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Oak tree branch stubs

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From: John Jacobs
O' Fallon, IL
About a month ago I had a person prune a large white oak that is 150-180 years old. there were a few large branches but most were 1-2" in diameter. Instead of going to each branch and using a saw to get a clean cut he used a long pole and pushed on the braqnches until they broke off. After the leaves fell the fall I noticed many stubs from 6-9" long are left on the tree. I am concerned that these rough stubs may invite deseas and harm the tree over the years. I contacted him again and he said I should not worry about the stubs. I want him to return and saw the subs off so there will be a smooth cut. I would appreciate your advice on the matter.

J Jacobs

Extension Message
From: Greg Stack
Extension Horticulturist
Extension Web Development

Our recommendations for pruning trees always suggest that branches should be removed so that no stubs remain. This means that the cut should be such that it starts at the crotch of the branch and angels slightly outward toward the collar of the branch this leaves a "flush" cut and one that heals nicely in the shortest amount of time. Laving the long stub only invites wood rots because the stub is left to rot back into the tree which could potnetially cause futher wood rot in the interior of the tree. So yo should worry about the stubs and your aborist did not do a proper pruning job.

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