tree pruning

Payson and Rim Country have abundant examples of badly pruned trees: from mangled maples to pitiful Ponderosa pines. Don’t force your beautiful shade trees to suffer from improper pruning. Winter is the optimal season for pruning — trees have dropped their leaves and are dormant during the coldest months of January and February — making them more adaptive to pruning.

Cooperative Extension Agent Chris Jones and Master Gardener Jan Groth team up this week to host an online webinar at 11 a.m., Thursday Jan. 21, taking both camera and pruning shears outside for a live demonstration of proper pruning techniques.

As always, the program is offered free and online by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County, part of a weekly webinar series exploring a variety of horticultural and natural resource topics applicable to Gila County.

What makes now the perfect time to prune a tree here in Rim Country? Tree are dormant, sap flow is minimal, allowing trees to respond to pruning cuts before buds emerge in the spring.

Groth will demonstrate best practices for pruning a young ornamental shade tree. She will show the best tools to use and talk about safety, discuss how to select which branches to cut, make proper pruning cuts, and remove larger branches.

“This webinar is perfect for first timers, new residents and anyone who wants to be confident they are pruning the right way. Be sure to stick around for the question-and-answer time near the end of the session, too. Groth is the Master Gardener Instructor and Coordinator for Cochise County Cooperative Extension in Sierra Vista,” said Jones.

She is known as one of the most passionate plant-lovers in her area, and her demonstration of tree planting in October had a great response from webinar participants.

Groth is also the curator for the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista, which is Cochise County’s first educational botanical demonstration garden and opened to the public in 2017.

Zoom link for the webinar is; an easier way to connect is via convenient ‘click here’ direct hotlinks at, where you can also view previous programs from the past six months such as ‘Winter Gardening’ and ‘Payson’s Fire Adapted Community Code’. Join a growing green-thumbed audience for these informative online chats. Cooperative Extension’s website above has an array of links to programs, talks and resources. Links are also conveniently posted each week on Facebook, where you can join Chris Jones and a local network of gardeners and green-thumbed followers at Want to be added to Jones’ invite list for upcoming gardening and horticulture workshops? Call him at 928-402-8586 or email

Future Programs

Jan. 28 — Space Mission Earth with Charles Beck, author, community planner

Feb. 4 — Starting Vegetable Seedlings with Rich Johnson, UA Gila County Master Gardener.

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