If an oak tree needs to be pruned it should be. So now we could say that the safest time to prune oaks would begin in mid-July and extend through mid-February early February in South Texas and the time to avoid would be just the inverse.
To promote healthy wood and minimize damage aim to remove dead damaged diseased and rubbing branches.
When to trim live oaks. Trimming them is just fine but the timing of the trimming is crucial. Follow the three-step cutting method. You can jeopardize their health and future growth.
Mid-February early February in South Texas through mid-July. The beetles responsible for spreading the fungus that causes oak wilt are most. The best time to trim oak trees in Texas is in the fall and winter.
Trim off the diseased section of the branch making the pruning cut in the healthy tissue 14 to 12 inch above a lower branch junction or trunk. I typically work on oaks in fall at the end of the growing season or before they start growing again in spring. Your oak is much less likely to contract illness and be infected by fungi during these times.
Warning Do not prune from April through July to prevent the spread of oak wilt. This only applies to coast live and cork oaks as I dont have as much experience with other oaks. The oak wilt fungus is inactive at temperatures above 95F so it was later determined that pruning could be done after mid-July and running through Valentines Day.
Again the suckering is why Live Oaks are the dominate tree in Hill Country and the formation of colonies is why they can be wiped out by Oak Wilt if one of them contracts the disease. Dead and broken branches can be removed at any time. A younger Oaktree less than 10 years old should be checked by a certified arborist every 3.
When pruning follow these rules to ensure proper pruning and prevent oak wilt. Live oaks typically do a leaf exchange in late winter so it is better to trim them in late fall or early winter. Trimming your tree during the winter months allows it to care for its wounds in spring when it will recover more quickly.
Other experts say a tree shouldnt be pruned from April to October. You can also prune an oak tree for purely aesthetic reasons to affect the shape and overall appearance of the tree. If you choose to continue to trim the suckers be sure to do it in the hottest part of the summer or in the JanuaryFebruary time period when the sap-feeding beetles in the family Nitidulidae are less.
1 Wait until after the first frost of the fall season to prune your oak tree. Younger specimens might need a little more often as formative pruning in the early stages is critical. To avoid the problems of oozing sap and attracting pests such as beetles it is best to trim your oak tree in the middle of winter when bugs are dormant or frozen.
The reason for the concern is oak wilt. Considering a live oak Quercus virginiana grows into a magnificent shade tree that is wind- salt- and drought-tolerant trimming it when young ensures good branch structure. The riskiest time of year to prune your oak tree according to some experts is between February 1 and June 1.
It depends a lot on the climate in which you live and what months are the coldest. It is critical to avoid trimming during oak wilt season February-July if at all possible. Prune young oaks in mid to late winter or January through March.
Best Time for Pruning. Odd discoloration of live oak leaves is important clue to identification of oak wilt invasion. The simplest and easiest way to explain this is that if an oak tree has limbs rubbing against the roof or hitting cars in the driveway or if limbs are being broken by large vehicles driving down the street then the tree has cracked broken or rubbing limbs causing constant sap flow.
To avoid the Nitidulid beetle and tree wilt in general it is best to trim live oak trees during the late fall or winter months when the cold makes the insect least active during the year. Trimming a mature Oak tree every 5 7 years helps to enhance the health and vigor of the tree. Large branches greater than 1 inch should be undercut to minimize additional damage and help the wound heal faster.
I usually do mid-season pruning in May or June but am starting earlier this year to coincide with their pause in producing new growth. Avoid excessive pruning of live oaks.