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Best Time for Trimming Oak Trees

Oak trees are so plentiful here in the Upstate. This hardy stately tree is an excellent shade provider, doesn’t require much upkeep and most varieties are fast growers with a long-life span. Oaks are excellent for the environment. Many oaks can grow up to 200 feet tall. Their acorns provide food for numerous animals including squirrels, rabbits and chipmucks. Oak wood is strong and when cut, displays an extensive range of hues and grain patterns. With over 15 different native oak species in South Carolina, white oak, southern red oak and overcup oak are the most popular found in and around the Greenville area. 

A prime example of the hardiness and lifespan of an Upstate oak tree occurred in 2020 when Furman University announced the replacement of 40 of the oak trees lining the Furman Mall due to old age. The newer varieties which include overcup, scarlet, swamp white and Nuttalls have estimated longer lifespans of between 250-400 years. Wood from the felled trees was repurposed and used around campus in everything from mulch to furniture. 

In order to keep the oaks on your property healthy they need regular pruning and trimming. Here are some simple tips to keep them in prime condition. 

  • For younger trees, regular pruning helps develop a strong central leader and branch structure by eliminating multiple trunks. Immature limbs that are growing in a “V” shape are structurally weak and should be removed to prevent significant wound damage that often occurs when one or more of the branches break off.
  • Oak trees do best when trimmed after they go dormant. For our area that is generally a month or two past the first frost but before the coldest part of winter, and then around early spring before the tree begins to leaf out. 
  • Branches that are spreading over another branch and not growing away from the trunk should be removed to avoid the limbs eventually touching. If this occurs chafing can cause gaping lesions on both the branches. 
  • Dead or damaged branches can and should be removed throughout the year to help keep the tree robust. 

Winter is on its way and now is the perfect time to pick up the phone and call Out on a Limb Tree Service at 864-320-8787 and schedule your complementary fall/winter tree inspection. Or you can simply click here, scroll to the bottom of the page, fill out our secure online contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly. Out on a Limb Tree Service, serving the Upstate from Fountain Inn to Greer. 

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