Trimming an oak tree
I have a pin oak tree that is approx. 85 feet tall with a very wide spread that is encroaching on my neighbors driveway and house. I have spoken with two tree trimming companies. One of them told me you could trim the entire tree making it much smaller in size without harming it. The other told me that this would ruin the tree and probably kill it. I would like to keep the tree but am unsure about having it severely trimmed. Could you provide some direction. Also, if I were to have it trimmed, what time of the year is this best accomplished? Thank you.
Frederick County Maryland
It is not recommended to prune the tree severely. Never remove more than one fourth of a tree's canopy at one time. In general it is best to prune when dormant. It is okay to prune now before it leafs out.
Do not prune in the fall (August to October) since new growth will not have a chance to harden off before winter. Here is our publication on pruning for more information and tips. Take a look at page 6 for pruning techniques for mature trees.