I learn something everyday. I'm from south and central TX, and the
Live Oaks around here don't shed in the fall season.
Yep, the leaves are a bit tough but I just leave them and the mower
shreds them after a few mowings and the grass grows through them and
the leaves rot away under the tree.
"Cold weather may turn live oak leaves brown, but ... the discolored
leaves will drop in early spring. New leaves sprout and grow in spring
and early summer, but unlike many evergreens, live oak leaves only
last a year.
"This leaf shed and re-leafing ... is sometimes so dramatic it leaves
the trees naked for one or two weeks in the spring. ... "Genetics and
environmental influences determine the degree of live oak leaf color,
size and shedding."
Like you, am used to a real live oak having its annual shed in the
spring, but know they tend to shed to a greater/lesser degree year
'round. As this note says, there are genetic and environmental
influences to make for differences. Disease or (primarily) insect
pests can cause an unnatural shed, too, of course. Really neat
trees, wish they could survive winters here. It's how we knew as kids
we were "south" on the way to visit family -- when the live oaks and
so on became prevalent...
During the daylight would be best.
Make the final cut at the outside edge of the branch collar -not flush
against the trunk
Make the first cuts a foot or so away from the trunk to remove weight
so thet the final cuts don't tear bark down the tree.
Use no sealants.
Take your time and work neatly, a pole saw can be clumsy when your
shoulders are tired, it's not a set of commonly worked muscles!
That fact is that a truly dead branch will eventually self-prune as soon
as microorganisms and fungus and insects do their work and a wind comes
up. You can hasten the process by cutting the dead branches right now.
The key is to avoid causing more damage in the process. Things like
leaving the collar intact and avoiding bark tears are important whether
the branches are live or dead.
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