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Trim your trees, please!

Now is a good time to trim your trees. Here's why.

Post Date:07/26/2017 5:00 p.m.

With springtime well over, now is a particularly good time to trim trees.  This is because beetles that help propagate oak wilt, the most destructive disease affecting live oaks and red oaks in Central Texas, slow their activity between July and January.  Oak wilt is caused by the fungus Ceratyocystitis fagecearum, which is easily spread when beetles carrying the fungal spores from infected red oaks to fresh, open wounds on healthy oaks.  For this reason, the City discourages residents from trimming oak trees between February 1 and June 30, when the beetles are particularly active, unless necessary.  Additionally, the City encourages fresh tree wounds to be sealed with a tree wound dressing or latex paint and for tree pruning tools to be cleaned with a 10 percent bleach solution or Lysol at all times of the year. 

City of Cedar Park work crews are also taking advantage of this time of year to trim trees, bushes, and other vegetation along streets and sidewalks to relieve vehicle and pedestrian obstruction, which is a safety hazard.  According to City ordinance, tree branches should hang:

  • No less than eight feet above the sidewalk, and
  • At least 14 feet over the street.

The City encourages residents to do their own tree trimming so that trees appear even and meet owners’ aesthetic standards.  If trees are not trimmed according to required dimensions the City may remove encroaching tree branches in order to prevent vehicle and vehicle obstruction.  However, the City crews trim at a vertical plane adjacent to the apparent property line – which could result in trees appearing “lopsided”. 

Diagram of how to trim trees

Anyone wishing to report non-compliant trees to the City may do so by using the CPConnect mobile application or by logging onto the City’s Report a Problem web page at www.cedarparktexas.gov/reportaproblem.  Visit http://texasoakwilt.org/2011/pruning-guidelines-for-prevention-of-oak-wilt-in-texas/ for additional ways to help prevent oak wilt.