Care Tips For Red Oak Trees

Some of the most popular residential trees are oak trees. With over 600 unique species of oak trees in the world, oak trees thrive in a wide range of climates and are well-suited for growth in residential yards. No matter the variety of oak trees you have on your property, you can follow the same care tips that other home gardeners use to care for any oak tree. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind while maintaining the health and beauty of your oak trees.

Prune When Appropriate

Oak trees are susceptible to oak wilt, an incurable fungal disease that causes them to lose their leaves, killing them within months. Oak wilt can spread through several vectors, but as long as all of your trees appear to be healthy, the best way to prevent oak wilt is to prevent insect transmission. Insects transmit oak wilt spores into freshly cut branches during the spring, summer, and fall, so one of the best ways to prevent an oak wilt infection is to limit pruning to the winter months. Pruning any time from November to April should be safe, especially if you primarily remove dead branches and make angled cuts.

Prevent Disease Spread

If you suspect you do have an unhealthy tree on your property, removing it quickly is essential to protecting your other trees. Oak wilt and other diseases don't just spread through insects — they also spread through natural root grafting beneath the soil. Any trees in close proximity to a diseased tree are at risk of catching the disease as their roots spread, so removing the diseased tree's roots is just as important as removing its trunk and branches. Some tree care professionals recommend burning the remains of the diseased tree to attempt to eradicate the disease fro the area.

Maintain Healthy Soil

If your trees are completely healthy and you want to keep them that way, maintaining the health of the soil around them is critical. The microbe balance of the soil needs to stay appropriate for the oak tree, so keeping the area directly around the tree free from other plants is wise. Some plants require water levels that could lead to the growth of fungal spores that can harm oak trees, whereas oak trees that are at least four years old only need water every month or so. So long as your oak tree's leaves and branches look healthy, your soil is almost certainly healthy, too.

To learn more about oak tree maintenance, contact a residential tree care service in your area.