Oak Trees

Asked September 23, 2017, 9:17 AM EDT

I have different types of oak trees on my property and some need trimming. I have been told I should wait for cooler weather. When is the right time to start trimming them? Can the ones that are about 8" high be replanted and when is a good time so they might survive being uprooted.

Livingston County Michigan

2 Responses

Not now for pruning. Oak trees, including large mature oak trees are increasingly becoming infected with oak wilt disease and dieing in Michigan. Any necessary pruning should be done in cold weather, some are recommending during winter, late winter likely best so as not to expose newly cut tissue to any more of the ravages of winter than necessary. Definitely no pruning during the growing season. You can read more here: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/prune_oaks_in_winter_to_avoid_oak_wilt

And here: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/avoid_oak_wilt_by_not_pruning_oak_trees_april_october

As for your seedlings, yes you can move them now but be sure to get a big gob of soil along with it. Enough so the tree doesn't know it's been moved. Oak trees have a tap root that grows deeper as the tree grows, so be sure to get it all, plant immediately and water, water ,water. Water well going into winter and mulch with fallen leaves. Should be fine.

Good luck!

Thanks for the quick response. I will wait it out to do the trimming in the winter. Some branches are hanging over the driveway but we can manage to drive around them for now. I'll have to see about the little oaks hiding in with the big oaks and other trees and move them to a better location. Thanks again.