I recently picked up an English Oak from a nursery. It has about a 3" diameter trunk, It has some movement in the lower trunk a couple of branches above that movement before the rest of the tree becomes arrow straight. Most of the foliar mass is at the top of the tree.
I want to cut back to above the two lower branches. I am in the UK zone 8b, does anyone know the best time to do a chop like this?
I would say early spring right before the buds begin to swell or right as they start to do so. In the US where I live this is between Feb and mid March for most species. The native Oaks in my area start their elongation around the first week of March. This should be applicable to you, however, the timing might be different. Make sure to leave an inch or two for dieback and seal the wound as well. Good luck with your quercus!
Hay, @Spang . Like your avatar… is that kinda like a green thumb?
I’ve been working Q. robur for years. Spring, chop away. Even if the lower limbs are cut, the stump will sprought buds. Even down to the roots resprouting. Mine are sourced from Utah scrub oak. Was told they were Q robur… Real small leaves.
This tree was chewed to a nub by a vole. Since, departed.
Trim long limbs to a good leaf or two (for safety…), they will usually back bud on old wood. Mine are only 20 yo, from acorn.
Oh ya, trim the terminal roots often…
Thanks for the replies! Good to hear from people with experience of this.
I really wanted to air layer it, but everything I have read so far said air layers are extremely difficult with Quercus!