Sun City Grand Observations

We have several jobs in Sun City Grand in Surprise, AZ lately. Today we replaced a Mesquite that had been trimmed quite poorly with a new seedless Mesquite from Arid Zone Trees (see this article for more on AZT).

Here is a picture of the front yard with the Mesquite tree that had been trimmed by someone else!

Can you make a Mesquite tree into a perfect ball?!

This kind of trimming seems to be very popular in Sun City Grand, as we see it all the time. It is basically a topping cut, which ruins the tree structurally if it can’t be corrected. Sometimes if the topping cuts are very small (little branches) we can try to do a restoration pruning and try to save the tree. This one was so bad that there was little hope!

The tree was also fairly close to the garage. A Prosopis velutina (native Mesquite) was supposed to be planted here, and instead a Prosopis chilensis (Chilean Mesquite) was planted. These are very different trees and my customer was not happy about the mix-up. Nonetheless, things went fairly well for a while. The tree was trimmed a couple times by the same company. Then last year when this same company came to do the trimming (my customer was gone) and something went terribly wrong! Because of these factors, a decision was made to replace the tree.

Arid Zone Trees has several Mesquite selections available. After some consideration, a seedless Mesquite was chosen. This is a hybrid Mesquite, similar to the Chilean, but slower growing – and it does not produce beans!

We also did some exploratory excavations around all the other trees in the yard – most were planted 4-8″ too deep, as described in this article, but not quite to the same extent. The homeowner is going to pull the gravel and soil out to the drip line and form shallow saucers so the trunks can dry out. Hopefully this will save the trees!

Here is what the front yard looked like with the new tree in place! In a  couple years the new tree will be as large as the one we replaced, but it will be BEAUTIFUL!

Doesn't this look better?!