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Mr. Smarty Plants - pruning Chinkapin oak, Loquat and Monterrey oak trees

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Friday - December 07, 2012

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Pruning, Trees
Title: pruning Chinkapin oak, Loquat and Monterrey oak trees
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

What is the best time to plant a 45-65 gal. Chinkapin oak tree in Pflugerville. Also, when can i prune fig trees, Loquat trees and a Monterrey oak. Thanks for the information.

ANSWER:

Because Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin oak) drops its leaves in winter, this is the season for planting as well as pruning. The Chinkapin oak becomes a moderately large tree, growing to about 45 ft. high.  Hopefully you have enough space to accommodate this.  Little pruning needs to be done to the tree you are planting, just removing any crossing branches.  Best pruning techniques can be found at this web site.  As the tree grows you may remove lower limbs to create space under the tree. Tips on tree planting can be found at this web site. 

 Quercus polymorpha (Mexican white oak), or Monterrey oak, tends to be evergreen in Central Texas.  It can become a large tree, up to 60 ft. wide and 80 ft. tall.  As a young tree it sometimes develops multiple trunks.  If you wish, prune it, also in winter, to leave only the one strongest trunk to give a typical oak shape.  Otherwise, little pruning is needed.

Loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, is a native of Japan.  The trees are best pruned in early spring, just after fruit harvest and before new buds begin to open.  Prune out enough branches in the crown of the tree to permit light to enter.  This will increase the fruit yield and quality.  Flowers appear in late fall, and fruit ripen in late winter.  Although Loquat trees are drought tolerant, providing plenty of water during the flowering and fruiting season is necessary to assure a good harvest.

Not all Common fig, Ficus carica, varieties survive the occasional freezing weather we have in Central Texas.  Celeste and especially Brown Turkey are the most cold-hardy varieties for our area.  I refer you to this web site for detailed instructions for pruning fig trees.

 

 

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