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The Right Time to Prune Your Oaks…NOW!

Thats right, if you have an oak tree in need of pruning on your list of things to do in the yard, the clock of opportunity is ticking.

Oak trees are best to prune before March. This is due to an epidemic discussed in one of our previous blogs known as Oak Wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum), a fungal pathogen that is most likely to spread spores from mid-March thru late June. When a branch is cut on a tree in the spring this will release a sap that attracts beetles from the nitidulidae family. These beetles will then transfer the spores from one tree to another as they go around looking for sap to feed on. The worst part is that once one tree in a grove is infected it can possibly spread the fungus through roots if they are grafted. This requires severing the connected roots between trees to ensure that the fungus can’t grow from one tree to another. Proper sanitation of saws and timing of pruning can greatly decrease the risk of disease transfer which is important. Once an Oak has been infected there is no cure and the time until mortality is very short depending upon the species of Oak tree.

A climber for St. Louis Tree Pros performs pruning

How to tell if your oaks need pruning:
  1. If you have trees that are growing into your house or other areas they are not desired this is a great reason to prune. Tree branches rubbing on houses can cause shingles and siding to break and fall apart allowing water to get into unwanted areas.
  2. Any sizable dead branches that have damageable property or even worse people and pets below them should be pruned right away.
  3. It is very important to perform structural pruning so that we may ensure the juvenile trees have the best opportunity to develop into majestic beauties for generations to come.
  4. Don’t forget about the importance of reducing weight and leverage on some of the scarier looking branches to decrease that risk of failure during extreme weather events.

If any of these circumstances apply to you please don’t hesitate to call or email STL Tree Pros for a free estimate.

As one of the most beloved tree species in the St. Louis area it is important that we perform proper and
regular maintenance on our Oaks.