If the branches of the oak trees in your yard have started to look a bit wild, you may feel that it is time to trim some of them back. However, before you do so, consider the following tips for choosing the right time of year to trim your oak trees.
Choose Carefully the Time of Year You Prune
Before you start cutting the branches off of your oak trees, think about what time of year it is. The season in which you trim an oak tree could greatly impact its health and lifespan. Not only do you rob the tree of nutrients that are redirected to heal the point of injury, but you also subject your oak trees to disease and insects.
Unless absolutely necessary because of storm damage, avoid trimming your oak trees after the first of April. Doing so exposes your trees to oak wilt. This fungal disease can be devastating to an oak tree. If the trunk and roots become infected with the wilt, it may be only a matter of time before the tree dies.
Not only do you expose your trees to wilt if you prune them in the warmer months, but you could also attract bugs and termites. When you cut a branch off, you create a wound out of which sap will leak. This sticky, sweet substance will draw insects to the trees, where the bugs may decide to burrow into the wood and damage them from the inside.
Prune Your Oak Trees in the Winter
Instead of trimming your oak trees in the springtime months, prune the branches back in the dead of winter. In the months of December and January, the trees are completely dormant. There is no sap running through the veins of the trees, so any cuts you make will not bleed out.
Another reason why the dead of winter is ideal for trimming oak trees is that the diseases and insects that could damage the trees are also dormant. Oak wilt does not become active until after April, and the insects are usually hibernating.
Using the tips above can help you trim your oak trees while ensuring they stay healthy and free from damage. However, if you have any further questions or feel uncomfortable trimming your trees yourself, contact a tree service that offers tree trimming services to discuss your options for having them take care of your oak trees for you.