Prune an Oak: [Importance, Season, Tools, Considerations and Steps]

Holm oaks are tall trees that usually grow in spaces with temperate climates.Their pruning is one of the most important care that must be given to them because they grow a lot and their crown can become quite heavy.

It is a species of evergreen leaves but is capable of withstanding mild winters, providing the necessary shade for summer days.

In this article we are going to review everything that has to do with this topic of pruning oaks, so if it is of interest to you, come with us.

Why prune oaks?

The main reason for pruning an oak is related to the control of the tree canopy.In general, it is recommended that holm oaks be planted in a wide space where their branches do not collide with buildings or other trees.

Quercus Ilex (holly oak) – Plant

But it almost always spreads so much that it causes problems around this topic and it is then necessary to reduce the number of branches. On the other hand, a considerable weight is created in the cup that could entail a risk and it will be necessary to lower it a little.

In some cases it is necessary to work it to reduce parts that are in poor condition, although in general it is not advisable to prune if it is very sick.

When is it better to carry out the pruning of oaks?

The pruning of the oaks must be carried out at the end of winter, when the plant begins to wake up from its winter rest.

In this way, the warmth that gradually reaches the environment will serve to restore its flow of internal sap and will recover soon.

Doing a pruning during the summer or autumn can pose a risk to their health, which will be compromised by the disproportionate loss of sap through the wounds.

What tools should we use when pruning oaks?

The size of the oaks means that strong tools are needed to work their branches. Large garden shears are useful for lower parts and those whose structure is not so thick.

AIRAJ Three-Piece Garden Pruning Shears, 84cm Retractable Pruning Shears, 61cm Hedge Trimmer, 19cm Lightweight Pruning Shears, Best Choice for Professional Gardening Tools
ACE 3 Pairs of Garden Eden Gardener Gloves EN388 – Gardening and Garden Soil Work Gloves – Travail Gloves – Ideal for Rose Bushes and Flower Beds

You will also need a saw, preferably an electric one, to work the tallest and thickest parts.The height of the oaks implies making use of a ladder that facilitates access as high as possible.

Einhell GH-EC 1835 -Electric chainsaw (1800W, cutting length: 325 mm, cutting speed: 13.5m/s, 7800rpm, OREGON quality sword and chain) (ref. 4501710)
Bosch – Garden safety glasses with case

Lastly, it’s worth working with a healing cream for thick branches to help them heal faster.

Healing paste for pruning Masti-Cort Flower 5kgs. Sealant pruning wounds and grafts for trees

It is important to note that all tools that will have direct contact with wounds must be disinfected and sharp.

What considerations should we take into account when pruning oaks?

Before starting to cut branches, it is essential to set a mental route of what will be done, so that everything runs in an organized manner. For this, it is necessary to observe the tree carefully and identify which are the branches that will have to be eliminated in a mandatory way and in what order it will be done.

RWS 10 Quercus ilex seeds, oak, immergrüne oak, ideal as bonsai, Holm oak

The normal thing is to start from those that are further to the outside and reach the corresponding internal branches. Checking the final structure you want the tree to have is also a good idea because that will make it easier for you to make decisions faster as you work.

How to prune oaks without damaging the tree?

So that the oak is well pruned and problems are not generated by this procedure, it is necessary to comply with the following recommendations:

  1. Cut in the first instance all the branches that are not being used by the tree, whether they are sick, weak, dry or withered. Complying with this will help to clear the cup and will also add a plus in terms of its good presence.
  2. Eliminate part of the branches that are more extensive and, therefore, are taking up much more space. Here we must consider the aesthetic element of the cup, so it will be ideal to make it look as spherical as possible.
  3. Identify the suckers that have been born between the trunk and the branches that will be established in the tree. It is necessary to consider that these suckers steal energy from the tree and prevent it from looking healthy and vigorous. On the other hand, if allowed to grow, they are capable of significant damage to the structure of the tree.
  4. Clear some branches that are too low to free up the trunk of the tree. This is a species that does very well with a clear trunk and higher crown, so it is worth a try. However, it is somewhat optional.

With good planning and the use of the recommended tools, your task of pruning the oak will go smoothly.

In the end, when we have a tree with these characteristics, what we are looking for is precisely that it be in perfect condition, especially before the arrival of spring.

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