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. 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. When pruning plums it is important to train the tree into a vase shape. 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. Maintenance pruning is performed in winter but not during freezing weather. However, if pruning is done incorrectly, it … If pruning old plum trees this way doesn't kill them, it will assuredly produce unattractive and unproductive new growth. The principle is to avoid damaging the collar of the branch and to make a clean cut which doesn't tear the bark. 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. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. In the UK, the best time to prune your plum tree is in mid June 2017, never in winter when they are dormant. Finally, clear out extraneous growth from the center of the tree. Pruning a plum tree can serve two purposes, depending on which time of year you do it. These drain the tree's energy and will never bear fruit. Finally, cut the top of an excessively tall tree back by about one-third to focus the energy on lower branches. Pruning should be carried out in spring or summer. No doubt about it, you have the holy grail in your back yard. Plums are pruned in early spring or mid-summer to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. During April, shorten the central leader by two-thirds. hide. RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected The manner of pruning must be based on your idea of growing plum trees. The espalier growing technique involves training a young plum tree -- in its first or second year of growth -- to a trellis system along a wall. If a branch is growing at an unfavorable angle but is otherwise healthy and producing good fruit, you may want to alter its growth direction using ropes and stakes. The tying down of young, flexible branches to the horizontal can reduce excess vigour in large, unruly trees. Pruning. In addition, the fruit is easier to reach on a tree that has had regular pruning, because the height has been limited and there are fewer cross branches in the way. During the first year after the tree is planting, wait until buds have started to swell on the tree, and then cut off the top portion of the tree. The picture below illustrates the three steps. 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. Avoid pruning during the second summer. Pruning a tree can improve its appearance, prevent pests and disease, and help the tree grow strong and healthy. Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. Branches that cross each other are the next to go. "A good grape grower will prune the vines once a year." Plums: pruning. Plum tree pruning is therefore best carried out early spring to mid-summer. Find out how to prune your plum tree, below. Cut side branches back to a bud at 15cm (6in). The best time to prune a tree is during the dormant season, or late winter through early spring. Pruning plums in the warmer months helps to reduce the risk of disease entering through pruning wounds. 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. The best time to prune a tree is during the dormant season, or late winter through early spring. 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. Pruning Plum Trees at the Time of Planting. encourages new growth, fragrant flowers and healthy fruits. Once a plum tree matures, and as long as it remains healthy, it doesn't need revitalization, and since winter pruning increases the risk of infection by silver leaf, it's better to avoid it. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. Prune (verb) To remove excess material from a tree or shrub; to trim, especially to make more healthy or productive. report. Therefore the plums tree is a good choice for new gardeners, who want to grow fruit trees. 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. 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. Pruning a Victoria plum tree. A mature plum tree that is kept properly pruned can be a valuable landscape specimen, even without fruit. 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. A pyramid plum tree is considerably smaller than a pruned a bush, and this makes it practical to net against birds. This begins with the same formative pruning as apples and pears but, importantly, is carried out in early spring. Julien A’ rootstocks are kept to 2.4m (8ft) and on ‘Pixy’ rootstocks to 1.8m (6ft). Shorten new branches to 20cm (8in), cutting above a downward or outward-pointing bud, Cut side branches back to a bud at 15cm (6in), Train and tie in the central leader to the stake. Plum Tree Pruning. Winter pruning. Proper pruning improves the quality of fruit that a plum tree bears. The first is to establish a good shape. Come with us as we prune a mature plum tree in the orchard. The second is to avoid any infection with silver leaf disease. Otherwise, they get overwhelmed with fruit, and too tall to facilitate harvest. Ties are left in place until the branch stays naturally at the new position, usually the following spring. 1. When your Stark Bro’s bare root tree arrives, our professionals have already pre-pruned your tree for you. It is best to avoid this by supporting laden branches, but this can be avoided maybe by thinning the fruit late June. Flowering Plum Tree Pruning. The pruning of a newly planted tree is the same as for apples and pears. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. The best time to prune plums is early spring or early summer during a dry day. 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. 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. Once you have harvested the plums, remove dead wood and fragile branches. 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. Different types of plum tree require slightly different pruning processes, although most are relatively straight-forward to do, while the age of the tree also influences the type of pruning required. - Get a Quote for plum tree pruning - Get The Help You Need Right Away. Finally, cut back the main branch so that it's only about 30 inches long. Remember: carry out in April not winter to avoid silver leaf disease. Join It's also a good idea to have paint on hand for sealing the cuts to prevent infections. 222879/SC038262, Prune in the third week of July when the young shoots have finished growing. Plum Tree Pruning image source. Close. You really should use a pruning paint, or white latex paint, on the tips of limbs that have been pruned. You can buy this paint at a garden center or you can make your own. Eliminate any branches that cross over each other. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com. Why European Plum Trees Are a Great Choice . 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. If you want a bush plum tree in future, you should prune the baby tree three feet above the soil. Julien A’ 3.6-4.5m (13-15ft) and the ‘Brompton’ and ‘Myrobalan B’ 6m (20ft). Although plum tree pruning is not difficult, it is important. European plum trees require less pruning than the more vigorous Japanese plum trees (P. salicina) and are thus a better choice for those who place a high priority on lower landscape maintenance. encourages new growth, fragrant flowers and healthy fruits. Repeat this pattern for one or two more years until the tree reaches its optimal height for fruit production and retrieval. The first pruning is somewhat radical. 12. 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. 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. These plums are much softer, juicier, and larger than their European counterparts, though the European plum trees can survive much colder conditions. Should I be upset? Pruning ornamental plum trees (Prunus spp.) Pruning can reduce specific defects or structural problems in a tree to greatly lessen the risk of failure. The plum has been cultivated since ancient times and was brought to North America by early settlers. Plumtree pruning is important in growing a bounty of fresh plums for eating, canning or freezing. Avoid pruning plums in winter, as it increases the risk of infection by silver leaf disease to which plums and other Prunus species are prone. It's never going to bear fruit, so you don't want it to sprout again. Why Remove Water Sprouts. They must have been pretty surprised when they arrived in the new world to find plums already growing along the entire East Coast. Most … During the next dormant season, choose four branches evenly spaced around the main trunk to keep and cut off the rest.