Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I have many large 20-25 feet scrub oak trees on my property. I would like to thin and prune them from the tops in order for them to look like the lower scrub oak I have seen in the area, about 10-15 feet. How low can I cut them from their tops without injuring them and what is the best time of year to do so?
Rate This FAQ
The best way to prune a tree that has grown out of its space and is too tall is to use a method called crown reduction or drop crotch pruning. This method is preferred over topping or pollarding because it is healthier for the tree and the tree keeps a more natural appearance. When making the pruning cuts you want to cut back to lateral branches that are at least 1/3 of the diameter of the limb that is being removed. Once you have identified which branches you want to remove you will want to follow these steps:
With the first cut, make a notch on the side of the stem away from the branch to be retained, well above the branch crotch.
- Begin the second cut inside the branch crotch, staying well above the branch bark ridge, and cut through the stem above the notch.
- Cut the remaining stub just inside the branch bark ridge through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge.
This method of pruning will help make sure that you do not damage stem tissue when removing the branch. As with all types of pruning you want to avoid flush cuts, cutting the branch off flush with the trunk and stub cuts, leaving a short stub of the branch on the tree. Both flush cuts and stubs can contribute to increased stress and disease in your trees.
For most trees the best time to prune is when they are dormant. Fall is the most common time to prune trees. Pruning trees during this time will allow you to see the structure of the tree and help you decide where you will make pruning cuts. This will also reduce the chance of spreading diseases and excessive sap flow.
You can find more information, including illustrations of proper cuts and definitions of pruning terms, by following this link to the USDA Forest Service guide on how to prune trees. http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_prune/htprune.pdf
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I have a lawn with necrotic ring, it has been treated with f:stop. Question; Future construction will remove much of the sod. Should I treat the soil before I lay new sod.
- My blue spruce shrubs are turning brown and look like they are dying. What is wrong?
- What is killing all the scrub oak and where can I find information on how to save the scrub oak I have that has not been affected by it yet?
- I have a lawn full of spiders. When I go to the flowers beds, probably a 100 spiders run out of the grass and bed. The spiders are about 3/8 of an inch long and dark brown. I would just like to get rid of them. What is the best approach?
- Do you have tips for naturalizing a landscape with bulbs?
- We moved two Moab two years ago. My husband wants to grow a nut tree on the southwest side of our house that is just bare dirt and gravel now. We also want a shade tree (no fruits or nuts) in our front yard that faces South/Southeast to give our house shade. I am originally from Utah County and I miss my trees! Is there anything comparable that would grow here in the clay?
- I have three large Austrian Pine trees that I would like to xeriscape under. Do you have suggestions for low-water use plants that will grow in mostly shady conditions under pine trees?
- I have a lumpy yard. I have used a roller to flatten it with litte success I have also aerated and put seed as well and fertalizer down. What else can be done beforeI have to bring in a bobcat and start over?