The Q&A Archives: calif. pepper tree

Question: Can california pepper trees be pruned to keep them from getting to full size?

Answer: Winter pruning will keep a California Pepper tree under control, but as the tree grows (sometimes 40' tall and wide) it may be difficult to keep the canopy in proportion to the trunk. Instead, you might consider the Brazilian Pepper tree, which has a much smaller mature size (about 25'). The Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius, is related to the more familiar California pepper, S. molle, but is distinctly different. The foliar canopy is dense and dark green, and may eventually grow to 25 feet tall and wide. The glossy, pinnately compound leaves are composed of less than 11 leaflets. It produces the same winter berries.

Best wishes with your pepper tree!

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