Arborist Angelo Romeo sees a lot of landscape mesquites and palo verdes that aren’t living to their full potential.

“I see trees not trimmed to standards,” says Romeo, the owner of Romeo Tree Service. That, along with more bad treatment, makes them weak, he maintains in an interview.

“What I discovered is that there are falling trees for three reasons: improper planting, improper watering and improper pruning,” he says.

He hopes to get people to do better by their trees with a video he produced this year, “Mesquites & Palo Verdes, A Home Owner’s Guide.”

The comprehensive 43-minute video, with Romeo as the host, covers care for these native trees from the start.

For instance, he advises that you spread the roots out from the root ball.

It also covers how to properly cut a branch, the equipment you need for pruning and where to place the drip system for irrigation.

Romeo demonstrates his points with saw and loppers in hand. He cuts away at trees to show why and where you’d want to remove a branch, from cleaning away dead material to raising and thinning the canopy.

While Romeo uses mesquites as examples in the video, the same strategies apply to palo verdes.

“The way we prune them is so similar,” he says. “These two desert trees love to be an umbrella to shade the ground and their root systems.”

Other tough topics that the video tackles include:

• How to prune to form a mesquite with one strong trunk, which Romeo says is the best structure for these trees.

• When it’s worth it to save a fallen tree.

• How to remove mistletoe.

• What to do when sap seeps from a cut.

Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at