area in Scottsdale and the appalling pruning that was done to the trees was well known by me.  

 On this lovely day, the kids and I were on our way home from the Desert Botanical Garden when we drove past this shopping plaza.  I quickly made a detour to see if anything had changed.  

Sadly, they hadn’t.  So, I took out my camera and started taking photos.

See if you can guess what each badly tree is:


#1


#2


#3


#4

Feel free to leave your answers in the comments section.  After guessing, click here for the answers with examples of what the trees should look like when properly maintained.  

Needless to say, you don’t need to know what type of trees they are to realize that they have been ‘butchered’.

8 replies
  1. Lesley
    Lesley says:

    Do you have any advice for badly pruned rosemary shrubs? Its not pretty! just green and new growth on the top 1/3, and the bottom 2/3 is just exposed brown woody stems. Do you think they will grow back out, or if they can be saved by being cut down very much, as in rejevenative pruning?

    Reply
  2. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hi Lesley,

    Great question1 Unfortunately, rosemary do not seem to respond well to severe pruning. You could certainly try, with the expectation that you'll probably end up replacing it, just in case it does grow back.

    I hope this helps!

    Noelle

    Reply
  3. Danni Black
    Danni Black says:

    Wow, that is definitely a botched tree trimming job. My husband and I have been wanting to get our trees trimmed for a while now so we will be sure to do our research and find a company that will do it the right way. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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