How to Prune Nevada Jointfir


Nevada jointfir (Ephedra nevadensis) is a shrub that grows in zones 7 to 10. It averages about 5 feet tall and has yellowish-gray branches that are erect in form. Paired leaves grow in the beginning of the season, but fall off early, leaving a broom-like, leafless bush. Some of its flower clusters are light-brown or yellow in color, and form cone-like shapes. The Nevada jointfir tolerates drought-like conditions and full sun, and does fine in sandy, arid or rocky soils. Prune Nevada jointfir to control its size, rid it of dead or damaged stems and make it healthier.

Step 1

Remove dead branches and stems as soon as you notice them. They are taking energy from the rest of the Nevada jointfir. Cut them off with pruning shears at the node, or joint, they share with healthy wood. Make the cut on the healthy wood, to lessen the likelihood of spreading disease.

Step 2

Prune Nevada jointfir (except for removing dead wood) in the dormant, non-growing season. The winter is best for really seeing the plant's form and shape, as well as limiting damage from pruning.

Step 3

Cut off the ends of the longest stems in order to control the size. Make the cuts just outside a bud, if possible, to promote bushier and fuller growth.

Step 4

Remove branches that are growing in a wayward fashion or those that are growing down toward the ground. Cut them off where the meet the root mass.

Step 5

Remove weak growth and suckers (small shoots) that are growing at the base of the Nevada jointfir. Cut them off at the ground level. They are taking nutrients and water from the rest of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves


  • University of Texas at Austin: Native Plant Database
  • Four Directions Institute: Plant Database
  • Popular Mechanics: Pruning Trees And Shrubs
Keywords: Nevada jointfir, prune Nevada jointfir, cut branches

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.