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Tips for Pruning Oak Trees Outside of Oak Wilt Season

Tips for Pruning Oak Trees Outside of Oak Wilt

Good news: if you have a mature oak tree in your yard, you would be happy to know that it requires minimal pruning to keep it attractive and healthy. An oak tree is a wonderful addition to any property, but if not properly maintained, it can be quite an eyesore. 

The best time to prune oak trees is during the dormant, cold months. This will help lessen the risk of disease or pests entering the open wounds. Oak trees are susceptible to the ‘oak wilt disease,’ and this is caused by sap-feeding insects that feed on a newly-cut tree. These bugs can transmit the fungal disease to nearby trees. Pruning during the cold months will help ensure that the bugs do not contaminate your tree. 

Here are some tips for pruning oak trees to ensure that it stays thriving and healthy.

1. Be sure to use clean pruning tools

Cleaning your pruning tools can be as simple as using household bleach mixed with water. Ensure that your tools are dry and clean before use. If you are going to prune more than one oak tree, it’s best to clean your tools between trees. This will help reduce the risk of spreading diseases, if there are any.

2. It’s best to prune during the cold months

The time of the year for pruning most trees may not matter. But with oak trees that are susceptible to oak wilt, it’s best to avoid pruning during the growing season. Pruning should be restricted during the cold months when sap-feeding beetles are not active. Do not make your beautiful oak trees a target of oak wilt by pruning them during oak wilt season. 

3. Be mindful about the branches you prune

The pruning technique that you should use should be based on the age of the tree. If your oak is under 3 years, it’s best to trim only the broken or dead branches. This will help prevent the risk of exposure to diseases and pests. More mature oak trees can be pruned to a certain shape, but only prune branches that are growing towards the tree’s center. 

4. Hire your local Dallas landscaping experts

If you suspect that your tree is infected with the oak wilt disease, getting an accurate diagnosis is crucial to reducing the spread. It is best to have the trees inspected by an experienced arborist, as oak wilt is not easy to diagnose with just a visual inspection. 

If you are worried about damaging or killing your oak tree, contact the pros who know best. Southern Botanical, your Dallas landscaping experts, know exactly when and how to prune oak trees – ensuring that they live a healthy and full life.  Our team of licensed arborists know and understand the trees of North Texas very well!