The swamp chestnut oak, or Quercus michauxii, also is known as the cow oak (cows eat the acorns). It is a deciduous tree reaching heights of 60 to 80 feet and a spread of 50 to 70 feet. The crown is narrow and its leaves turn bronze or reddish in the fall.
Pruning will consist of: removal of dead, diseased, or damaged branches, to maintain size (width) within in your landscape design, to keep branches away from buildings, walkways, and roofs, and to thin out deadwood from the crown of the tree.
Prune any damaged or diseased branches as soon as possible. You will remove them at the breaking point or you can cut off the entire branch or limb. Make a clean cut so that the wound can heal properly. Prune dead or diseased branches at any time of the year.
Look at your tree from all angles and determine whether there are any branches that need to be pruned to maintain size or to insure safety. Locate the branch collar. This is on the underside of the branch where it connects to the trunk. Locate the branch bark ridge of the branch that you are going to prune. This is on the topside of the branch where it connects to the trunk.
Cut off the branch in front of the branch bark ridge and the branch collar. Do not leave a stub. Be careful not to cut into the branch collar or the branch bark ridge for the integrity and health of the tree. Do this when the tree is dormant, which is in winter or early spring.
Visually examine the crown of the tree to determine whether you need to have the deadwood such as dead twigs, branches or limbs removed from the crown of the tree. Arborists refer to this as "thinning" of the crown. Because this procedure is normally done on mature trees, you will need to have a professional tree service do the thinning. Professionals are accustomed to working at tall heights, and they are also knowledgeable as to what limbs and branches can be cut without damaging the health and appearance of the tree.