Live oak trees are truly majestic as they grow through the years, spreading their long and ever growing branches as they reach up towards the sky with each new year. Live oak trees can live for hundreds of years and are aptly named “live” oaks because their leaves stay lush and green throughout the fall and winter months when other species of trees lose their leaves. Live oak trees stay hardy and strong through the years, but as they grow like any other tree, they have branches that need to be trimmed as they become diseased or grow in ways that is unhealthy for the survival of the tree.
How to Avoid Tree Wilt when Trimming a Live Oak
Trimming is a natural part of care for a live oak tree, but it has to be done right or the tree can be susceptible to tree wilt. Tree wilt in live oaks is caused by an insect known as the Nitidulid beetle which is attracted to sweet smells (live oak trees give off a strong sweet smell when trimmed) and by a type of fungus (Ceratocystis fagacearum) that infects the tree, causing live oaks to begin to wither and die. To avoid the Nitidulid beetle and tree wilt in general, it is best to trim live oak trees during the late fall or winter months when the cold makes the insect least active during the year.
How to Trim the Tree
- Cutting – When cutting off branches during the trimming process you want to cut flush with the tree trunk or flush with the tree branch the trimmed one has grown off of. This will help the tree to heal quickly and to be able to continue growing branches in that area of the tree for years to come.
- Trimming Branches– You want to trim branches that are diseased, rub against other branches or other structures nearby and branches that grow vertical (live oak branches typically grow horizontally and vertical branches hinder that natural growth), remembering to cut flush with the trunk or other branch connected to it. You’ll also want to trim any branches that are too low to the ground as this will help to initiate growth in the upper portions of the live oak tree and enhance its health.
- Seal All Wounds – Once you have trimmed any branches that hinder the healthy growth of the tree you’ll want to cover the cuts with a wound sealer that is non-phototoxic or at the very least a black spray paint immediately following cutting. This will help the tree to recover from the cuts and ensure continued growth after the live oak trimming.
Let Good Guys Tree Service handle all of your Austin tree trimming or tree removal needs. We strive to always provide top notch service and only accept payment after the job is complete and the customer is satisfied!