Oak Tree Care Q&A
When should I have my Oak Trees pruned?
Coast Live Oak Trees should be pruned in the months of August through February. By August the leaves have matured and hardened, and growing has slowed, making these months the best time to prune Oak Trees.
We avoid too much pruning of Oaks during the spring growing season as this can stimulate excessive growth which can create problems like: deformed growth (witches broom), powdery mildew, and excessive sprouting especially where the cuts are made.
A minor amount of pruning and deadwood removal may be done at any time of the year.
How much can an Oak Tree be pruned?
The rule of thumb is no more than one third of its live foliage should be removed in any one year.
Older, slower growing trees should be pruned more moderately.
Are all those moths going to kill my Oak Trees?
Oak worm infestations are generally on a seven year cycle with peak outbreaks usually lasting only 1 or 2 years. The cycles can vary due to weather. Generally healthy trees will not be adversely affected even when with a substantial amount of defoliation in peak cycle years.
Should I have my trees sprayed?
If the worms are getting in your hair, or the moths are flying in your face and driving you crazy, we recommend the UC Davis website (click here) for the best information on proper integrated pest management. This will assist you in asking the right questions of a prospective pest control company. It's important to avoid killing the beneficial insect predators that feed on the oak worms and are critical to the health of your trees for years to come.
Can I landscape around my Oak Tree?
The best landscaping under an Oak is none. However, if you must, then plant drought resistant plants that do not need much water. And plant them as far away from the trunk of the tree as possible.
Some alternatives to heavy landscaping are:
- water permeable hardscape like rock pathways
- potted plants
- sitting feature with chairs or a bench.
What about irrigation around my Oak Tree?
Best to not water from May to October. Oak trees do not like too much water during the dry months! They are subject to Oak Root fungus which can seriously damage or kill the tree.
What about a gravel pathway?
Fabulous, this allows for good drainage and won't damage the root zone.
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