Do you have a beautiful oak tree but are unsure of when you should have it trimmed?
You’re not alone.
Pruning relies on many factors, such as the tree’s species and the reason for trimming, and can have negative effects when done at the wrong time or in the wrong manner.
This can make oak trimming decisions overwhelming.
But, don’t worry–here is everything you need to know about the best time to trim your oak.
When to Avoid Trimming
Interestingly, the typical harvest season is actually the worst time for oak trimming.
There is a lot of decay during the fall/autumn, as the plant is preparing for dormancy.
Cutting branches during this time of year will allow the fungi from the decay to spread into the tree’s wounds leading to shorter healing times.
In addition, the natural reaction of plants to pruning is to encourage new growth. Trimming when the tree is preparing to halt growing can be detrimental to the tree and its limbs.
The Optimal Time for Oak Trimming
The dormant stage, typically mid-to-late winter, is the best time to trim oak trees.
Hardwood trees, like oaks, should be fully dormant before trimming. To be sure the tree is in dormancy, wait until it has lost all of its leaves and at least two complete frosts have arrived.
Why is the dormant season the best time for trimming?
1. Quicker Wound Healing
When it comes time to hibernate for the winter, trees produce a chemical called ABA (abscisic acid) that stops growth until spring. Suspending growth allows the tree to hold onto a lot of energy.
Since energy is not being used to grow and produce food, the tree can allocate energy to quickly and easily heal any wounds that arise, such as from pruning limbs.
This is why it is beneficial to trim oak trees during the winter dormant stage.
2. Lowered Risk of Disease and Pests
By mid-winter, decaying will have ceased, eliminating the number of fungi and bacteria present around the tree and in the environment.
Also, the risk of your oak catching a pest or bacterial infection is significantly lower during winter.
It is difficult for pests and bacteria to survive in the cold, as they rely on warm and moist environments. So, like trees, they fall dormant during the winter.
In addition, cutting when the tree’s sap is dormant will further prevent pest attraction.
Basically, open limbs will be least likely to catch any harmful infestations during dormancy.
3. Better Precision
When the leaves are off the tree and the branches are bare, it is easier for tree service companies to see which limbs should be trimmed and it makes the cutting itself less difficult.
It also makes pruning all around safer.
Schedule Your Oak Trimming Service Today
Winter is quickly upon us, which means now is the time to schedule your local tree service.
We proudly serve 15 municipalities in the South Metro and surrounding area.
Reach out to one of our experts for a consultation and a quote today!