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The Best Time of Year to Prune Oak Trees

By David Harris
Healthy oak trees
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While pruning your oak tree is important to the tree's health, choosing the right time of the year to do the work is almost equally important. With the proper pruning and timing, your oak trees will live longer and look healthier.


The best time to do a maintenance pruning on your oak tree is in the late winter to early spring, before the new leaves open. However, if your tree is diseased or has dead branches, you can prune them at anytime of the year.

Time Frame

According to the University of Florida, pruning your tree is most crucial in its first years. You should prune the tree annually during its first three years and then switch to pruning it every five years.


If you prune your tree in early or mid-winter, the cutting of the branches can shock the tree and stunt new growth. Consequently, if you prune the tree during the summer or fall, the cuts you make may not have the proper amount of time to heal and lose protection from the winter.


About the Author


David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.