Oak trees are common, and you can find them across all the country. In the US, Tampa Bay oak trees are a common choice because of the benefits that they offer. They provide shade, are home to many beautiful birds, and are a great addition to the ecosystem.
Just like other plants, the oak tree also needs care and attention. And the one thing that it needs is pruning. It is an important service that maintains the tree, its health and ensures its safety. Due to the removal of dead branches, they can give energy to other parts.
Therefore, pruning your oak tree is something you need to keep in mind to take proper care of your tree. However, many people consider that they can prune their oak trees any time of the year.
Although it is partially true that you can prune most trees throughout the year, this is not the case with an oak tree. Pruning it at the wrong time can lead to damages and hurt the tree.
That is why you need to ensure it’s the right time before you get on with the task. There are certain guidelines that you should follow to prevent the sudden death of an oak tree.
What is the Best Time throughout the Year to Prune Your Tampa Bay Oak Tree?
Many people tend to do trimming in the summers. However, in the case of an oak tree, the most suitable time to prune a tree is from the 1st of November to the 31st of March.
So, the best time is just at the end of the fall season and before the beginning of the spring season. This period is ideal as oak trees are less prone to any infestations or diseases.
What Happens if You Trim Oak Tree in Summer Time?
If you decide to take on the task of pruning your oak tree during the summer season, it can lead to some problems for the tree. By cutting through the branch of an oak tree, you are leaving a wound on the tree.
Now a fresh wound is more likely to get infections which can often lead to serious complications. These consequences can also include the death of your oak tree.
Although oak trees are strong, they are still vulnerable to infections and fungal diseases. And one such disease that is common among the oak tree is known as the oak wilt. It is a deadly fungal disease that can affect oak trees.
What is Oak Wilt?
Oak wilt is a type of fungal disease common in different types of oak trees, including the Tampa Bay oak tree. It can occur if you prune the trees at the wrong time of the year, usually in the summertime (April to September).
There are two possible ways through which this fungus can infect the oak tree. The first is through open wounds that usually occur after the pruning of the tree. A small beetle is the main reason that causes this fungal disease.
Usually, the small beetle brings the fungus from an infectious tree to a healthy tree. After the fungus enters the tree from the wounds, it then spreads to the entire tree causing oak wilt.
Another way through which the fungus makes its way into the tree is through the root system. The roots become a source for the fungus to enter the tree if it is near an infected tree (50 to 100 feet).
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How to Prevent It?
One of the easiest ways to make sure that this disease does not infect your oak tree is by pruning it at the right time. As stated above, the best time to begin pruning is from November till the end of March.
Avoid trimming it during the summertime as it makes the tree more vulnerable to the disease. If you’re cutting huge branches and the weather is warmer, you might want to try coating the raw wound with home latex paint to safeguard it.
Also, another thing that you need to do before you go pruning your tree is clean the tools properly. It is an important phase as you don’t want rusty tools cutting through the trees. Make sure to clean the tools properly with bleach or alcohol before and during the cuts.
Furthermore, you need to check other trees nearby as well if they have this disease or not. Remember, oak trees can catch oak wilt from other trees as well through roots. So, this is also a prevention form.
If you detect brown leaves on the oak tree during the summer, you may need to dig a hole around it to prevent the infection from progressing via the root system.
Check with the Local Authorities Before You Begin Pruning
With the information that you now have, you might be ready to go and chop away the dead branches from your oak tree. But you need to check with your local authorities before you bring out your tools.
There are laws by many states and cities that protect some types of oak trees. And if the local laws require special things before you can trim the Tampa Bay oak tree, you need to check with the relevant authorities.
You need to get a permit or have the proper paperwork before you begin trimming the precious oak trees. Failure to do so can land you in a series of legal problems.
We hope you now have comprehensive knowledge about trimming oak trees. Pruning the trees ensures that the trees live longer and give them a more aesthetic appeal.
However, pruning might not be simple as it sounds. It is a difficult and dangerous job. If you do one step wrong, you can get yourself, or the tree hurt. So, if you are not sure about it, it is better to take the help of an expert in this matter.