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Oak trees are America’s tree, and rightly so.  The beautiful tree is a symbol of strength and wisdom.  It’s important to prune your oak tree to keep it healthy for many years to come.

Pruning your oak tree keeps your tree healthy for centuries.  To begin, it’s vital that you do not prune your trees in the summer months, while it is growing.  Wounds on your tree can make it susceptible to disease and infection, causing your tree to develop wilt and die.  Trimming your tree once a year during its dormant season is ideal, usually during mid to late winter.

Prepare your tools by soaking them in one part bleach and nine parts water.  This will protect the tree from disease.  Rinse your tools and let them dry overnight before beginning your pruning.

Next, you will need to establish a dominant, or leader, branch of your tree.  Take a look at your tree and pay attention to the largest branches.  Trim the other branches to allow your leader branch to get the most sunlight and become the tallest branch of the tree.    Make sure not to trim more than a third of the canopy to allow for healthy growth and healing of your tree.

Pruning a tree while it’s young is a good way to help your oak tree establish a good growing pattern and encourage healthy growth.  Avoid over-pruning your oak tree.

Oak tree can live to be over two hundred years old with proper care!  If you are unsure about the best way to trim your oak tree, there are many certified professionals who can assist.

What advice can you offer a novice oak tree pruner?

Oak trees have been thought to have many healing powers for centuries.

Oak Trees have been used in ceremonies, food, and medicine since the beginning of mankind.  There are still many healing properties and uses for the majestic oak tree and its acorns today.

  1. Oak leaves can reduce blood pressure.
    Oak leaves contain the substrate which is similar to anti-hypertension drugs, which makes them very effective in reducing blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
  2. Oak leaves can alleviate fever.
    Oak leaves contain components that can be used as a quinine substitute, which is used to reduce fevers.
  3. Oak leaves can be used as bandages.
    Pressing oak leaves to superficial wounds can act as a bandage when no other alternative can be found.
  4. Oak leaves can act as an antiseptic.
    Rubbing oak leaves on a wound can clear the wound from debris, but be sure to rinse the wound with clean water prior to applying the oak leaves.
  5. Oak bark aids digestion.
    Making a tea with the bark of an oak tree can aid with healthy digestion. 
  6. Oak bark can aid with bruising and varicose veins.
    Applying a compress from oak bark can soothe and help relieve swelling from bruising and varicose veins.
  7. Oak tea is good for a sore throat.
    Gargling oak tea can help to relieve the pain from a sore throat.
  8. Oak tea can soothe skin irritations.
    The tannins in the water of boiled oak bark and leaves can reduce the irritation from poison ivy, minor burns, and rashes.
  9. Oak leaves can reduce the chances for cancer.
    The tannins found in oak trees have anti carcinogenic properties, and can reduce the chances of developing cancer.
  10. Oak leaves can lower your cholesterol.
    Oak leaves contain flavonoids responsible for reducing high cholesterol levels.

As with any changes in your health care, please consult your doctor before applying any of these treatments.

Which oak tree treatment interests you the most?

Oak tree have had a part in world history as far back as the mid 400’s B.C., where it was recorded that oak tress contained the gift of prophecy. Oak trees produce a very hard wood which has been used for many things, like furniture. Ships were even built out of oak because of their ability to deflect cannon balls!

Oak trees are expansive and provide not only shade, but even hiding places! The very famous Charter Oak in Connecticut did just that. In 1662 when King James II came into power, he wanted to revoke the charter that King Charles II had issued to the colonist. In 1687, Captain Joseph Wadsworth took the document and hid it in an oak tree away from the British, and the colonist used this document to continue to govern until 1818.

The Major Oak in Edwinstowe, England is rumored to have been the hideout for Robin Hood and his band of merry men. The tree is names after Major Hayman Rooke, who wrote about the famous Sherwood Forest Oaks.

Underneath one of the countries famous oaks in Hampton, Virginia, a freed African-American woman named Mary Smith Peake taught children of former slaves how to read and write. This tree was named the Emancipation Tree, and it was the location of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in the south in 1863.

Oak trees have been so important throughout history. How will your transplanted oak inspire your history?

Quercus virginiana

The Southern Live Oak tree is a majestic emblem of the South. When given the room to grow they can reach diameters of 150 feet. They possess large sweeping limbs that grow downward and then quickly sweep upward giving them an impressive array of branches that can often grow 5 to 6 feet in diameter. live oaks are nearly evergreen opposed to most oaks, which are deciduous. In early spring they replace their leaves over a few week period. They produce sweet acorns that are favorite foods for many animal life.

The Southern live oaks lifespan can range from a few hundred years to over one thousand years. They typically grow very fast when they are young but reach maximum diameter around 70 years.

Southern live oaks grow very well in salty soils and shade. They are great trees for Texas climate as they are unable to survive freezing temperatures.

To learn more about Southern live oaks call 713-703-3333 or email houstontreetransplanting@gmail.com

What is balled-and-burlapped planting?

Balled-and-burlapped  or B&B refers to the process when a plant is sold to the customer after being planted, grown, dug up, and wrapped for transplant. “Balled” is the term for the root ball that contains the roots and soil, where “burlapped” refers to the material used to wrap or contain the tree roots for transplant.

Balled and burlapped plants are typically grown in clay or other heavy soil that can be compacted properly when the young sprigs are dug up and burlapped.It is crucial that the burlap sack completely covers the roots to prevent exposure, and the soil ball should be firm.

Also the burlap is often made from a rot-resestant or biodegradable material, if it is not,, it must be removed when planting so the plant’s root growth is stunted. The plant must be held from the balled portion for stability. When planting B&B plants, a hole approximately three times the size of the balled portion should be dug and the root collar should be a little above ground level.

If you need professional assistance with this process please call 713-703-3333