Pruning English walnut

Asked January 15, 2015, 12:51 PM EST

I have a large English walnut with a big branch that dips so low I'm afraid grandchildren will run into it when playing. What time of year is the right time to take this branch off? I would take it clear back to where it comes off the bigger branch.

Marion County Oregon trees and shrubs pruning horticulture

2 Responses

Hello and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert. Now, when the walnut tree is dormant, is the best time to prune that branch. You are right that you should take it all the way back to the branch collar (where the branch meets the trunk). It looks like a very large branch, so be careful! The best method on large branches is to start out toward the tip and cut off chunks, moving closer in to the trunk each time. There is an OSU publication on pruning orchards that may be helpful to you. It can be found at this link: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22166/pnw400.pdf

Thank you for your swift reply! My son will help me with this in the next week or two.