Live oak trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape. Their broad reaching branches give shade and character to a property. However, like any plant, live oaks need regular maintenance in order to thrive. Pruning is an important part of that maintenance process.
Pruning not only helps maintain the shape and health of the tree but can also prevent potential hazards such as falling limbs or broken branches during storms. In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly prune a live oak tree.
When should you prune your Live Oak tree?
Before pruning your live oak tree it is important to consider when you should do so. The best time for pruning would be in late winter/early spring before new growth appears on the tree.
During this time the wound created by trimming heals much faster due to increased sap flow from the roots which reduces stress on the plant’s system.
Avoid pruning during drought conditions or during hot summer months as this may lead to further issues including susceptibility towards pests or diseases caused through damage inflicted upon it while healing over wounds made from cutting tools used during pruning activities.
What equipment do you need?
In order to properly prune your live oak tree, there are several pieces of equipment needed:
1) Pruning saw – A sharp saw with curved teeth specifically designed for cutting thick branches
2) Lopper – Used for making smaller cuts on branches up 2 inches thick
3) Hand pruner – Ideal for removing small twigs and leaves-
4) Safety gear- It is crucial that safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and hard hats be worn at all times while working around trees.
Assessing Which Branches Need To Be Removed
Once you have gathered all necessary equipment and determined when it’s appropriate for pruning your Live Oak Tree; assess which branches need removal by checking where they grow out from along its trunk (or stem), following their progression outward & upward towards its crown area until reaching specific nodes or points that can be identified as the dominant stem or leader.
The rule of thumb is to remove branches growing inwards towards the center, crossing one another, or rubbing against each other. Such branches will eventually cause damage and invite insects and diseases into the tree.
Step by Step Guide to Pruning
1. Begin by identifying which branches need removal by following their progression outward & upward from where they grow out along its trunk (stem) until reaching specific nodes identifiable as a dominant stem/leader above.
2. Next, cut off any dead wood first using your pruning saw while making sure not to wound healthy bark tissue surrounding it unnecessarily.
3. Using the lopper tool assess smaller cuts on branches up 2 inches thick – this should preferably be done after removing larger limbs since it makes better sense to work with fewer obstructions rather than more obstacles for greater ease of access during remaining stages outlined below.
4.Begin with cutting back any lateral growth developing at an angle less than 45 degrees between itself and its main trunk/stem .
5.Cut larger limbs away from areas on trees where there are signs of decay like fungal growths or wounds caused when previous trimming/ prunings were carried out improperly
6.The final step involves pruning back those remaining unwanted branch stubs down flush with skin bark surface without leaving behind jagged edges that would hinder quick healing over time.
In conclusion, maintaining a live oak tree requires regular care such as watering, fertilization & proper pruning techniques; investing in these activities will help keep your live oak trees healthy & thriving for generations to come!