How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas?

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Texas is infamous for its ever-growing oak trees! As these trees grow branches in every direction, unkept oaks can invade the cables and structures nearby. So, you need to trim them down. But considering Texas’s fluctuating weather, choosing the ideal pruning season can be difficult. So, how to prune oak trees in Texas?

The core step to prune oak trees is to cut down the limbs and twigs above the branch collar. Also, sealing the cuts is a must. But how can you identify branch collars? Worry not, as I will describe pruning in detail. 

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas: Step-by-Step Instructions

According to Texas laws and regulations, pruning oak trees should preserve the tree’s health. Also, they recommend making clearance for utility lines around by trimming the tree. And based on their guidelines, this is how you can prune oak trees:

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Step 1: Preparation 

Remove any obstacles around the tree. And make sure the trimmed limbs and wood chips do not fall on other plants and animals. Also, gather the trimming tools from the local stores. If you have tools at home, they should be sharp enough. 

Step 2: Disinfect the Tools

Oak trees are prone to fungal and germ attacks. So, spray disinfectant over the tools to eliminate the risk of oak diseases. Also, you can soak them in a bucket full of water. Then, add two tablespoons of bleach to the water. 

Let the tools sit in the bleached water for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, rinse them off with clean water.

Step 3: Choose the Long Branch 

Oak trees have branch limbs of varying lengths. Find the one that is the largest in size and length. Keep it as it is. And choose other branches around it to trim so that the long branch can get enough sunlight and air. This process keeps the tree stress-free. 

Step 4: Make Cuts in the Branches 

With a hand saw or chainsaw, make an angled under and overcut away from the branch collar. The collar is the adjoining place that connects the branch to the trunk. 

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Note that the collar seems swollen. You must avoid trimming the branch from the collar. Or else your oak trees will become weak. 

Step 5: Clip the Twigs Off 

If you see any twigs or short limbs on the branch, with a clipper tool, cut them off right away. If possible, try to trim down a few wilt leaves. However, do not remove too many leaves from the branch. 

Step 6: Look for Weak Branch 

Weak or diseased branches can stress the oak plants. Look for the ones that have peeled-off barks. Also, if they have blackish bark, choose these branches to cut off. Because heavy wind and storms can detach them. And it poses a risk to the surrounding. 

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Step 7: Remove the Weak Branch 

Place a chainsaw or hand saw 2 feet away from the branch collar. Make a deep undercut in a circumference. Then, make another cut 2 feet away from the initial cut. The two cuts ensure the branch will not rip off the tree bark while falling. 

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Apply oak tree pruning sealer on the cuts and exposed wood after you have pruned the branch. It prevents the tree from rotting due to the cuts. 

When to Prune Red Oak Trees in Texas? 

Red oaks are a rapidly growing species. Their branches can block the sunlight for other native plants around. So, you need to prune these trees twice a year. And the best time to do so is in the winter. To be specific, it is safe to trim them between November to March.

If you trim the red oaks in winter, it aids in healing the tree. Because sap flows throughout the branches in winter to seal the cut wounds. It eliminates any probability for fungus to enter the trees through the cuts. 

Another best time to trim live oak trees in central Texas is July and August when there is scorching heat. Oak trees have fewer leaves during summer. And it is a lot less messy to handle such trees. 

If you prune the red oaks during their active season, they become susceptible to oak wilt disease. But in the winter, the tree is dormant or less active. As a result, the pruning does not affect the tree’s health.

This video might help you to choose the correct pruning season:

What Is the Worst Time to Prune Oak Trees in Texas?

Texas’s temperature fluctuates a lot. So, you need to be careful when deciding to prune the oak trees. It is better if you check the weather forecast for the day before you start trimming.

If there is a chance for heavy wind or rain, avoid pruning. Because electric cables and falling limbs can detangle and cause damage to the surroundings.

How to Prune Oak Trees in Texas

Also, spring is the worst time to carry out the task. During the spring, oak trees are more vulnerable to diseases, especially oak wilt disease. If you make cuts in the branch, the oozing sap will attract beetles. And these insects can spread fungal infections.


Pruning oak trees not only protects them from disease but also adds an aesthetic to the view of the garden. Because it maintains the crown-like shape of the tree canopy. But if you do not know how to prune oak trees in Texas, I advise calling professional tree trimming services. 

After pruning the trees, I highly encourage disposing of the debris and wood. Or else you can get a heavy penalty as per Texas laws.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

How many times should you prune oak trees in Texas? 

It depends on the species and health of the oak trees. If they are healthy, pruning once a year is enough. But for fast-growing oaks, you can prune twice a year. 

Can you prune oak trees suffering from oak wilt? 

You should avoid pruning diseased trees during the full–blossom or growing season of the trees. But during the dormant season, you can cut the branches to stop the fungal spread. 

How many oak branches should you prune?

Do not prune more than one-third of the whole canopy of the tree. Because excessive cuts can disrupt the flow of sap and nutrients that can kill the trees. 

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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