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How to Prune Pin Oak

By Paula Ezop ; Updated September 21, 2017

Pin oaks are beautiful trees with a pyramidal shape that require minimal pruning. Most pruning will be to remove low branches that are in your way, branches that may be brushing up against a building or diseased or damaged branches. Prune pin oaks during the dormant season, from November through February, to avoid any disease complications (such as oak wilt fungus). The required tools will depend upon the size of the branch and the location on the tree (for higher branches you will need to use a pole pruner/saw).

Determine which branches need to be pruned. Make sure that the branches you want to cut will not destroy the pyramidal shape of the tree. Step back and look at the tree from all sides when determining which branches you are going to prune.

Locate the collar and the bark ridge on the branch you want to remove. The branch collar is on the underside of the branch, where it meets the trunk. The branch bark ridge is on the topside of the branch, where it meets the trunk. You want to leave these areas intact, cutting just in front of them. This helps the tree to heal quickly.

Using the proper tool (depending upon the branch size) make your cut. Follow the same procedure for each branch you prune. Cut up large branches up for firewood. Dispose of smaller branches.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Pruning saw
  • Pole pruner/saw


  • All pruning tools should be sharp so that you can make a clean cut.


  • Do not prune branches that are near electrical wires; leave these to the electrical company. Do not leave any cut stubs; they make the tree susceptible to disease. Pruning any extremely high branches should be left to the professionals; know when to seek their assistance.

About the Author


Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational column "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in "Oconee Today," a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies," and her children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Penelope Star," will be published by Wiggles Press. Ezop has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.