Can I prune back this oak while there are still leaves on it

Greenfileds

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Hello, I am wondering if I can prune back this oak while there are still leaves remaining on it this time of year in the uk and also to where you would recommend pruning back to

thanks
 

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Shibui

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You can safely prune oaks at any time of year. I find them very resilient and they make every effort to grow new shoots. This time of year will be good and new shoots will sprout as the weather warms up for your area.
You can cut quite low as they will sprout new buds from older wood so feel free to cut wherever you want. Remember they rarely grow smaller so best to cut low enough to allow for regrowth to grow out longer again.
 

TomB

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You can cut quite low as they will sprout new buds from older wood so feel free to cut wherever you want. Remember they rarely grow smaller so best to cut low enough to allow for regrowth to grow out longer again.

Agreed BUT I wouldn't cut back below the lowest viable bud.

Related, I've had very good results sealing cuts on an oak with Kiyonal cut paste - leads to very fast callusing of large wounds.
 

Greenfileds

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You can safely prune oaks at any time of year. I find them very resilient and they make every effort to grow new shoots. This time of year will be good and new shoots will sprout as the weather warms up for your area.
You can cut quite low as they will sprout new buds from older wood so feel free to cut wherever you want. Remember they rarely grow smaller so best to cut low enough to allow for regrowth to grow out longer again.
Thankyou for the information and advice! Do you believe that if I were to chop it at the point it bends on the main trunk that it will sprout new from there? Or do you think it will be best to chop where it splints into two and choose a leader from there? Not sure a oak suits the style of S shape or alike but what do you think?
 

Greenfileds

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Agreed BUT I wouldn't cut back below the lowest viable bud.

Related, I've had very good results sealing cuts on an oak with Kiyonal cut paste - leads to very fast callusing of large wounds.
Thankyou for your advice! Where do you think I should prune back to and do you have a idea for the styling of it? Thanks
 

rockm

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Hello, I am wondering if I can prune back this oak while there are still leaves remaining on it this time of year in the uk and also to where you would recommend pruning back to

thanks
The leaves are dead. The tree is dormant. no problem pruning it now. Trees, like oak and beech, can hang onto dead leaves all winter. Some say it helps protect new buds from cold and wind. Don't know if that's true though.
 

TomB

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Thankyou for the information and advice! Do you believe that if I were to chop it at the point it bends on the main trunk that it will sprout new from there? Or do you think it will be best to chop where it splints into two and choose a leader from there? Not sure a oak suits the style of S shape or alike but what do you think?
I wouldn't make any styling recommendations without having the tree in front of me. However, have a look at this picture 32402282_10212096516103901_1062434253146423296_n.jpg on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...096768270205.10212096768350207&type=1&theater

- the basic form isn't far off the bottom of what you have, and it has been developed into a nice tree.
 

Greenfileds

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I wouldn't make any styling recommendations without having the tree in front of me. However, have a look at this picture 32402282_10212096516103901_1062434253146423296_n.jpg on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...096768270205.10212096768350207&type=1&theater

- the basic form isn't far off the bottom of what you have, and it has been developed into a nice tree.
Thankyou very much this has given me a nice idea of what I want
 

Shibui

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Do you believe that if I were to chop it at the point it bends on the main trunk that it will sprout new from there? Or do you think it will be best to chop where it splints into two and choose a leader from there?
Oaks are very good at sprouting new shoots so you can cut virtually anywhere. It is fine to cut anywhere between the first tiny branch and the split or above the fork if you want. It should grow either way. Just depends what you want it to look like after - shorter and fat or taller and thin?
 

Greenfileds

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Oaks are very good at sprouting new shoots so you can cut virtually anywhere. It is fine to cut anywhere between the first tiny branch and the split or above the fork if you want. It should grow either way. Just depends what you want it to look like after - shorter and fat or taller and thin?
Hey thankyou for messaging, I have a idea of what I want it to look like. I will add a picture. From the pic where do you think I should cut it to try and develop it this way?
 

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Shibui

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It is hard to guess dimensions from a picture. Oaks tend to have long internodes and larger spaces between branches so my guess its that if you want to grow an oak like that the main trunk would probably be at least a foot long, Probably more like 2 feet to allow for the larger leaves and thick branches.
That tree has a relatively long thick trunk with little taper. I would try to grow a suitably thick trunk then chop back to the desired length and grow those trunks from the shoots that sprout after the chop.
You could chop yours just below the fork but I suspect the trunk will be a little short to grow a tree similar to the picture so you'd need to allow a new leader to grow for a while then chop again at the right length. maybe one of the existing leaders looks OK to make the rest of the trunk? Just cut off the other one for now and let the trunk thicken a bit more.

If you think the trunk is thick enough and long enough and you plan for a smaller bonsai then cut at the desired length and grow new upright trunks from the new buds that sprout.
It will be interesting to see how you go with a small oak bonsai.
 

Potawatomi13

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Hello, I am wondering if I can prune back this oak while there are still leaves remaining on it this time of year in the uk and also to where you would recommend pruning back to

thanks

Yes, But...... If tree in development(trunk growth)I allow to grow before pruning so all possible energy goes to making trunk bigger. Can prune after harden off and will grow again especially if partially or fully defoliated. This gives trunk double(or added)growth in one year;). Can also be done with sacrifice trunk/branch.
 

StoneCloud

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The leaves are dead. The tree is dormant. no problem pruning it now. Trees, like oak and beech, can hang onto dead leaves all winter. Some say it helps protect new buds from cold and wind. Don't know if that's true though.

Same with Sweetgums.

I thought it was due to a deficiency. Or missed signal to drop the leaves. Never thought about it protecting the buds. Interesting!

I do know however if you rip those old leaves off you could pull the new dormant bud out also.

Check this one growing out of the old leaf!:

20200219_074528.jpg
 

Greenfileds

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Same with Sweetgums.

I thought it was due to a deficiency. Or missed signal to drop the leaves. Never thought about it protecting the buds. Interesting!

I do know however if you rip those old leaves off you could pull the new dormant bud out also.

Check this one growing out of the old leaf!:

View attachment 284518
That is a brilliant photo showing that!
 

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