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Monsoon Tree and Shrub Care

Arizona Monsoon Tree and Shrub Care

In Arizona, our opinion of monsoon wind and rain is generally based on the amount of dirt and damage it may or may not blow our way.

  1. If you’re on the outer edge of the storm and get just enough of the wind and rain to have tan desert sand stuck to your car like monsoon polka-dots, you’re probably mildly annoyed and will be making a trip to the car wash.
  2. If you’re in the middle of the storm and you get to enjoy the wind, heavy downpour, and lightning from the comfort of your home, you’re probably LOVING IT!
  3. If the power goes out in your house, the rain gets into your house, or a tree (or tree limb) falls on your roof, you’re HATING IT!

We can’t prevent the wind and rain from blowing through, but we can offer some tips to help your trees and shrubs survive the monsoons.

Arizona Monsoon Shrub Care

The first thing to be aware of is that shrubs need and love our Arizona monsoons! As dry as it usually is here, the rainwater is a great help, the wind strengthens the fibers of the branches and helps remove the dead leaves stuck between the branches. Most importantly, the lightning creates ammonium and nitrate in the atmosphere, with every flash, which the rain carries to the ground and into the soil. These forms of nitrogen are great fertilizers for your shrubs.

If you want to give your shrubs a little extra help this monsoon season, you can:

  • Pull the grass and weeds that may be trying to overwhelm your plants.
  • Trim and remove the dead branches, leaves, etc. from your plants.
  • Make sure your shrubs aren’t overgrown so they will be less likely to be damaged in the monsoon.

Arizona Monsoon Tree Care

Much like shrubs, trees can benefit a lot from our monsoons, if they survive. The nitrogens created by the lightning and carried to the tree’s roots by the rain are great fertilizers for trees. Trees become more brittle when dry, obviously, so the more moisture it can absorb, the better.

If you’re concerned that you may lose your tree with the next monsoon, you can:

  • Keep your trees watered and fertilized throughout the year, so they don’t dry out and become brittle in the summer.
  • Remove all dead branches from the canopy, because deadfall can be very dangerous.
  • Trim the canopy back. If your tree is too top heavy, branches or the trunk could be more prone to break.
  • Support the trunk. Tying trees to supports (especially young trees and trees with taproots or shallow roots) can brace them up. If the soil becomes saturated, the roots can pull out and the tree will topple over.

We need a lot more rain in Arizona this year, and these monsoons are our best chance. If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your yard healthy and safe this summer.


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