I have a large, mature oak tree, about 40 feet tall, the trunk is about 3
feet thick at the base. The tree appears healthy, but there are a number
(about 10) dead branches near the bottom of the tree. The largest of these
branches is about 2 inches where it exits the trunk, although most are
around 1 inch. They have no leaves on them at all and they smaller shoots
break easily. Also, most also have very blunt cut ends where it looks like
they were pruned years ago (by the previous homeowner). By far, most of the
tree is fine, with very full, green leaves.
I'd like to remove these dead branches, but I'm not sure when is the best
time of the year to do this. I've done some searching, and found
information regarding pruning live branches, but not much about the dead
ones. Some of the articles I've found state to trim only during winter,
but that would be much harder to identify the dead branches. Other articles
say mid to late summer (starting late June) is OK.
The dead branches are all fairly low (reachable from the ground with a pole
saw), and finances are somewhat tight right now, so bringing in a
professional isn't really an option.
Any information would be appreciated.