How is the pruning of holm oaks?

Holm oak is an evergreen tree that we can find in Europe, specifically in the forests of the Mediterranean region. With a height of between 16 and 25 meters and a wide crown of 5-6 meters in diameter, it is a plant that gives very good shade in exchange for receiving minimal care. Pruning is one of the most important tasks that must be done to keep it at an adequate size taking into account the available space in the garden, and incidentally to achieve a better harvest.

So if you want to know everything about the pruning of the holm oak, do not hesitate: below we are going to explain how this work is done step by step.

When is the oak pruned?

Image – Wikimedia/ Liné1

Holm oak pruning is carried out when the tree is about to come out of winter dormancy, that is, at the end of winter (around March/ April in the northern hemisphere). During this time, the crown can be formed without problems, since it has months ahead in which the temperature will rise and, therefore, it will not be difficult to recover from pruning or to resume its growth.

If it were done on the contrary at the end of spring or in summer, which is when more sap runs through its vessels because it is in full vegetative season, with each wound it would lose a lot of this sap, and consequently it would weaken.

When is it NOT to be pruned?

Even if you love doing a bit of ‘hairdressing’ with your plants , there are times when it will be better not to cut any branches of the oak, like in these:

  • if you are sick or have a plague,
  • if you suspect that you have received more water than necessary (for example, during too heavy a torrential rain),
  • if you have been doing work with a walking tiller or similar in the land near its trunk,
  • And of course, it must not be pruned either in summer or winter, and less if it is very cold.

How to prune the oak?

To prune it correctly you first need to know what tools you may need.


To prune the holm oak you need suitable tools:

  • Electric saw: for branches measuring more than 4cm thick.
  • Hand saw: for branches between 2 and 4cm.
  • Pruning shears: for those measuring 1cm or less.
  • Healing paste: to seal wounds and promote their healing.

It is very, very important to clean the tools before and after use with a disinfectant product. Think that although we cannot see them with the naked eye, fungi, bacteria, and viruses are always lurking, waiting for the opportunity to enter the interior of the plant and infect it.

In addition, performing cleaning tasks frequently and regularly also prevents other plants from becoming ill.

Step by Step

Now that we have it all, it ‘s time to follow this step by step:

  1. The first thing we will do is remove the dry, diseased or weak branches.
  2. Then, we will cut those that are growing too much, trying to give the glass a semi-spherical shape. Ideally, grow 6 to 8 shoots, and remove 2-4.
  3. Finally, we will remove the branches that are sprouting from the trunk, since it is nice that it is exposed. Also, if you have suckers, that is, the sprouts that arise from the lower part of the trunk, you also have to remove them. This ensures that it maintains its tree shape, which is one of its attractions.

In this way, we will have an oak tree that, apart from being beautiful, will be very productive .

Image – Wiimedia/ Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

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