Answer: Guavas are evergreen, shallow-rooted shrubs or small trees with spreading branches. Growth in California is rarely over 10 - 12 feet. The bark is smooth, mottled green or reddish brown and peels off in thin flakes to reveal the attractive "bony" aspect of its trunk. The plant branches close to the ground and often produces suckers from roots near the base of the trunk. Young twigs are quadrangular and downy. Shaping the tree and removing water shoots and suckers are usually all that is necessary. Guavas can take heavy pruning, however, and can be used as informal hedges or screens. Since the fruit is borne on new growth, pruning in late winter or early spring does not interfere with the next year's crop. Prune in February or early March, opening the center of the tree, to increase fruiting.
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