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Why is Sap Oozing from My Tree’s Trunk?

Spring in the Phoenix and Anthem areas can look like the desert is “waking up.” Spring flowers appear on shrubs, trees, and various forms of cactus. New, light green leaves are sprouting on trees. Local wildlife is out and about, and you’re more likely to spot lizards, snakes, insects, quail, roadrunners, and more. One of the lesser-known signs of spring and early summer can be sap oozing from tree trunks. In this article, we’ll cover: What sap is, Why sap may be oozing from your tree trunks, Pest and disease issues associated with sap, and Ways that you can prevent sap bleeding. Keep reading to find out all about tree sap in the desert and what to do if you spot sap dripping down your trees. What is tree sap? Spring and early summer are the growing season for trees in the desert southwest, which means that the interior parts...
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Which Palo Verde Tree is Best for Your Phoenix-Area Yard?

The palo verde tree is Arizona’s state tree, but do you know all of the different types? Both the foothills palo verde and blue palo verde are native to the state, and both of them are the official Arizona state tree (although some have decided that the blue palo verde alone has that honor). Other varieties are hybrids or are native to Mexico, Central America, or South America. In this article, we include: detailed descriptions of five of the most common types of palo verde trees found in the Phoenix area, ways to identify different types of palo verde trees, differences between the palo verde varieties, pros and cons of planting each kind of palo verde, and the best uses for each type. Plus, we’ve included a few of the lesser-known types as well! Keep reading to learn more. About Palo Verde Trees Palo verde trees are easily recognized by...
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Witches’ Broom in Phoenix-Area Trees

Some tree issues have unusual names that don’t seem to have anything to do with their name. But that’s not the case with witches’ broom – oftentimes, this deformity on trees actually looks like a broom. Witches’ broom can pop up on trees (and some shrubs and plants) for a variety of reasons. In this article, we cover how to spot witches broom, what trees in our area are likely to have it, what causes it, how it affects your trees, and what you can do.   What is Witches’ Broom? Witches broom is an abnormality that can appear on many kinds of trees or woody plants. It occurs when many small branches start growing in the same direction, creating a dense, sometimes circular, mass of branches and leaves or needles. What to Look For If you notice branches that are close together and seem to be growing in the...
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Do Leaves Change Color in Phoenix?

Every autumn, leaves throughout much of the country change from green into brilliant hues of red, orange, yellow or burgundy. In the Phoenix area, our low desert climate means that the vibrant fall colors found in cooler climates aren’t as common. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have any bright autumn leaves to admire! When do leaves change color in the Phoenix area? While Northern Arizona, with its higher elevation, sees leaves change during the actual fall season, here in Phoenix the colors change a bit later in the year. It’s not uncommon to see falling leaves next to outdoor Christmas decorations or to see dots of colorful foliage after the new year arrives. While not all trees in our area have leaves that change color, the bright pop of yellow or orange next to our native plants is usually a noticeable change. Look for leaves to change color in...
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Pre-emergent Weed Control: FAQs for Phoenix Residents

If you’re constantly weeding your Phoenix or Anthem area yard, you may want to consider using a pre-emergent treatment to control the problem. These types of herbicides are applied to stop weed seeds from growing and act very differently from the weed killer sprays used after weeds have emerged. We answer the most frequently asked questions about pre-emergent herbicide use below, including what it is, when it should be applied, if it harms your other plants, and more.   What is pre-emergent weed control? The answer is in the name – pre-emergent is applied BEFORE weeds appear. This type of liquid herbicide works to prevent weed seeds from growing . How does pre-emergent herbicide work?   Contrary to popular belief, pre-emergents don’t prevent seeds from germinating . Instead, they prevent a germinated seed from growing any further. Once a seed has germinated, its root absorbs water from the surrounding soil....
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Why Are My Tree’s Leaves Turning Brown in Summer?

As the long summer months in the Phoenix area drag on, you may notice some of your tree or plant leaves turning brown or dying. Property owners often assume that these brown leaves signal a pest or disease issue. In fact, the most common culprits are much more simple: lack of water, too much salt, or incorrect fertilizer use. Dried or brown leaves may appear to be just a cosmetic issue, but they often signal a bigger problem that should be resolved as quickly as possible. Doing nothing will make your tree more susceptible to opportunistic pests or diseases such as palo verde borers . In this article, we go over each cause and what you can to do prevent or solve them, making your leaves green and vibrant and your tree or plant healthy once more! Drought Stress If your leaves look scorched, your leaves may not be receiving...
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Cicadas

When you think of the sounds of summer, one of the most common sounds in the Phoenix and Anthem areas is noise from cicadas. In this article, we go over some common questions about these noisy neighbors, including how they are able to be so loud, if they can damage your trees, and why you generally hear them during the hottest parts of the day.   Are my trees making noise? Summertime in southern Arizona comes with many unique phenomena – monsoons, dust storms, microbursts, flash flooding – and trees that appear to be buzzing or singing. The noisy trees are actually insects called cicadas, cleverly hidden amongst the tree’s branches. Between the projection of their sound, their clever hiding techniques, and their stealthy moves to avoid detection, cicadas are not easily spotted on trees, but they are widely heard. I’ve read about 17-year cicadas, is that what these are?...
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What’s Eating My Texas Mountain Laurel?

The Texas mountain laurel is a beautiful, evergreen shrub or small tree, with fragrant purple flowers and one noticeable problem – each summer, the plant may suddenly start losing its new leaves and buds. It looks like something is eating the plant, but it’s not always obvious what’s causing it. In this article, we explain what’s happening, what it does to your Texas Mountain Laurel, whether you should be worried about it, and more. Something seems to be eating my Texas mountain laurel. What is it? It’s most likely genista caterpillars ( Uresiphita reversalis ), which hatch into the broom moth They are known to eat the leaves of both broom plants (genista means “broom”) and Texas mountain laurels. Could it be something else? Texas mountain laurel leaves are toxic to most other kinds of pests, but they don’t affect genista caterpillars. In fact, any predators, such as birds, that...
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Spring-flowering shrubs for your Phoenix-area yard

Spring arrives much sooner in Phoenix than it does in other parts of the United States, with wildflowers popping up as early as February and various flowering shrubs showing off bright colors in March and April. While it’s possible to have something in your Phoenix-area yard bloom almost any time of the year, there’s something special about flowers in spring. Between the colors and the scents, you know that a new season has begun. If you’d like to add some spring-blooming plants or shrubs to your yard, here are some of our top recommendations. All can be found on the Anthem list of approved plants .   Fairy Duster Bring a little magic to your yard with a fairy duster shrub. Evergreen for most of the year, the feathery pink or red flowers appear in late winter through spring. Sometimes they bloom again in fall. The delicate flowers resemble the...
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