Answer: You didn't describe the pruning you've seen but there are two general reasons for trimming pepper trees. Some gardeners trim the leaves and branches at a certain height so they can walk under them to mow with ease. Others trim them even at the bottom just because they like the way it looks - nice and neat. Sometimes pepper trees are trimmed immediately after flowering to eliminate the possibility of their developing fruit. Although birds love the fruit, the fallen fruits can be messy and each fruit has the potential to sprout into a new pepper tree.
Pepper tree roots are considered quite invasive. However, if your tree has been in place for 20 years and you haven't noticed any problems, the roots are probably deep enough that they won't do any damage in the future.
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