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), on an angle, immediately above a healthy bud. All young fruit trees need some pruning to get them off to a good start. Free-standing fruit trees or bush trees, such as those grown in an orchard should be pruned when they're dormant, in winter. Dwarf plum trees require the same type of pruning as standard plum trees although they reach smaller mature sizes. 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Because of this, you DO N… A well pruned tree is easier to maintain and to harvest, and adds esthetic value to the home garden as well, but the primary reason for pruning is to ensure good access to sunlight. Pruning Plum Trees There are two considerations when pruning plum trees. Apple trees are among the easiest, and most forgiving, trees to prune, but plums are just as easy. 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. When you prune in the second year, cut the main stem back to 18 inches (46 cm.) Pruning your plum tree step-by-step. Plum Trees: Plum trees produce fruit on the same spurs for several years. above soil level on new trees. Plums trees are easy to grow, and with a little care and attention, produce bumper crops of juicy fruit. Plums bear on one-year-old shoots and spurs that grow on older wood. Sign up for our newsletter. When you prune a plum tree depends, in part, on the stage of development of the tree. The tree is of medium hardiness. Plum trees grow fast while young, and require aggressive pruning while dormant through winter. At the same time, pruning in winter exposes the tree to fungal infections. The best time to prune a tree is during the dormant season, or late winter through early spring. This is a fungal disease of the leaves and wood to which plum, apple, apricot and cherry trees are prone. It is known that over 1000 cultivars of plum are grown for drying and some of the most popular varieties are the improved French prune, Tulare Giant, Sutter, Imperial, Moyer, Greengage and Italian prune. Peach, nectarine, apricot, cherry and plum are usually pruned as open center trees. Here’s how and when to prune your plum trees. Pruning is the most important winter task for your plum trees. If you want a bush plum tree in future, you should prune the baby tree three feet above the soil. The time for plum tree pruning depends on the maturity and type of plum tree. When and how to trim plums shouldn’t be discouraging. wikiHow Quick Video on How to Prune Plum Trees. Therefore, learning how and when to prune a plum tree is imperative. European plum trees require much lesser pruning when compared to the Japanese one which have an aggressive growth rate. Prune European Plum Trees to a Central Leader Shape. Once your tree is established, it’s important to prune only branches that have not produced fruit in that year. When it's time to prune, remove any dead or diseased branches to keep the tree looking healthy. Mix and match on over 20 varieties of dahlia and pay just £4 per plant. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. Without pruning, the trees can reach 12 metres in height and spread across 10 metres. This type of tree has a pyramidal shape with a single upright leader limb as its highest point. In fact, if you don’t thin them out, your plum tree may crop so heavily that the branches snap under their own weight! Click on pests and disease in the left hand menu for a detailed description of silver leaf disease. encourages new growth, fragrant flowers and healthy fruits. These plums are much softer, juicier, and larger than their European counterparts, though the European plum trees can survive much colder … Once shape has been established, they require little pruning. Many trees in home gardens are neglected and end up being an unproductive waste of time and space. To prune a plum tree, wait until the tree is dormant in the winter if you want to encourage more growth in the spring, or prune it during the summer if you want to slow its growth. Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure a proper shape. Additionally, properly pruning plum trees can help keep their shape clean and attractive. Sometimes plums can fruit so heavily that they break branches. The answer to that question is simple, prune your plum tree when it's growing strongly and for established plum trees early June to mid July is the best time. Plums need to be pruned in July and August to ensure top-quality fruit is produced consistently each and every season. 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. There are two basic types of pruning cuts: Heading cuts are made along a branch at the junction of a bud. Here’s how to do it properly to ensure optimal fruit production in summer. This means opening up the centre of the tree to let in the light. Thanks! The commercially important plum trees are medium-sized, usually pruned to 5–6 metres (16–20 ft) height. You really should use a pruning paint, or white latex paint, on the tips of limbs that have been pruned. When plum trees are not carefully pruned, they can easily become heavy and break under their fruit load. Most … If you want a bush plum tree in future, you should prune the baby tree three feet above the soil. Foliage – deciduous Flowering – March-April Harvest – July to September. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. When To Prune . Also, prune off any branches that aren't producing fruit. These cuts stimulate growth behind the cut. Knowing when, how and what to use to prune your plum tree will help you to properly maximize your pruning efforts. Plum trees are best pruned in a vase format to get a short trunk … Use secateurs to cut back this season’s growth of the main shoots or ‘leaders’ to half their length. above a bud. When your tree is dug up from our fields to be shipped to you, the root ball loses many of its tiny feeder roots, which are needed to absorb moisture and nutrients. When it's time to prune, remove any dead or diseased branches to keep the tree looking healthy. For a pyramid … Otherwise, they get overwhelmed with fruit, and too tall to facilitate harvest. Prune these branches to 10 inches (25 cm. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. Take a few minutes to watch this (three-part) YouTube video produced by the Alabama Cooperative Extension: Video1: Video2: Video3: As you can see, there are various times of the year where pruning your trees is more beneficial than others. All of our fruit trees are guaranteed for one year. Plum trees can be prone to silver leaf disease if pruned in winter, so cut them back in summer to encourage the development of bushy growth, which stops them becoming too large and unmanageable.. Find out how to prune your plum tree, below. Save to My scrapbook. In the case of a large tree where you want to remove big branches in the upper area of the crown, it may be best to hire experts. Plum trees can be prone to silver leaf disease if pruned in winter, so cut them back in summer to encourage the development of bushy growth, which stops them becoming too large and unmanageable. Plum tree pruning is therefore best carried out early spring to mid-summer. This allows plenty of light and air into the tree. “The fall is not the time to learn how to prune. These plums are much softer, juicier, and larger than their European counterparts, though the European plum trees can survive much colder conditions. 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. Easily the most common pruning technique for a plum tree, the bush method involves pruning to create an open-centred tree. All young fruit trees need some pruning to get them off to a good start. Simply learning the basics of how to prune a plum tree will provide you with the necessary tools for growing a healthy, happy tree and plenty of fruit. Dwarf plum trees require the same type of pruning as standard plum trees although they reach smaller mature sizes. Since gardeners usually choose dwarf cultivars for container planting, potted fruit tree pruning is less arduous. From the team at Gardeners' World Magazine. No doubt about it, you have the holy grail in your back yard. How to prune plum trees. It is important to prune a one year plum tree as soon as possible to help it establish a good structure. Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure proper shape. To prune a plum tree, wait until the tree is dormant in the winter if you want to encourage more growth in the spring, or prune it during the summer if you want to slow its growth. Instead, you will have to choose between three alternative pruning options. Fruit trees need pruning for two primary purposes: to establish the basic structure, and to provide light channels throughout the tree so that all the fruit can mature well. But that assumption could damage your precious trees or even kill them even mature trees. Pruning plum trees - plan a head Hi Carol, All I can say is WOW!! Remove vertical branching and water shoots’ regularly. Height – 16 to 20 feet (5 to 6 m) Exposure – full sun Soil – rich enough. European Plum trees do best when pruned and trained to a central leader tree. We show you how. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. Prune plum trees before they bloom in late winter. Not all fruiting plants require an annual prune, and some new dwarf cultivars of apples, peaches, apricots and nectarines have been bred to eliminate the need for annual pruning and maintenance. Here’s how and when to prune your plum trees. Once you have made the cut, you can rub off the bud directly below the cut. Look for six to nine nice, strong branches that can form that framework. When to prune. The purpose of pruning and training is to encourage tree health and increase fruit yield. Do not prune it in winter /spring because the risk of fungal infection is high and don't prune it in autumn because the leaves are needed by the tree to transfer nutrients to it as they die. With these two factors in mind we recommend pruning a one year old tree in early March (late March in cold areas of the UK). A prune can refer to any variety of plum cultivars, usually Prunus domestica also referred to as the European Plum, mostly sold as a dried fruit. 1. When pruning, it is vital to prune the unwanted branch while protecting the stem or trunk wood of the tree. An American wild plum tree doesn't exactly look like a tree, but it doesn't exactly look like a shrub, so I'm guessing that pruning has a great deal to do with your tree's appearance. Prune or pinch side shoots back to two or three buds from the base of the current season’s soft growth. However a set of basic easy to understand principles can be used to apply to almost all overgrown plum tree which amateur gardeners can use to guide them through the process. Justin Calverley from Sensory Gardens shows his technique for winter pruning of plum trees. July and August is the best time to prune plums in most Northern Hemisphere locations. Fig trees are hardy and can thrive without pruning. Large and blousy blooms provide stunning displays throughout summer and autumn until the first frosts. Be sure that there are at least three buds below. 1. General Pruning Tips for Plum Trees. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND PRUNING ESTABLISHED PLUM TREES Established plum trees are all very different in shape, size and structure which means that one set of absolute rules can't be applied to them all. In this system, at planting the tree is headed at the point where the future main branches will be establish… Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0 European plum trees require much lesser pruning when compared to the Japanese one which have an aggressive growth rate. Fan trained trees are attractive additions to any garden or outdoor space. For young trees that you are in the process of shaping, do just one pruning in early spring. The Vase Training Method presented here produces a vase-shaped tree consisting of 3 or 4 scaffolds (main branches) of equal lengths and no central leader (vertical growing top central branch). If you are wondering how to prune a potted fruit tree, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s not difficult. If you want a big plum tree, then pruning should be done four feet above the soil. Pruning ornamental plum trees (Prunus spp.) Established fruit tree plums are best pruned in mid-summer. Plum trees are susceptible to silver leaf disease and should therefore be pruned in summer. Getting Started. This leader is the newest extension of a long, upright growing trunk from which all lateral branches arise. Name – Prunus domestica Family – Rosaceae Type – fruit tree. above a bud. from the highest branch. Large tree pruning can require climbing and heavy saws or even cherry-pickers and chain saws. The first is to establish a good shape. A central wide-angle stem is pruned to 2 1/2 ft from the ground, with several smaller shoots below. The training systemsmost used in pruning fruit trees are the Open Center,Central Leader, andTrellis (Espalier). This is a fungal disease of the leaves and wood to which plum, apple, apricot and cherry trees are prone. This means opening up the centre of the tree to let in the light. Trim the three or four branches immediately below to 10 inches (25 cm.). In this video, we show how to prune a maiden fruit tree to form a half standard. Thinning cuts are made at the base of a branch, removing it entirely and reducing the amount of vegetative growth. The health of your plum tree depends upon pruning to keep it stimulated. The best time to prune plums is early spring or early summer during a dry day. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! wikiHow Quick Video on How to Prune Plum Trees. Half standards are taller than bush shaped fruit trees, but not so tall that you need a crane to pick the crop: ladders will do. Training and pruning a fan plum tree. Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. Plums trees are easy to grow, and with a little care and attention, produce bumper crops of juicy fruit. 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. Apricot and cherry trees are easy to grow, and help the tree date all... Wood of the tree to ensure optimal fruit production in summer fan plum trees produce fruit on the branches plum. Are still small and can be avoided because it can leave the tree prone infection! In early spring or mid-summer to avoid any infection with silver leaf disease and should be. Such as Satsuma, Santa Rosa, Burbank, Mariposa, and Ace! 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