October 24, 2011 @ 10:48 AM

Stately. Majestic. Powerfully Elegant.

These are just some of the descriptors that come to mind when traveling down some of the streets of Houston that are covered under the canopy of broad-limbed live oaks that line them, or pass by a home that is adorned with picture perfect pin oaks framing it, or walking among the red oak and water oak beauties in the parks that are deliciously dripping with moss from each limb. Oaks are naturally beautiful indeed, but the oaks that are most stunning, like the ones you see adorning public places or gracing the landscaping of fine homes, are the oak trees in Texas that are tended with regular pruning.

More than that, pruning oak trees is important. Many oak trees prevalent in southeast Texas, like the pin oak, black oak, and red oak, are particularly prone to a fungus disease notoriously known as Texas oak wilt. Pruning oak trees encourages healthy growth and prevents this disease. Winter is the time for pruning oaks, so if your aim is to turn the oak in your front yard into a mighty oak masterpiece that is ultra-resistant to Texas oak wilt, here are the tips for you.

  1. Most important: prune the oak when it is completely dormant in winter. Pruning at any other time is likely to encourage oak wilt fungal spread, as creating open wounds on a tree that is active means the disease can readily travel through the tree’s vascular system.

  2. If ever an oak is pruned when not dormant, immediately treat the wound with a non tar based dressing. Latex paint is an acceptable wound dressing.

  3. Pruning oaks should begin while they are young, knowing that when young you one can set the foundation for strong structure in the oak’s growth. As the oak tree matures, the aim of pruning will shift to maintaining tree form, health and appearance.

  4. Proper pruning cuts are made at a node, the point at which one branch or twig attaches to another.

  5. Select branches for removal with the aim to increase light penetration and air movement throughout the tree.

Finally, for larger oaks and for mature oaks that have not been previously tended by pruning, do not hesitate to call Southeast Texas Trees LLC to involve the assistance of an experienced and certified arborist. There are so many techniques that go into proper tree pruning, and a list of pruning mistakes to avoid, that entrusting this skill to a professional is never a misplaced intention. It is so much more rewarding to invest in arborists to help extend and beautify the life of your trees, rather than to call them out to have the tree cut down because lack of pruning resulted in an untimely death by Texas oak wilt. So prune your oaks, and your oaks will continue to adorn your life.