Pruing advice for oak

c2g(6)December 18, 2013

I'm pretty conservative with pruning, and I had someone suggest the branch in the picture might become another leader (lighlighted in green). It's a white oak I planted about 3 years ago. Any suggestions?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would trim it up.. so i could walk under it.. [hard to tell with the pic, as to its height] .... its not like you have acreage there ... and can waste the space under ... and i do note.. that the lowest branches.. when in leaf.. from the camera height.. perfectly hide the house behind.. so maybe you want them there ...

and then i would walk away ...

it is way beyond any concern of multiple leaders ...

take a walk around the area... many deciduous trees.. over 20 feet tall ... dont have.. one single leader ... conifers/pines aside ....


    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 12:22PM
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I hear you on not worrying too much about multiple leaders. Look no further than that giant oak in the background. My pic only shows the right half of the tree.

Here's a pic from October while the leaves were still on:

The bottom branches are at my eye level - 5'11" and I love how they're starting to curve upward with a lot of new growth. It does provide a little privacy with the neighbors and that swingset will be long gone before it becomes an issue, so I'm inclined to leave them.

Here's something else I'm wondering... the left side of the tree in the picture is full, as you can see. SE facing with plenty of room/sun. The right side is sparse as it borders my neighbor's trees - a hemlock and a Japanese something-or-other. I see trees all the time bending out of the canopy toward the light. As the height of my tree starts to overtake the two next to it (which it already has, pretty much), should I expect to see more branching on the right side once it "realizes it has room to breathe"?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 2:31PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

As others have said, mature oaks almost never have central leaders (unless in the deep forest) -- they form co-dominant leaders to make a wide crown.

c2g, I see nothing wrong w/your white oak -- it's gonna naturally grow away from the shade on the right. And it's actually keeping a fairly dominant central leader at this point. The curving branches are an aesthetic plus.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:42AM
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