Oct 19, 2019
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When to trim your Oak Trees

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Proper trimming helps to refresh trees as they will grow with gusto in the next season. Failure to use the right tools and recommended practices when trimming oak trees will lead to their death. Timing is also crucial to ensure the survival of an oak tree.

When is the best time to trim?

If you trim an oak tree during spring or summer, apply latex house paint to the cuts to keep sap-feeding beetles away. Professional arborists recommend homeowners to trim their trees during the winter season as this reduces the chances of oak wilt infections.

Common Signs of Oak Wilt Infection

Some of the common indicators of oak wilt infection include foliar symptoms, patterns of tree mortality, and fungal mats. However, if you are uncertain about the signs of the disease, a laboratory expert should be consulted to give the right diagnosis.

The effect of the oak wilt infection varies depending on the variety of an oak tree. In most cases, live oak trees defoliate and die within six months after showing signs of oak wilt infection. Some of them may survive for a longer period. In some cases, a few live oak trees in an oak wilt center may survive and remain unaffected.

The leaves of live oak trees with the infection develop yellow veins, which turn yellow after some time. In some cases, the diseased live oak can exhibit vein branding, where the veins tend to gain a darker green as compared to the other parts of a leaf.

Another common sign of oak wilt infection is margin burn, where the margins of leaves of affected oak trees turn brown. Dead leaves under a diseased oak tree can be seen for several months when defoliation starts.

White oaks have strong resistance against oak wilt, and they rarely die after the infection. Usually, a white oak tree that has oak wilt infection only displays canopy loss and the disease in most varieties does not spread to other nearby trees.

When red oak trees are affected by oak wilt infection, they die after about six weeks. During the summer season, diseased red oaks can be easily spotted as they gain an autumn-like coloration. The coloration symptom is known as flagging.

Are there bad times to trim Oak Trees?

According to experts, people should avoid trimming their oak trees between April and Early July as this will help to reduce the chances of oak wilt infection. Sap-feeding beetles spread the fungal disease. However, root grafts can also lead to the spread of the infection. Controlling the spread of the disease is not an easy task, and homeowners should focus on preventing infections by avoiding trimming of oak trees during the warm season.

If your oak trees are damaged by natural calamities such as a storm during a growing season, latex paint should be applied. If you notice that your firewood has been affected by the fungal disease, use a plastic tarp to cover it and ensure that you leave no openings. The tarp used to cover your firewood keeps fungus away and generates heat, which kills the fungus inside the firewood.

What does pruning from an arborist cost?

The typical charges when you hire an expert to trim your trees ranges between $250 and $500. If you have a tree with a height of more than 50 feet, you may be required to pay up to $1,000. The total cost of trimming trees in your home depends on several factors, as explained below:

1. The Size of a Tree

Tall trees have more branches that need to be trimmed and require the use of more equipment. Therefore, experts will charge more to trim long trees than smaller ones. It is recommended for you to discuss the cost of the work before you hire an arborist.

2. Location of a Tree

The location of a tree will also determine the time used to do the trimming. In some cases, the location of a tree may not allow trimmers to use their specialized equipment, and they may need to climb the tree physically.

If a climber does the work, you may be required to pay up to 40% more as compared to when a bucket truck is used. Another situation where the location of a tree may lead to higher charges is when a tree is located near power lines as arborists will need to use ropes to take the branches down.

3. The Number of Trees

The overall charges for trimming your trees will also depend on the number of trees that need to be trimmed. Disclose the number of trees when requesting a trimming quote to ensure that you get an accurate estimate for the services.

4. The Health of your Trees

Some of the things that can have a negative impact on the health of a tree include attacks by pests and natural calamities such as lightning. If a tree is weak, arborists may need to take measures such as using cables to ensure the safety of your property and improve the health of the tree.

In such cases, you will pay more for the trimming and maintenance costs when you hire an expert to do the work. For instance, a tree with a fungal infection becomes unstable as the fungus deplete the vital nutrients that a tree requires to grow healthy.

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