What Time of Year Could a California Oak Tree Be Pruned?

California oak, or live oak, is a gorgeous, tall tree that benefits from pruning for maintenance and growth. This variety of oak is different than other oaks since it stays green throughout the year. There are particular times of the year for pruning that are less stressful for the California oak. Choosing the correct time keeps this variety of pine tree attractive and fit in the home landscape.

Pruning Methods

Prune the branches with the three-cut process that maintains the branch collar — the swollen area at the bottom of the branch. Make the first cut on the base of the branch about 18 inches away from the branch collar. Cut the branch halfway through from the bottom to the center. Make the second cut on the top side of the branch about 1 inch apart from the first cut. Cut through the branch during the second cut till the branch falls from the tree. Create a third cut next to the branch collar to remove the rest of the branch section whilst leaving the collar intact. Taking away the branch collar produces a huge wound on the tree and also promotes decay. Trim a part of a branch by cutting it about 1/4 inch above the branch bud that is facing away from the back to induce increase outward.

Greatest Time to Prune

California oak trees have the greatest results when pruned during the coldest winter months of the calendar year, before the tree starts to bud and generate new leaves. The tree is growing throughout the calendar year, but not aggressively during those winter months. The reduction is increase means there is less risk of infection or insects entering and damaging the tree from the receptive pruning wound.

Winter Pruning

Prune the crown of the California oak during the winter months annually for 2 years following planting. Remove low-growing branches to push the crown to your robust and attractive arching contour. Remove all branches with a narrow crotch to boost branch strength in these branches that remain. Prune the tree although it is young and the branches are low enough to safely achieve.

Pruning Throughout Other Times of the Year

Pruning the California oak from mid-summer to late summer, during the hottest time of the year, is a choice if the winter pruning time frame was overlooked. Complete the exact same sort of pruning in this interval as you would in winter. It is important to avoid pruning during the spring when fresh buds and leaves are forming or at the fall once the tree is dropping leaves that are dead. Pruning during those times is stressful to the California oak and might decrease tree health.

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