Those of you who have heard the adage “February through June DO NOT PRUNE” probably know that it is in reference to the spread of Oak Wilt in relation to the timing of pruning of susceptible trees.
With Oak Wilt appearing in so many locations in Central Texas, it is safer to complete pruning by February 1st, before the temperatures become milder and the Nitidulid Beetle begins to become active after the winter. This beetle is responsible for transmitting the Oak Wilt Fungus from fungal mats on Red Oaks to injuries and pruning cuts on other Red Oaks and Live Oaks. For this reason, we limit pruning to the really hot months and the really cold months when the beetle is not as active. While not all arborists agree, it is generally recommended to spray pruning cuts with a pruning paint within 10 minutes of making the cut. Arborists DO AGREE that making the cut at the appropriate place (which is just outside the branch collar) is critical for protection from disease. For more on this subject, please visit: