Summer pruning, on the other hand, now helps maintain the shape and health of the tree. On established trees, rub out any buds developing on the lower trunk and carefully pull off suckers arising from the rootstock. Be sure the cuts are clean and smooth, and use latex to seal the cuts to prevent infection to the tree. It is a radical pruning in which the trunk (leader) is headed back to about 30 inches tall. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. Any branches that curve toward the trunk or grow parallel to the trunk also should be removed. There are three commonly used methods of pruning plums: bush, pyramid and fan. Pruning techniques change slightly as a tree goes from a young, newly planted specimen, to a mature, fruit-bearing tree, to an established landscape tree. Pruning your plum tree step-by-step. Where space is particularly limited, plums can be trained as cordons. Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. Cut side branches back to a bud at 15cm (6in). Plum trees should never be pruned in winter, as infection risk can be high during this time. A prune is a dried plum of any cultivar, mostly the European plum (Prunus domestica). Pruning is mostly limited to removing crossing, weak, vertical and diseased material. Water sprouts do not produce plums. Prunus maritima, the beach plum, is a species of plum native to the East Coast of the United States, from Maine south to Maryland. save. Julian A’ to be 3.6m (12ft) by 2.4m (8ft). It can help prevent trees becoming overgrown, and is also effective for pyramid plums. Plums: pruning. Plum trees do not require as precise pruning as apples and pears, but still benefit from initial training and the thinning of old wood to ensure they produce as much fruit as possible. Julien A’ rootstocks are kept to 2.4m (8ft) and on ‘Pixy’ rootstocks to 1.8m (6ft). Do this in early summer while fruits are still small and can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. times, RHS Registered Charity no. See our plum cordon page on this technique for more details. Repeat this pattern for one or two more years until the tree reaches its optimal height for fruit production and retrieval. You'll need a stable ladder to reach the top branches, a sharp pair of secateurs and a pruning saw, because some of the branches you need to remove are likely to have diameters in excess of 2 inches. Never prune your plum tree on a damp day; wait for a dryer day to prevent silver leaf disease. Bare wood areas can be difficult to remedy on fruit trees. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. The main purpose of pruning is to keep the tree healthy and maximize fruit yield, but the purpose can also be decorative, aimed at making the overall tree attractive in the landscape. Plant. Make sure cuts from a saw or clippers are clean cuts. They’re susceptible to silver leaf disease, which enters through pruning wounds. Prune it back to the trunk rather than back to a bud. Plum tree pruning is a task you only need to do once a year to ensure healthy growth and reduce the chance of any problems from developing. Plum trees begin to bear fruit three years after planting and reach full fruit production seven to 10 years after planting. The wounds caused by pruning can make the tree susceptible because they allow the fungus to penetrate the wood. Choose four or more of these evenly spaced around the trunk as keepers—along with the four original ones—and cut off the rest. The principle is to avoid damaging the collar of the branch and to make a clean cut which doesn't tear the bark. Name – Prunus domestica Family – Rosaceae Type – fruit tree. European plum trees require much lesser pruning when compared to the Japanese one which have an aggressive growth rate. Branches already broken should be pruned back into undamaged wood, ideally cutting back to a natural fork to avoid leaving stubs. The manner of pruning must be based on your idea of growing plum trees. Why Remove Water Sprouts. Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure proper shape. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. Complete all summer pruning by mid- to late-July to prevent frost damage to the tree. To lessen the risk, always use sharp secateurs or a pruning saw to get a clean cut, and never prune your plum during winter – wait until early spring or mid-summer. Plums are pruned in early spring or mid-summer to avoid infection by … You’ll need pruning shears to cut branches less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and a hand saw to remove branches up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Pruning should be carried out in spring or summer. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. - Get a Quote for plum tree pruning - Get The Help You Need Right Away. In such situations, keep the stronger branch and cut the smaller one back to a bud that points in the direction you want the branch to regrow. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Garden Focused: Pruning Overgrown Plum Trees, Royal Horticultural Society: Plums: Pruning, People's Trust for Endangered Species: Summer Pruning. Plum tree pruning is therefore best carried out early spring to mid-summer. You can buy this paint at a garden center or you can make your own. Keep these things in mind: You can have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way (even the experts). Sterilize your pruning equipment before the job, which will prevent the spread of infection. You may end up with a good number of fairly large ones. Plum trees require a lot of attention and maintenance to remain healthy as espalier plants due to their rapid growth rate. Avoid pruning in the dormant season or in mid to late autumn, as there is risk of infection from silver leaf disease and bacterial canker. This begins with the same formative pruning as apples and pears but, importantly, is carried out in early spring. When you prune in the winter, you revitalize the tree and stimulate growth the following spring, whereas when you do it in the summer, you slow unruly growth and limit the size of the tree. There are three commonly used methods of plum pruning and training: bush, pyramid and fan. 12. Blunt tools can cause branches to tear, leading to wounds on the tree that will attract disease. Cut back the four keeper branches, leaving only one or two buds on each of them, and cut off about a foot from the top of the tree, just above a bud. Pruning helps balance the top growth of your tree with the root system, giving the roots time to re-establish in your yard before spring growth. When a plum tree matures, it's best to do all the pruning in the summer. Attach one end of the tie to the branch tip, and the other end to a stake or the trunk. Julien A’ rootstock, or 1.8m (6ft) for ‘Pixy’, after which, shorten the central leader to 2.5cm (1in) or less each May, to keep the tree at the same height, Vertical shoots at the top that compete with the central leader should be removed in late June, In the third week of July, shorten branch leaders to 20cm (8in), pruning to a downward or outward-facing bud in the axil of the leaf. Because the fruit has plenty of room to grow and get lots of sunlight, it is bigger, healthier and tastier than the fruit that grows on an untrained tree. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. 20 comments. Pruning Plum Trees. Sometimes plums can fruit so heavily that they break branches. The shape you want to achieve is an Open Centre, also known as the Vase Shape, as this method lets plenty of light and air into the centre of the tree. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. Maintenance pruning is performed in winter but not during freezing weather. Remove branches that grow vertically or with a downward slope. Pruning Plums If you never pruned your Plum tree it would still crop well but it would just grow large and sprawling. When your Stark Bro’s bare root tree arrives, our professionals have already pre-pruned your tree for you. During the next dormant season, choose four branches evenly spaced around the main trunk to keep and cut off the rest. Plum Tree (Prunus) Learn How to grow Plum Tree in containers, Growing Plums, pests and diseases, and more about this Prunus tree. A nice clean cut is much better for the tree than a ragged, open cut. Proper pruning improves the quality of fruit that a plum tree bears. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com. The earliest pruning done on a plum tree is typically already done at the nursery (to make sure, ask them) before you buy it there in spring; when you get home, all you have to do is plant it. Plum Tree Pruning. Avoid pruning in the dormant season or in mid to late autumn, as there is risk of infection from silver leaf disease and bacterial canker. Because of this, you DO NO… Apr 22, 2013 - Plum trees are a lovely addition to any landscape, but without proper trimming and training can become a burden rather than an asset. Pruning can reduce specific defects or structural problems in a tree to greatly lessen the risk of failure. If you are looking for a pruning specialist you can count on Smith Landscapers to quickly match you with Fort Mohave tree pruning specialists close to you. Pruning is a very important part of proper fruit tree care, but many people find the task overwhelming. In the third dormant season, the tree will have grown several more lateral shoots. It isn't unusual for a plum tree to come to full maturity without any pruning at all. Pruning a tree can improve its appearance, prevent pests and disease, and help the tree grow strong and healthy. It's also the case that Silver Leaf Disease spreads through spores which are far more … Pruning fruit trees improve yield and quality. The most important thing to remember about pruning a plum tree is timing. The best time for pruning is usually spring for young trees and mid-summer for established ones. This robust plum tree is easy to grow and tends to be relatively frost-resistant. Pruning should be carried out in spring or summer. When you buy a new plum tree for planting, it may come from the nursery already pruned. This is a fungal disease of the leaves and wood to which plum, apple, apricot and cherry trees are prone. Renovating an old, neglected plum tree should be staged over several years. Apple trees are among the easiest, and most forgiving, trees to prune, but plums are just as easy. So the ideal is to prune it to a good shape in the early years and then just maintain that shape as time goes on. I really like this tree and want to keep it healthy. Pruning a plum tree can serve two purposes, depending on which time of year you do it. Start by removing all damaged, diseased and dead branches, cutting them back to healthy wood—which may mean cutting them back to the trunk. encourages new growth, fragrant flowers and healthy fruits. The best time to prune a tree is during the dormant season, or late winter through early spring. In case of larger, established trees, pruning means thinning of the overcrowded branches to ensure free passage of sunlight. Prune (verb) These plums are much softer, juicier, and larger than their European counterparts, though the European plum trees can survive much colder conditions. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Botched plum tree pruning? The best time to prune a tree is during the dormant season, or late winter through early spring. Bush and pyramid plums come immediately to mind, fan training is another aspect of pruning whereby the tree is trained against a wall or fence, with horizontal wires to hold the branches. Plums trained as cordons are gaining popularity too. All young fruit trees need some pruning to get them off to a good start. Summer pruning can correct the faults, but you may have to spread it out over two or three seasons to avoid stressing the tree to the point of damage. When pruning plum trees in the dormant season, only remove 20 percent of the growth from the previous year. best. During April, shorten the central leader by two-thirds. - Find Contractors in the Fort Mohave Area. Plumtree pruning is important in growing a bounty of fresh plums for eating, canning or freezing. Do not prune the sapling during the summer. Prune plum trees right after flowering to promote vigor. Plums on ‘St. Most prunes are freestone cultivars (the pit is easy to remove), whereas most plums grown for fresh consumption are clingstone (the pit is more difficult to remove). Pruning tools. The purple leaf plum can reach a height of 25 feet and displays pink and white blossoms in the early spring. You really should use a pruning paint, or white latex paint, on the tips of limbs that have been pruned. Also, remove suckers, which are those shoots that emerge at the base of the tree. Never prune in winter (to avoid silver leaf disease). Finally, cut the top of an excessively tall tree back by about one-third to focus the energy on lower branches. We have recently moved into our first house and inherited our very first garden. The plum has been cultivated since ancient times and was brought to North America by early settlers. Why You Should Use Our Service: - Connect With tree pruning specialists Quickly. The picture below illustrates the three steps. Therefore, pruning should occur during the very last part of winter to prevent the tree from being damaged further by cold temperature. After the initial pruning, follow these steps: A fan-shaped tree is created by training against a wall or fence with horizontal wires fixed 15cm (6in) (or two brick courses) apart. Thanks! If you are wondering when to prune a Victoria plum tree or other plum tree in your garden, a dry day in summer when it is not too hot is usually the best time. Pruning a plum tree can serve two purposes, depending on which time of year you do it. If your plum tree has suffered broken branches in high winds or due to a heavy fruit crop, it is always a good idea to deal with the broken branches immediately. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. A tree that has had regularly pruning from the time it was first transplanted will be a balanced specimen in which air can circulate freely through its branches. You may have to remove a number of fairly large branches to improve airflow and modify the shape of the tree. It is best to avoid this by supporting laden branches, but this can be avoided maybe by thinning the fruit late June. To maintain good air flow through the tree and maximize fruit yield, you want to remove any weak or spindly branches that can't support fruit. The main purpose of pruning the Santa Rosa plum tree is to getter a better yield of plums and enable them to be harvested by hand. Therefore, pruning should occur during the very last part of winter to prevent the tree from being damaged further by cold temperature. Finally, cut back the main branch so that it's only about 30 inches long. When and how should I prune my Victoria plum tree? 1. There is more than one type of plum tree, and degree of maintenance involved is one consideration when choosing between the different types. Most … Plum trees grow fast while young, and require aggressive pruning while dormant through winter. Here are a few techniques to try: The other main problems are silver leaf disease, honey fungus, bacterial canker, pocket plum, plum aphids and plum moth. hide. 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