FREE Hands-On Neighborhood Tree Pruning & Mulching Workshop, Saturday March 5th


Plus the opportunity to get your prunings chipped into mulch for an extremely reasonable donation.

Free Pruning & Mulching Workshop:

Starts at 9am at the Dunbar/Spring Community Garden/Orchard space (NW corner of 11th Ave and University Blvd)

The free pruning workshop will be taught by local certified arborist Aleck Mackinnon, of the Pedaling Arborist. He will cover:

  • Best strategies and techniques for pruning trees
  • How best to maintain City clearance standards for trees in the public right-of-way along footpaths and streets.  Additionally, Aleck, assisted by Brad Lancaster and Omar Ore-Girion, will cover:
  • How to reuse cut-up or chipped prunings to conserve water and improve soil and plant life/health
  • How to cut up your prunings, and use them as mulch in an aesthetically pleasing way that will be most beneficial to your soil and plants.
    • “Mulch” piles of prunings that are not cut up enough, look and act like brush piles having more contact with air than soil; and they do not offer the same water-conserving, soil-amending, and pollutant-filtering benefits of true mulches, which are cut up into smaller pieces, and look and act as ground covers, maximizing their contact with the soil and other pieces of mulch.

All public right-of-ways in front of properties must maintain a minimum continuous clear walkway area 5-feet wide and 7-feet tall.

See our neighborhood walkability study here.

We will then move to various parts of the neighborhood to get hands-on experience with Aleck as we help prune trees in our neighborhood's public rights-of-ways.

Chipping Service by donation
Turn "wastes" into resources, as you transform your prunings into mulch

Throughout the pruning workshop day, Omar Ore-Giron will be renting and operating an industrial chipper shredder to quickly turn prunings into mulch. To cover costs he will be asking for a donation of $25 per property for those using the chipper services. This is an amazing deal, as this would ordinarily cost well over $100 per property.

Pruning Requirements and Guidelines for Neighborhood Mulching Service

  • You must contact Omar (, 520-425-9795) to let him know you want your prunings mulched by Friday, March 4. Suggested minimum donation is $25.
  • All public rights-of-way adjoining all properties must maintain/prune a contiguous clear walkway a minimum 5 feet wide and seven feet tall, so two people can comfortably walk along the path side by side without having to duck under limbs. Violations are subject to a citation from the City of Tucson.
  • All piles of prunings left beside street curb (for chipping into mulch) should ONLY be of freshly pruned, green limbs 3” in diameter or less.   No old, dry dead wood will be chipped into mulch (this dulls the chipper blades too quickly).
  • Pile branches so branch butts are all facing in the same direction. This helps ensure that the pile of prunings is not tangled, but rather is orderly and easy to take apart to chip into mulch.
  • Wide branch “crotches” or “V’s” should be cut at their base, so the branch will fit into the chipper (no diameter can exceed 3 inches).
  • All piles must be on the street curbside before chipping service arrives on site.    

This is a wonderful opportunity to:

  • Meet neighbors, build community, and expand your knowledge of local plants and ecology
  • Prune your trees in a way that will improve their health and reduce the need to prune
  • Make walking and bicycling in our neighborhood more convenient, enjoyable, and safe
  • Keep our trees' useful biomass and fertility in our neighborhood
  • Increase our living soil's ability to bioremediate/filter pollutants
  • Enhance our soil's ability to absorb and hold onto water — lessening flooding AND reducing water bills
  • Maximize the amount of carbon we can beneficially sequester in our soils and trees.

Bring hat, work gloves, water bottle, and pruning tools if you have them (we will also have some for those without)

If you have Trees in need of some pruning, prunings in need of chipping into mulch, or would like to participate please contact: Omar Ore-Giron, Dunbar/Spring resident and owner of Native Roots Landscaping at

Note that Otis Squires, of Squire Landscaping – another neighborhood business – will also be on-hand to assist with the early part of the event.

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