When do I prune a plum tree that is in a pot? your tree is older than the example at the start of the article. Pruning your plum tree helps to balance out the branch structure and give it a characteristic shape. This article has been viewed 538,363 times. I needed advice on how to care for young plum trees in Georgia. ", instructions, all will be good. In the US, don't prune after July to reduce the risk of frost damage to new growth. All young fruit trees need some pruning to get them off to a good start. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. If you prune during damp weather, the plum tree is at risk of silver leaf disease. Thank you! ", climate. "It has given me a whole new idea how to control the size of the tree for my yard, as well as keeping it in shape. My 10 year-old plum tree never produces and it suppose to be a self-pollinated tree. Plum trees do best when grown within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, although several varieties will tolerate the colder temperatures of zone 4. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Can I prune it hard now, in July? After pruning, should I use pruning sealer? Unfortunately, I do not think that your tree is healthy. For tips on pruning a young plum tree, keep reading! It has never born fruit in 6 years. Never prune in winter (to avoid silver leaf disease). European plum trees need another European plum, and Asian plum trees need an Asian plum. What is the optimum height for a plum tree? 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. 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. Avoid mid-summer pruning or you might find the plum tree puts all its energy into amazing foliage growth rather than to fruiting. The tree should be shaped somewhat like a Christmas tree, with the top branches shorter than the bottom branches. My tree bears a lot of fruit, but it all falls off the tree when it is tiny. This helps so much. Dead and diseased branches can be removed any time of year, since taking them off won't affect the growth of the tree. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Beware that summer pruning can cause the tree to put its energy into leaf growth rather than fruit production. Get a personalized wikiHow-style meme drawn for you today! Basic pruning tasks include cutting out dead and damaged wood and removing any branches that cross over others, as well as removing suckers -- young growth from the soil, the lower trunk or that grow straight up on the limbs. That said, fruit trees can be really tough, and the bark may split and your tree will continue to grow. Read all of it, even if, "Hi. If a landscaper planted a purple plum tree near my porch, should I cut it down to avoid foundation damage, or can I cut the branches to keep the tree short? Your plum tree needs a mate. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. The best time to prune the plum tree is from the middle of June until August. Plums typically need to be in the vicinity of another tree to bear decently. Can You Prune Fruit Trees Anytime in February? Thank you. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. ", "Learned the time of year to trim my mature tree. % of people told us that this article helped them. If not, chop it wherever you want. Pruning the young plum tree is easy. Use pruning paint on cut branches to prevent disease. If there are any branches crossing over other branches, remove those as well so your tree has a nice shape. For the first two years of the tree's life, prune only during the dormant season and keep the scaffold whorl cut back to 10 inches (25.4 cm). My plum tree had some flowers in spring, but no fruit. This article received 22 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. "I've had this 'jelly' at the base of my plum tree for a couple seasons now. 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. No matter the age of the tree there are routine tasks to perform with every pruning. 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. What's wrong? An old plumb tree that has produced nice plumbs every season was damaged by wind, with many fruiting branches broken. Yes. Plum trees need to be pruned once a year so that they'll retain a healthy shape and produce abundant fruit. Plum trees are best pruned in a vase format to get a short trunk … Thank you! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing. If larger branches have developed a collar, cut just outside the collar, a few inches from the trunk. From here you’ll want to choose four lateral branches that are evenly spaced around the tree and remove all others. Thanks! ", "It was very informative! Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure proper shape. Use loppers to make clean, sharp cuts. "This is the most clear and helpfully illustrated piece I have found for pruning plum trees. Very few plum trees are said to be self-pollinating. Once you’ve trimmed the height, if there are competing leaders, or stems that are very close to the main stem, cut them off completely flush with the main stem. Open Center Pruning for Flowering Cherry Benefits. If there is a really cold winter will this hurt it? ", "Very informative, answered all my questions without going elsewhere. In the tree’s second year, cut back each branch of the scaffold whorl to 10 inches and prune back the main stem by up to 18 inches. ", "Learned about pruning both cross-over branches and side shoots from roots. Pruning too late in the summer can make the tree vulnerable to cold winter temperatures. I am not sure how I will do, hopefully with your. http://cesonoma.ucdavis.edu/files/27164.pdf, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/prune-plum-tree-52285.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. It is a radical pruning in which the trunk (leader) is headed back to about 30 inches tall. ", such as myself. ", Unlock this expert answer by supporting wikiHow. Pruning too much in late winter can lead to vegetative overgrowth and reduced fruit production. I would worry about it surviving winter. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 538,363 times. New growth will occur where you make each cut. Cut back the main stem by up to 18 inches, again making the cut just above a bud. Now, if I can only keep the deer off them. Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. After this first pruning, you might wish to paint the tree with white latex paint to keep it from getting sunburned and protect it from pests. It is time to cut it down and plant a new one. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Prune as late in the winter as possible before new growth occurs, since heavy freezes after pruning could damage the tree. unlocking this expert answer. The timing is important, since pruning at the wrong time of year can expose the tree to disease. Support wikiHow by Can I cut a tall plum branch bearing fruit in the summer? Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. Thanks for your help. Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0 Thank you. How to Grow a Japanese Umbrella Conifer Pine, Washington State University: Pruning Tree Fruit – The Basics, Alameda County Master Gardeners: Pruning Fruit Trees. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. How much pruning can I do at this time of year? Save some pruning for the summer. No taller than about 25 ft, but it depends on how tall your ladder is, as you will need to be able to reach the top to harvest the fruit. If the plum tree is 8 feet or taller, cut the main branch back so that it rises 3 feet above the top set of branches. I would recommend cutting it down. In subsequent years, create additional scaffold whorls until the tree reaches the desired height. Third and Subsequent Year Pruning. The tap root of any deciduous tree will be longer than the radius of the tree and as the tree trunk expands in diameter so does the tap root. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Cut back new side shoots to 6 leaves. What do I do if I pruned my plum tree and now there's no plums? This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Dispose of all cuttings to avoid transfer of disease. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. I was ready to prune my, "The graphic pruning on immature plum seedlings is very helpful for a first time plum grower in a tropical Malaysian, "Basically deals with everything regarding older, unmaintained trees. ", "These instructions and graphics were clear and concise. This article has been viewed 538,363 times. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Approved. Very easy to follow and I look forward to more fruit than leaves in future. Since pruning and fungal disease go hand in hand with the plum tree, not only is it important to prune to allow sunlight to penetrate the tree, but pruning at the correct time is essential. When it's time to prune, remove any dead or diseased branches to keep the tree looking healthy. Can I prune my plum tree whenever I want? How do I prune my plum tree if it doesn't have a center trunk?