When native desert plants are irrigated regularly, they can produce a tremendous amount of new growth. This can be good from the perspective of shade and screening, but the new growth is often weak and can fail during storms. In addition, any plant that is growing too quickly can obstruct a view or interfere with pedestrians.
The traditional treatment for excessive growth is pruning to reduce tree size. This method promotes growth in the most desirable direction and allows a precise reduction in tree height or width. However depending on the species, pruning needs can be extensive and frequent. In some cases, tree growth regulators may be a good alternative to pruning multiple times per year.
When tree growth regulators are properly applied to the soil or foliage of trees and shrubs, the length of new shoots can be reduced by 50% or more.
With shrubs, the growth regulator is applied to the foliage and persists for approximately three months. With trees, the growth regulator is applied to the soil and is taken up over time. The effects of soil-applied growth regulators may not be seen immediately, but can last up to three years.
There are also some additional benefits of growth regulators. Because growth is reduced without impacting the amount of chlorophyll in the plant, treated plants can look greener and have denser flowering. Growth regulators can also increase resistance to some foliar diseases. Not all desert plants are appropriate for growth regulation. A Certified Arborist can help you determine if these materials will work on your landscape.