pruning oak trees
Can I prune a burr oak at this time of year, late July? If so, what precautions do I need to take? If not here in July, when should I trim it? It really needs it!
Arapahoe County Colorado
There are a few guidelines, but less so with oak since oak wilt is not a problem in Colorado as it is many states. As far as precautions, please review the following links for best pruning practices, best time of year for pruning and safety precautions.
Most trees can be pruned at any time of the year, especially if it is just some light pruning to remove several small branches, or if wood is dead, diseased, or damaged. More extensive pruning should be done in late winter/early spring (Nov-Feb). Some trees that 'bleed' sap should be pruned early in the summer months, while elms & crabapples should be pruned in the winter to decrease disease spread.
Finally, sometimes it's easier to prune trees when there are no leaves and diseased branches are easier to identify. Sometimes it is easier to prune trees when they are fully leafed out, so you can get a better feel for shaping and to determine how much to cut.