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So, when do you prune your oak trees to best avoid oak wilt infection? Oak wilt is a devastating disease, and we've been dealing with it here since 1988. It is difficult to avoid, but there are some great strategies to manage the possibility of getting this disease in your oaks. Most oaks are prone to this disease, but some more than others—the red oak, the live oak, and our native post oaks.
You don't want to prune them from February until June, since the beetles that transfer oak wilt are active during that time. You want to avoid making any pruning cuts that would expose some sap from your tree that those beetles feed on and then vector the disease into your tree. You also want to avoid later summer months, like July and August, to be safe.
But you can start about now—November—or you can wait until the winter when some of your oaks will go dormant. Just do it before February. For more information and some great pictures on what this disease looks like, check out www.texasoakwilt.org.