The Shumard's oak, or Quercus shumardii, is a large deciduous tree. It can reach a height of 50 to 90 feet at maturity. Shumard's oak is a beautiful shade tree whose leaves turn scarlet in the fall. It is named for Benjamin Franklin Shumard, who was a state geologist in Texas.
Shumard's oak requires pruning to remove diseased, damaged, or broken branches, to maintain its size (width) within your landscape, for safety reasons (to keep it away from walkways, structures, and roofs), and to thin out the crown of the tree.
Cut away damaged, broken, or diseased branches as soon as possible. Make a clean cut at the breaking point. (In some instances you may want to cut off the entire branch.) Clean cuts ensure that the plant will heal properly. This pruning procedure can be done at any time of the year.
View your tree from all angles and determine if there are any branches that you need to prune to maintain size or to ensure safety. Find the branch collar (this is on the underside of the branch where it connects to the trunk) and the branch bark ridge, which is on the topside of the branch where it connects to the trunk). Make your cut right in front of the branch bark ridge and the branch collar, do not leave a stub.
Do not cut into the branch collar or the branch bark ridge, this must be left in tact for the health of the tree. This procedure should be done when the tree is in its dormant state-- winter or early spring
Visually inspect the crown of your tree to determine if you need to have deadwood (twigs, branches, limbs) removed. Removal of deadwood is known as "thinning", and usually it is done by a tree service. They are used to working at heights and know what branches can be pruned without hurting the health and integrity of the tree.