Oak Tree Trimming Dead Branches

Asked June 5, 2018, 10:13 AM EDT

Hi, I have an oak tree that has a number of dead branches. It also has what looks like rot at the base of trunk where bark is coming off. It is about a 70 year old tree. Can I trim the dead branches at this time of year? Are there any precautions I need to take if I do? I know there is a significant risk of Oak Wilt. Thanks Jeff

Hennepin County Minnesota pruning dead branches horticulture oak tree

1 Response

Dead limbs can and should be removed. Don’t wound healthy tissue. Here are a couple of fact sheets on oak wilt. If the wood is soft and crumbly at the base of the tree it should be evaluated by an arborist. Oaks are so strong that even if a portion of the trunk is dead they can remain standing for a long time but eventually it will need to be felled. http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2010/03/oak-wilt-risk-status-in-minnesota/