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How To Trim A Mesquite Tree in 9 Steps

If you have fast-growing trees in your garden, Mesquite Tree would be one of them. They thrive in wet, lush conditions and develop into bushy and unkempt in the presence of enough water. Taming, managing, and keeping a mesquite tree in shape is a job in itself: hence, frequent pruning is required.

You might call a tree pruning service, but budget maintenance can also bug you. Therefore, if you are a DIY person or have budget issues, you might be searching a lot about How to trim a Mesquite tree.

Here is a complete step-by-step guide that we have created for you to make your pruning life an easy and smooth ride.

First things First! It is important to understand that you must decide when, where, and how to cut before pruning a Mesquite tree. It is not just about the cutting part but about the future of your Mesquite tree in general.

If you are in a hurry or want to trim quickly – in whatever way possible- it is not a good thing for your tree. So, if you want to do things properly and with ease, follow these points:

How To Trim A Mesquite Tree
Old Mesquite Tree via Flickr

How To Trim A Mesquite Tree

Equipment You Need

  • For small to medium-sized branches: Anvil Shears
  • For larger branches: Pruning Saws
  • Lopping Shears to cut limbs
  • Aerial Lift / Ladder
  • Sanitizing Solution
  • Water Hose and Bucket for a Cleanup

Step 1: Make Sure it Right Time to Trim a Mesquite Tree

Pruning a Mesquite Tree should never be done during the hot season. It is best to wait until after the rainy season or until fall when temperatures are milder.

  • During the hot season, the mesquite tree will go through transpiration and lose water in excess, leaving it dry and brittle for a while.
  • Since your tree loses water during transpiration, it is not the right time to prune.
  • Pruning during the summer/hot season leads to shock for your tree.
  • Hence, if you still go ahead with trimming during this period, the tree will struggle to recover and slowly start losing branches which finally leads to its death.
  • Also, do not prune a Mesquite Tree that has not fully recovered from pruning in the past.

Step 2: Inspect Your Tree

  • Inspect your tree and its branches by looking up.
  • Check for any dead or infested wood that might injure you if you do not remove it.
  • Pay extra attention to the top of your plant where there might be dead branches, old scars, and cobwebs.
  • Be sure to check the base of your Mesquite Tree for any weak or infected roots.
  • Equally, check the branches of your plant to see how it has grown over time.
  • As you inspect, please note which side of your Mesquite Tree is getting more sunlight, shade, or wind because it affects your plant’s growth pattern and health.
  • So, take note of the above-mentioned situations before you get started.

Step 3: Wash the Equipment with Sanitizing Solution

  • Mix one part bleach and 10 parts water in a pail to make a sanitizing solution.
  • Place your pruning instruments in the bucket.
  • Remove all dead, infested, and damaged wood from its base.
  • Between each chop, rinse your pruners in the sanitizing solution to avoid infecting healthy sections of the tree.

Step 4: Start the Pruning Process

Now, it is time to get down to business.

  • Before you trim your Mesquite tree, ensure that there are no children or pets around because you might injure them if branches fall after they are cut.
  • Plus, it is best to find someone else to help you if your tree is quite large.
  • You want to start at the top of the Mesquite Tree, so it is best if you can rent an aerial lift device to get there safely.
  • If you do not have access to one, use a ladder or climb around your tree until you reach the upper part.
  • Make sure you have a proper footing on the ground before you start removing large branches from your tree.

Step 5: Start with Small Branches

  • Pick a branch that is easy to remove and small enough to hold comfortably in your hands, starting about 6 feet up from the base of your Mesquite Tree.
  • You want to remove about a third to a half of it.
  • Snip the branch off with your anvil shears or lopping shears.

Step 6: Trim Large Branches

  • Cut the thicker branches by cutting them where there is live growth instead of dead areas.
  • Continue until you reach the midpoint, and then make a second cut from the top of the branch towards the base, stopping at the center of the branch.

Step 7: Finish Trimming Branches

  • Remove unwanted branches by pulling them downwards while angling your cut.
  • Make sure you leave enough room for sun and wind to reach the inner parts of your tree and maintain its natural shape.
  • You can also use this opportunity to open up the canopy of your Mesquite Tree.

Step 8: Evaluate Your Tree Before Leaving

  • Before you finish, take a step back and see if any more work needs to be done.
  • You can also use this time to determine how much sunlight falls on different parts of your tree.
  • If you notice any damaged branches or leaves, then remove them before you leave.

Step 9: Clean Up the Area

  • After you are finished, clean up your tools by soaking them in water mixed with sanitizing solution to prevent any infestation.
  • After the pruning process, it is best to let your plant rest for a few weeks to recover its branches.
  • Treating Mesquite Tree with neem oil also helps speed up the recovery process.

And that is how you trim a Mesquite Tree in nine easy steps!


Mesquite Tree trimming is not a difficult process. As long as you are aware of its needs, you should get the job done without too much fuss. All you need is a few simple tools, a touch of patience, and some time to take care of your Mesquite Tree.

Pruning can help enhance your Mesquite Tree’s health and make it look beautiful for years to come. It helps encourage new growth and keeps your plant from getting too crowded.

Never remove more than 25% of the overhanging branches of a Mesquite Tree. If you do more than that, you might endanger the main trunk and stem of your tree.