The mighty oak—symbol of strength, knowledge, and endurance, and a beautiful fixture in anyone’s yard. Anyone blessed to have an oak tree on their property knows its value, and anyone who values an oak tree knows how vital it is to take care of it. That means fertilizing the trees when they’re young and keeping vigilant over them as they get older. It also means knowing what time of year you should prune live oak trees.
Why Prune an Oak Tree?
Pruning is usually done to help improve the safety of the surrounding area and the oak tree itself. This is especially important when an oak tree is growing close to buildings. If a tree is closer than six feet to a rooftop, this can become dangerous, especially during inclement weather. Pruning trees can also be done after a tree has been damaged to help remove broken or otherwise ruined limbs.
Tree Trimming Risks
You can damage a tree by trimming it incorrectly. But, if it’s the wrong time of year you can still harm a tree by trimming it the right way. When you trim a tree it excretes sap, and if you do this during the spring or summer, you run the risk of attracting beetles carrying oak wilt. Oak wilt is a fungal disease that can spread rapidly between oaks and spell doom for a tree in a single growing season.
The Best Time of Year to Trim Oak Trees
To avoid beetles and oak wilt, the best time of year to trim a tree is in the middle of winter after you’ve had at least one hard frost. That way, the beetles will all be dead or dormant. If you’re ever in a position of needing to trim an oak tree sooner, though—after an accident or to prevent damage to a building— there are still ways of protecting your oak. The wounds can be covered with a protective sealant to keep out beetles.