Becoming an amateur arborist isn’t something that you can just jump into on a whim; there’s a good amount of time and effort that goes into planting and growing trees, especially if you’re planning on growing citrus trees. Arborists can not only help you take care of your citrus trees, but they can also teach you a few tips on how to handle a few things on your own. Nonetheless, citrus tree care is also rather time-consuming, which means that it’s often difficult for people to balance a full-time job and other life commitments with the care and keeping of their trees. You may want to work with professional arborists if you’re going to commit to your own arbor.

1. They Require Balance

Citrus tree care isn’t just about encouraging your citrus trees to grow. They also need to be carefully monitored and trimmed and you should remove branches when necessary. It can be difficult for the inexperienced to recognize the signs of disease in citrus trees — but that isn’t so for a professional arborist. An arborist can make the call on when a citrus tree simply needs to be trimmed and when it needs to be removed entirely.

If the disease isn’t carefully tended to in one citrus tree, it can easily spread to the others. Of course, it isn’t as simple as just trimming or removing a tree; this is a very physical task, with a good risk of injury. In fact, tree care professionals are three times more likely to be injured than those in the police or fire industries. You certainly don’t want to be injured yourself so it’s a good idea to work with professionals to ensure that your trees stay healthy.

2. Prepare For Desert Weather

Consider the harsh climate of Arizona, and how it can impede proper citrus tree care. Lots of trees wither and die before their time because they’re subjected to desert temperatures without being properly protected. You must leave enough branches and leaves on the tree in order to create a kind of skirt, ensuring that it has enough shade. A tree’s trunk cannot receive too much sun, as that will limit the amount of fruit it produces. Of course, it’s not enough to rely upon the natural aspects of the tree itself to create shade. Many citrus tree owners add a shade cloth to their trees in order to better ensure that the heat doesn’t overly affect the tree.

3. Don’t Over-Water

Citrus tree care goes beyond merely ensuring that your trees have water. An issue that many Arizona tree farmers encounter is that they actually over-water their trees in an effort to combat the heat of the area. In an Arizona climate, trees will probably receive the most water towards the end of the summer, but no matter when the tree is planted, properly citrus tree care will involve heavy watering during the first year. But once the tree is established, you should taper that off, ensuring that you don’t over-water an established tree. Depending on the weather conditions of the year, you may just have to water your tree once a week during the summer and once every three weeks during the winter. If a citrus tree begins dropping fruit too early, this is a sign that it’s probably dehydrated, and you should plan on adjusting your watering practices when it’s time for the season to begin again. Other signs of a lack of watering include curling leaves, as well as splitting fruit. In Arizona, a constant issue can be granulated or dry fruit; this is often a sign that a tree was subjected to drought conditions. While these are signs that will usually only be noticed once it’s too late for one crop, they can help inform your actions regarding the next.

Citrus trees aren’t exactly finicky, but they do require careful keeping. You’ll be glad you had the help of an arborist when you savor the fruits of their labor.