My Ag Background – Now is Time to Consider Pruning Trees

By Stephen Janak
County Extension Agent – Ag/NR
Colorado County


Howdy, Colorado County! I would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself. I was born and raised in Victoria County by my parents, where we lived on 22 acres of the flattest black land ever seen. Being the son of a County Extension Agent, I was around agriculture from the beginning. I can remember being 9 or 10 years old and picking cotton variety trials by hand, or cutting the heads of grain sorghum under the hot Texas sun. We raised hay at home, forever battling the tight clayey soil; clover at first, and alfalfa in the more recent years. Occasionally when the clover or alfalfa died from drought or flood, haygrazer or grain sorghum would be planted for a high-yielding hay crop. I can still recall the feeling of wandering through sorghum taller than me, and will never forget the smell of fresh-cut clover. Hauling the small square bales of hay was a whole-family ordeal (including Mom!), the memories of which I will forever cherish. It was this modest agricultural background that was the impetus and inspiration which guided me to where I am today. I greatly anticipate working with the citizens of Colorado County.

Late winter or early spring is the time to consider the pruning needs of deciduous (non-evergreen) trees. Pruning during the dormant season allows the tree to heal the wound for an entire growing season. It is best to prune when trees are young, thus training the tree for proper form and structure. Make cuts perpendicular to the limb being removed and flush with the collar, which is the somewhat raised ridge at the attachment point. Leaving this growing point on the tree allows it to heal properly, reducing the chance of decay. Live oaks should be pruned as they start to lose their leaves in early spring, but before new growth occurs. Fertilizing is not necessary for trees if the yard is already being fertilized, but a 3-1-2 ratio is recommended for yards as well as trees and early spring is the correct time to apply. For more information, call the Extension office at 979-732-2082.

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