Live Oak pruning

Asked May 8, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT

How often should live oak trees be thinned or receive a major pruning? Major pruning or thinning 2 years ago to 50 year old + trees. Arborist advised 3 to 5 years before needed again. Shoots or suckers are good to promote nutrients to the branches. Worried about wind damage or hurricane damage.

Harris County Texas

1 Response

There is not really a time line for repeated pruning of live oaks. As a general rule we try to minimize pruning, doing only what is needed for structural corrections (preferably earlier in the tree's life) and then for special situations that arise. If a tree is provided good structural pruning, regular storm pruning is not needed in most cases. If past pruning was excessive and resulted in undesirable growth then some follow up may be needed to build a strong tree structure. I'm not sure what you meant by "shoots or suckers are good to promote nutrients to the branches," but if I understand the statement correctly it refers to the fact that stripping out the entire interior of trees is not a good idea which I agree with. It is better to leave branches and thus leaves more throughout the tree's canopy and along the branches. This is the opposite of all the leaves being up in the outer reaches of the branches.