Oak trees are prized among homeowners for their longevity, strength, appearance and natural shade. Just a single strategically planted oak tree can reduce your home’s cooling needs in the summer; thus, saving you money on your monthly utility bills. However, there are a few things you should know when growing an oak tree.
Identify the Type
There are more than 600 species of oak trees in the world, each of which has unique characteristics. If you plan on growing an oak tree on your property, you should familiarize yourself with the different types. There are around 90 species of oak trees in the United States. Some of the most common varieties in Texas, include the following:
- Post oak (Quercus stellata)
- Live oak (Quercus virginiana)
- Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii)
- Burr oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Monitor for Signs of Disease
As with most trees, you should monitor your oak tree regularly for signs of illness or decay. One of the most common diseases affecting oak trees in Texas is oak wilt. This fungal disease can quickly spread, stunting the growth or even killing otherwise healthy oak trees.
Some of the characteristic symptoms of oak wilt include the presence of yellow-veined leaves, fungal structures and hollowed areas. Depending on the severity of the disease, the oak tree may also have an unusual odor that attracts pests.
Ensure Proper Drainage
You should also check to make sure water drains away from the oak tree instead of pooling at the base of the trunk. Oak trees generally prefer well-drained soil. If water collects at the base of the trunk, it will increase the risk of disease and rotting.
So, make sure water drains away from your oak tree. You may need to have your landscape professionally graded to resolve poor runoff and drainage issues.
To Prune or Not To Prune
Not all oak trees need pruning. Evergreen oak trees, for instance, grow best without pruning. Deciduous oak trees, however, should be pruned regularly.
Assuming you’re growing a deciduous oak tree, you should prune it during the winter, when it’s dormant. As the season transitions into spring, it will trigger the tree’s growth while allowing the pruned branches to heal more quickly.
Of course, you really only need to prune dead, dying or diseased limbs. If your tree is completely healthy, there’s no need to prune it, except for cosmetic purposes.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or