Look for six to nine nice, strong branches that can form that framework. 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. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. Come with us as we prune a mature plum tree in the orchard. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Dwarf plum trees require the same type of pruning as standard plum trees although they reach smaller mature sizes. Pruning your plum tree helps to balance out the branch structure and give it a characteristic shape. The bright leaves begin falling, and some large limbs look a little iffy. When pruning plums it is important to train the tree into a vase shape. It is important to prune a one year plum tree as soon as possible to help it establish a good structure. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. Pruning Plum Trees There are two considerations when pruning plum trees. Never prune your plum tree on a damp day; wait for a dryer day to prevent silver leaf disease. You really should use a pruning paint, or white latex paint, on the tips of limbs that have been pruned. The time for plum tree pruning depends on the maturity and type of plum tree. The second is to avoid any infection with silver leaf disease. The best time to prune the plum tree is from the middle of June until August. Learn how to trim one and the rest will be easy, as the base principles of pruning are the same. Pruning a Central Leader Fruit Tree A central leader tree has one main, upright trunk with whorls of branches, usually beginning 60-90cm above ground, then again every 45-60cm up the trunk. Although plum tree pruning is not difficult, it’s important. 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. 1. When To Prune . Younger trees are best pruned in spring and established trees in mid-summer. Thinning fruits can be regarded as the first stage of pruning, as it reduces strain on the branches. Most … Be sure that there are at least three buds below. Save to My scrapbook. Fan plum trees are trained against walls or fences in a fan-shape. Many trees in home gardens are neglected and end up being an unproductive waste of time and space. Follow our guide below on why, when and how to prune. While pruning plum trees, always remember to remove dead or damaged branches, and those parts that look sick or dying. Keep the central stem no more than 3 feet (91 cm.) In addition, keeping fruit trees well pruned protects against both disease and pest infestations. Prune these branches to 10 inches (25 cm. Otherwise, they get overwhelmed with fruit, and too tall to facilitate harvest. This is a fungal disease of the leaves and wood to which plum, apple, apricot and cherry trees are prone. Training and pruning a fan plum tree. 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. Leafy summer prunings can be added straight to the compost heap where they’ll rot down quickly. “The fall is not the time to learn how to prune. Plum tree is magnificent from spring to fall, and offers abundant harvests of plums.. Main Plum tree facts. European plum trees require much lesser pruning when compared to the Japanese one which have an aggressive growth rate. All of our fruit trees are guaranteed for one year. wikiHow Quick Video on How to Prune Plum Trees. Prune or pinch side shoots back to two or three buds from the base of the current season’s soft growth. Anyone can trim plums, but timing is important, as is consistency. But that assumption could damage your precious trees or even kill them even mature 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. That said, you don't have to prune them. Here’s how and when to prune your plum trees. The key to avoiding this infection is to prune plum trees at the correct time of year (see below). Pruning fruit trees in containers is generally a breeze when compared with pruning fruit trees in the orchard. Below this cut, there should be at least three branches. When plum trees are not carefully pruned, they can easily become heavy and break under their fruit load. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. Read more about 'Pruning a Central Leader Fruit Tree'... Fruit Tree Pruning - Videos above soil level on new trees. Excessive pruning can over stimulate tree growth at the expense of fruit. Prune European Plum Trees to a Central Leader Shape. When and how to trim plums shouldn’t be discouraging. When your Stark Bro’s bare root tree arrives, our professionals have already pre-pruned your tree for you. Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. When you prune a plum tree depends, in part, on the stage of development of the tree. How to prune plum trees. 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. If you want a big plum tree, then pruning should be done four feet above the soil. 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. In this video, we show how to prune a maiden fruit tree to form a half standard. Therefore, learning how and when to prune a plum tree is imperative. We show you how. Plum trees are a lovely addition to any landscape, but without proper trimming and training, they can become a burden rather than an asset. This leader is the newest extension of a long, upright growing trunk from which all lateral branches arise. You may purchase fan plum trees as maidens ready for you to train them as a fan, or your tree may already be partly fan trained. 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Trim the three or four branches immediately below to 10 inches (25 cm.). Plum trees grow fast while young, and require aggressive pruning while dormant through winter. 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 your plum tree step-by-step. Plum trees need to be pruned for a variety of reasons, but especially because plum trees are at a high risk of developing silver leaf disease, which is a fungal disease that afflicts many plum trees. If pruning old plum trees this way doesn't kill them, it will assuredly produce unattractive and unproductive new growth. However, if you want to maximize the number of figs and their size, you should prune a young tree soon after transplanting and twice more during each of the subsequent dormant seasons. When you prune in the second year, cut the main stem back to 18 inches (46 cm.) It is best to avoid this by supporting laden branches, but this can be avoided maybe by thinning the fruit late June. When working with a Japanese plum look to see what interferes with the shape of the tree. Once your tree is established, it’s important to prune only branches that have not produced fruit in that year. 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. The manner of pruning must be based on your idea of growing plum trees. Make sure cuts from a saw or clippers are clean cuts. Once shape has been established, they require little pruning. If you are wondering how to prune a potted fruit tree, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s not difficult. 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. The training systemsmost used in pruning fruit trees are the Open Center,Central Leader, andTrellis (Espalier). Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure proper shape. Make a New Year’s resolution to reduce your garden’s carbon footprint and become a better gardener at the same time in our latest Masterclass Online with host, David Hurrion. The wounds caused by pruning can make the tree susceptible because they allow the fungus to penetrate the wood. This allows plenty of light and air into the tree. Apple trees are among the easiest, and most forgiving, trees to prune, but plums are just as easy. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. This means opening up the centre of the tree to let in the light. Find out how to prune your plum tree, below. Mix and match on over 20 varieties of dahlia and pay just £4 per plant. Free-standing fruit trees or bush trees, such as those grown in an orchard should be pruned when they're dormant, in winter. 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. For a pyramid … Without pruning, the trees can reach 12 metres in height and spread across 10 metres. It is a radical pruning in which the trunk (leader) is headed back to about 30 inches tall. Developing a strong foundation is essential to the life of any fruit 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. Sometimes plums can fruit so heavily that they break branches. 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. Otherwise, they get overwhelmed with fruit, and too tall to facilitate harvest. European Plum trees do best when pruned and trained to a central leader tree. Prune potted figs after fruit ripens or in early spring. At the same time, pruning in winter exposes the tree to fungal infections. Fan trained trees are attractive additions to any garden or outdoor space. Properly pruned plum trees also insure that the right amount of sunlight and airflow are able to reach deep with the tree and allow all of the fruit to flourish. Large tree pruning can require climbing and heavy saws or even cherry-pickers and chain saws. Since gardeners usually choose dwarf cultivars for container planting, potted fruit tree pruning is less arduous. This will be more fruitful in future. For young trees that you are in the process of shaping, do just one pruning in early spring. Thinning cuts are made at the base of a branch, removing it entirely and reducing the amount of vegetative growth. Pruning is the most important winter task for your plum trees. Always make the cut just above a bud. If pruning old plum trees this way doesn't kill them, it will assuredly produce unattractive and unproductive new growth. Justin Calverley from Sensory Gardens shows his technique for winter pruning of plum trees. 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. Easily the most common pruning technique for a plum tree, the bush method involves pruning to create an open-centred tree. A compact variety of this hardy perennial is ideal for smaller gardens. Pruning plum trees - plan a head Hi Carol, All I can say is WOW!! Here’s how to do it properly to ensure optimal fruit production in summer. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. 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. 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. How to prune plum trees. When to prune. For some reason, many people believe tree pruning in the fall is the perfect time of year, especially where four seasons are present. Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure a proper shape. General Pruning Tips for Plum Trees. Remove vertical branching and water shoots’ regularly. Flowering Plum Tree Pruning. 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). If you want a big plum tree, then pruning should be done four feet above the soil. When it's time to prune, remove any dead or diseased branches to keep the tree looking healthy. Fig trees are hardy and can thrive without pruning. 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. Plum trees are best pruned in a vase format to get a short trunk with three or four major branches to come off of the trunk at a 45-degree angle. Plum trees grow fast while young, and require aggressive pruning while dormant through winter. When pruning plums it is important to train the tree into a vase shape. Do this in early summer while fruits are still small and can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. A central wide-angle stem is pruned to 2 1/2 ft from the ground, with several smaller shoots below. ), on an angle, immediately above a healthy bud. above a bud. 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