Even though oak trees are one of the strongest and easiest to grow trees, they do require ongoing care and maintenance to ensure they are both appealing and healthy. Unfortunately, because they are so durable, most people think trimming is not necessary. However, proper pruning will not only improve the look of your oak trees, but it can also help reduce the risk of pest infestations and disease. Here are a few essential tips to follow when trimming your oak trees.

Know When to Trim

Pruning at the right time will help ensure your oak tree's cuts and wounds heal before the start of the spring season. Since this is when new growth occurs, healing must take place before the spring season to reduce the risk of pest infestations and fungal growth that can potentially kill even the strongest oak tree.

Experts recommend trimming your oak tree in the winter season. Your oak tree will be dormant during the winter, meaning it is not growing and in a state of rest, preparing for the new growth of the spring season.

Focus on Diseased/Damaged Areas

Now that you know when to prune your oak, you need to know how to get started. You should focus on removing any branches and limbs that show visible signs of disease or are showing obvious signs of damage.

Branches and foliage that are discolored or decaying should be removed immediately. Consider wiping down your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol after each cut to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. If any branches or limbs are broken, bent, or rubbing/growing on other branches, they should be removed, as well. This will prevent further damage while also improving airflow through your tree.

After removing any diseased or damaged limbs, you can focus on the overall look of your tree. Remove branches that are growing haphazardly or too close to your home's exterior or the ground. This will improve the appeal and value of your tree.

Seal and Protect the Wounds

Sealing the wounds/cuts is also important even though the tree is in a current state of dormancy. There are a few ways to add a layer of protection to these wounds. You can cover the wounds with plastic sheeting or use spray paint. Another option is to purchase a wound sealer from your local garden center. This sealer is specifically designed for covering wounds after trimming to protect the tree's health. While not imperative, sealing and protecting the wounds can be beneficial for your tree's future growth and wellness. 

For more information on maintaining oak trees, contact local tree trimming services.