Live Oak tree pruning #112620
Asked January 21, 2013, 6:16 PM EST
I've been unable to find consensus for my area in regards to time of year for pruning my live oak trees. I planted 20 live oaks lining my driveway in 2004 and initially pruned in late winter, early spring each year to develop good, strong leaders and healthy trees and all is well, so far. However, I've recently seen information and concerns about oak wilt disease in my county, Darlington, S.C. There seems to be a lot of information surrounding the Texas area in preventing this disease but limited amounts of information for my area. I been accused of caring more for my trees than my home, which may be somewhat accurate. I can build a new house, but not new trees. I would like some consensus on when to perform necessary pruning and any special prevention methods to properly care for them.
Darlington County South Carolina
You're pruning your oaks at the right time. In Missouri, we do not recommend pruning oaks between April 1 and July 1 as this is the time when vector insects could transmit the wilt fungus. The goal with any pruning, especially with oaks, is to reduce the amount of time it takes for the wound to heal. We see the quickest healing of pruning wounds is in late winter, early spring prior to bud break.