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Pruning Pin Oak

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From: Susan Hilscher
Verona, WI
Our pin oak is 4-5 yrs old & we plan to remove its 2 lowest branches (they are about 4.5 feet from the ground).

I have a question about another branch that is about 5.5 feet above the ground. This branch in question is growing horizontally & extends well beyond the edge of the bed in which it is planted--which means it will get in our way when mowing, etc. Should we remove that branch completely or is it okay to only take off a portion of that branch? Will it resprout & grow in multiple directions if only a portion of the branch is removed?

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Susan:

Removal of the entire branch or a portion of the branch in your case often depends on crown form and branch symmetry.

Will removal of the branch make the form of the tree more symmetrical or asymmetrical?

If you partial prune rather than remove the entirebranch, try to make your pruning cuts at a "node" on the branch or twig. A partial pruning cut at a branch/twig "node" will allow for later growth from an extant bud -- no branch/twig buds = no growth potential.

How to Prune:

Additionally, do not prune your oak trees from early spring through the end of summer due to the threat of Oak Wilt.

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