In my experience here in FL, you can not kill them. I have chopped them up, cut them down with the mower, & burned them and still they come back. Even digging them out does not work if you don't get every little tee-niney bit of the roots.
I am no expert on them but, I would do it in the late summer or fall giving them plenty of time to 'heal' before a freeze. Also, this will not interfer with the growing period of spring and summer. Seems like if they were pruned back in the spring, they might not bloom and that would just be a shame.
Break the pads off where they join each other. Don't forget to where gloves (that you can throw away), and use old tongs, cardboard or anything else that keeps your hands and the glochids separated!
Also, you can root the pads you take off. Let them dry out for about a week and then stick the cut end into the ground, not too deep, and water daily for a couple/three weeks. It should root within that time frame.
I just started this Daves garden thing, and not yoo sure how every thing works on this site,but thought I would give ti a try.
I live on the EASTERN side of northern fla. in Middleburg in the woods, just south of Jacksonville, Love plants, but ones that are all yearround kind.
ANY WAY, I was wondering if you know how to prepare the fruits off the Prickly Pear?
Thanks for the info about how to get out the needles that you gave to shawnc12, i lernt something,Boy that duct tape good for pert near any thing Huh! thanks again,