When is the Best Time for Tree Trimming Your Oaks

Austin Tree Service

Many people wonder when the best time for tree trimming your oaks is. The fact is there is no one right answer. If possible you should avoid tree trimming during the spring which, in this case corresponds to February 1st and June 30th.  In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t trim your oak trees during this period. If you have any questions, please contact Austin Tree Service for more information.

The reason you want to prevent trimming trees during February 1st to June 30th is largely because of tree diseases like oak wilt, also known as Ceratocystis fagacearum.  It’s the most destructive disease that affects live oaks and red oaks in this area. Many tree deaths are attributed to the tree-to-tree spread of this pathogen once an oak wilt center becomes established. New infection centers can occur when beetles carry the oak wilt with them to fresh, open wounds on healthy oaks.

  • Wounds include damage caused by wind, hail, vehicles, construction, small animals or pruning. You can reduce the risk of fungal spread when tree trimming your oaks by doing the following:
  • Paint fresh wounds with wound dressing or latex paint immediately after tree trimming or live tree removal whenever they occur.
  • Clean all your pruning tools with a 10% bleach solution or Lysol™ between sites or trees.
  • Debris from a diseased red oak should be immediately chipped, burned or buried.
  • Avoid tree trimming during the spring as defined as February 1st to June 30th. The only reasons to prune in spring are to:
    • Aid public safety concerns such as having a hazardous limb in the way, if there’s a traffic visibility issue or you need to clear emergency utility lines of limbs.
    • Repair damaged limbs from storms or other anomalous issues.
    • Remove limbs that rub against a building or on other branches. You will also want to raise low limbs over a street.
    • On construction sites you should prune just the live tissue that is needed to require clearance.
    • Get rid of dead branches where live tissue is not exposed.

Tree trimming for any other reasons should be conducted before or after this period. No matter when you prune, you should use proper techniques such as making proper cuts and avoiding injuries to the tree such as topping or excessive crown thinning. If you have any questions about this, you should contact Austin Tree Service at 512-341-8888. We’re happy to help trim your oak trees.