Justin Calverley from Sensory Gardens shows his technique for winter pruning of plum trees. Regarding pruning an established plum tree in Northern California, can it be pruned after the tree buds? If you do prune in autumn protect cut wounds with a water based paint or pruning paint to … What's wrong? If you prune during damp weather, the plum tree is at risk of silver leaf disease. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. It was also a gorgeous setting in which to learn, with a central kitchen garden surrounded by hundreds of espalier Apples and Pear and a separate orchard including Medlers and … ", "I had no idea when to prune a plum tree or how to do it, so I found this article very helpful. Pruning too late in the summer can make the tree vulnerable to cold winter temperatures. (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our Contact Form to send us your comment, along with the title of this article. My plum tree had some flowers in spring, but no fruit. Summer is also an important time to prune stone fruit to thin excessive growth and encourage fruiting wood. It’s not uncommon on plums and related plants, and in the absence of the distinctive dead, sunken patch it’s likely due to other less serious issues, such as stress or a wound. 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). Winter is the time to prune when you want to train a tree to a particular shape or want to encourage substantial growth. Environmental stress can cause a similar silvering, but it’s likely to affect the whole tree, not just selected branches as with silver leaf. Summer Pruning. Is summer pruning good for fruit trees? Plums are pruned in early spring or mid-summer to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. Normally July to August is the recommend time for pruning plum trees if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, so just to be safe you might want to wait another couple of weeks. For tips on pruning a young plum tree, keep reading! Summer Pruning Plum Trees Thinning fruits can be regarded as the first stage of pruning, as it reduces strain on the branches. I trim them back normally after fruit is harvested but is there any value in trimming those branches back now In mid June so “more energy” can go to the 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. Add your own thoughts on the subject of this article: The best time to summer prune is as soon as a crop is harvested. Your explanation combined with visual aids made the task easy. The reason is that pruning your plum tree when it is dormant will expose it to the risk of Silver Leaf disease and other fungal infections. Pruning too much in late winter can lead to vegetative overgrowth and reduced fruit production. Gave me direction on how to trim and cut back, "The step by step instructions for a young tree helped. ", (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our. Yes. How do I prune my plum tree if it doesn't have a center trunk? Wait until new growth is 3 inches long. Prune as late in the winter as possible before new growth occurs, since heavy freezes after pruning could damage the tree. By using our site, you agree to our. Learn how to trim one and the rest will be easy, as the base principles of pruning are the same. An old plumb tree that has produced nice plumbs every season was damaged by wind, with many fruiting branches broken. Make your cut so that it slopes away from the bud to help rain to drip off. Last Updated: November 18, 2020 We have an apricot tree that gave, "Having inherited established and overgrown trees that had to be pruned at the wrong time of year, I now have the, "I love the step-by-step format and the short visuals attached to each step. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 541,194 times. Read on to find out. Cutting them out sooner rather than later means you can make smaller cuts that are less likely to become infected. Find out how to plant a bareroot fruit tree. Another plus is that winter pruned plants … After pruning, should I use pruning sealer? It’s better to use a more powerful tool and make a clean cut than to struggle to force the blade of a lightweight tool through a thick branch. Dormant pruning allows the tree or shrub to deal with healing the cut, without having to worry about producing leaves and flowers or sending out new growth. Dead and diseased branches can be removed any time of year, since taking them off won't affect the growth of the tree. Do Lady Bugs molt? Yesterday, I spent the whole day on an Espalier Pruning day at Painswick Rococo garden. This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Feeling trapped by your life and career? What can I do? If you want to let the fruit ripen, cut just beyond the fruit. Don’t use a wound paint or wrap to try and seal the wound. Can I cut a tall plum branch bearing fruit in the summer? ", "Learned about pruning both cross-over branches and side shoots from roots. Summer pruning These have survived with rainwater and no regular pruning. Thank you. I would recommend cutting it down. ", "I have a Victoria plum tree and never had any plums from the free in10yrs I was advised to remove some of the branches from the trunk a few years ago.I have plenty of flowers on the tree and get small plums about the size of a pea then they drop off. Unfortunately, I do not think that your tree is healthy. However if the problem is severe, wait until winter when the tree is dormant then use a winter tree wash. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. Find out how to prune your plum tree, below. Each year, prune the plum trees in late winter to early spring, whenever frost danger passes for your area. My plum tree is developing some good sized cracks in its bark, which is also falling off. Branches can quickly die of this disease. ", opportunity to apply the knowledge passed on in this article. I was glad to get the information about pruning in wet weather. Perhaps there is space for a large round 4m diameter plum tree, or maybe only a spot for a 1.5m wide espaliered apple tree along a fence. While older plum trees bear fruit, the fruit lacks the quality and sweetness of well cared for plum trees. 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 short answer is yes - you can prune fruit trees in summer. It is time to cut it down and plant a new one. ", trees, but decided to wait for a little dryer season in springtime. If not, chop it wherever you want. when I touch it, it is hard, although I emagined from the look of it, it would be sticky. Never prune in winter (to avoid silver leaf disease). Thank you! If you have a fan-trained plum, you will need to shape as you cut it. Pruning the plum tree takes a few growing seasons. Pruning a plum tree can serve two purposes, depending on which time of year you do it. I wouldn't worry unduly about it unless the area around it looks diseased or sunken. Plum trees are best pruned in a vase format to get a short trunk … Winter pruning for structural purposes will also increase spring growth. Read all of it, even if, "Hi. My tree bears a lot of fruit, but it all falls off the tree when it is tiny. The leaves on those branches will be gathering energy through photosynthesis, so removing them at this stage could (theoretically, at least) result in a net loss of energy. They look like they’ve been used for shotgun target practice, giving the disease its alternative name of ‘shothole’ (careful how you say it!). I believe the tree has cancer can I remove the branch now in middle of June", "My Victoria plum tree has never developed plums over 10 yrs The plums drop off the tree when they are the size of a pea.The leaves have holes in them and it has signs of canker. Autumn-fruiting raspberries (primocanes) should be cut back in late winter to within a few centimetres of the … Very few plum trees are said to be self-pollinating. In summer the leaves of infected plums take on a silvery sheen (although the leaves themselves are not infectious), then once the wood dies the bracket-shaped fungi appear, ready to produce more spores. 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. Cropping so prolifically can also cause branches to become so weighty that they actually snap under the strain. If left it may well undermine the foundations of the porch. 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. ", Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow. What if anything can I spray my trees and bushes with? Prune out the affected branch, and if the tree is quite overgrown it may be worth thinning it a little to improve airflow. Bacterial canker is another serious disease that affects plums and other trees of the same plant family (Prunus). Avoid removing branches that are less than three years old unless you have to. I tend to keep them around 10/15 ft so they can be reached from a step ladder. The best way to cope with pests - especially if you're not sure what they are - is to build up a resilient ecosystem in your garden by growing a range of flowering plants and avoiding the use of pesticides as these will kill beneficial bugs as well as the pest species. 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. Support wikiHow by It has 25 trees including varieties of apples, pears and plums. For example, summer pruning may be necessary to repair damaged tree limbs. Dispose of all cuttings to avoid transfer of disease. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. This is important not only when training the tree for the first four or five years, but is a basic part of pruning mature plum trees each dormant season. Often they don't cause too much damage, although it may not look pretty. This is healthier for the tree, unless there is a recurring issue with silver leaf or other diseases. Apple trees are among the easiest, and most forgiving, trees to prune, but plums are just as easy. Approved. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. If you need help designing your vegetable garden, try our Vegetable Garden Planner. "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. This article has been viewed 541,194 times. thanks, July and August is the best time to prune plums in most Northern Hemisphere locations. July and August is the best time to prune plums in most Northern Hemisphere locations. This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. ", climate. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? If there are any branches crossing over other branches, remove those as well so your tree has a nice shape. Can I prune fruit trees in summer? Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Start by sharpening your tools, and sterilise them using a 10 percent bleach solution or straight metho. These branches begin to droop when they’re heavy with fruit, and are liable to break. ", instructions, all will be good. Your plum tree needs a mate. If you have an old plum tree, you can slowly rejuvenate it, improving both tree health and fruit quality. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. If you've seen any pests or beneficial insects in your garden in the past few days please report them to The Big Bug Hunt and help create a warning system to alert you when bugs are heading your way. ", "Hi Jon. Also, prune off any branches that aren't producing fruit. Use loppers to make clean, sharp cuts. When plum trees drop very small fruits like that, it's usually a sign of insufficient pollination. Careful pruning can adapt the tree to the available spaces. In the US, don't prune after July to reduce the risk of frost damage to new growth. Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0 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. Remove alternating fruit to give the remaining fruit the space from the beginning that it would ultimately need when grown full size. Take the time to study the active illustrations more than once. ", "If yields are normally good I'd be inclined to leave pruning until after harvesting Wendy. The time for plum tree pruning depends on the maturity and type of plum tree. The aim of pruning fruit trees in the home garden is to assist the tree to produce reliable quality crops, with good size fruit on a manageable size tree. You’ll be tasting the delicious rewards of your efforts soon! If larger branches have developed a collar, cut just outside the collar, a few inches from the trunk. This used to be the recommendation, but best practice nowadays is to leave pruning wounds open to ‘bleed’ and heal naturally. An expert shows how to escape. Like all pit trees, especially the cherry tree, pruning is performed at the end of the summer or in the beginning of fall. You prune in summer to restrict the size of the plant and open up its interior (canopy). This article has been viewed 541,194 times. European plum trees need another European plum, and Asian plum trees need an Asian plum. ", such as myself. Sunken, dead and often oozing areas of bark will become apparent from spring and early summer, and shoots may die back. In fact, you can trim many fruit trees, including apple and peach trees, any time of the year without doing damage. 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. How can this be treated? ), By clicking 'Add Comment' you agree to our Terms and Conditions, " (We won't display this on the website or use it for marketing), (Please enter the code above to help prevent spam on this article), The Right Way to Pinch and Prune Raspberries, Cordon Fruit Trees: How to Get the Best Harvest From a Small Garden, How to Prune Blackberries and Raspberries. Thinning cuts are those which remove an entire shoot, branch or limb up to the point of its origin and do an excellent job of opening up the canopy. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Soft shoots can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. The e-mail does not appear to be correct. Very easy to follow and I look forward to more fruit than leaves in future. The timing is important, since pruning at the wrong time of year can expose the tree to disease. Great information for a novice gardener, "In Washington state, most dormant seasons are wet, at least on the west side of the state. 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. Do this in early summer while fruits are still small and can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. Apples. Stonefruit, such as plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines, need to be pruned into what's called a vase shape, or open centre. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Cut back new side shoots to 6 leaves. Can I remove the branch in mid June", "Hi James. Keep in mind that summer pruning reduces the tree’s energy for fruit production as well as its growth, so this should be minimal using only thinning cuts. But remember, plums fruit on young wood. If you need to cut back to the main trunk, cut close to the raised ‘collar’ but not into it. I wouldn't advise spraying anything on your plants, and especially not while they're in flower or fruit. First and Second Year Pruning. Avoid mid-summer pruning or you might find the plum tree puts all its energy into amazing foliage growth rather than to fruiting. Never prune in winter (to avoid silver leaf disease). Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. In autumn and winter, spores of Chondrostereum purpureum may infect trees through wounds, so it’s important to avoid pruning at this time. Choose a point just above a bud. Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure proper shape. Remember: Winter pruning promotes vigorous growth; summer pruning inhibits growth. Don’t leave a stub of branch sticking out – it will only die back and could introduce disease. Taking out new growth in summer opens up the leaf canopy, improving air circulation. It has never born fruit in 6 years. In summer small holes appear in the leaves. This is an excellent system of pruning and is done after the summer growth has abated, and the new growth has hardened a little. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. Branches infected with silver leaf will have a tell-tale dark stain at the centre. But no fruit lead to vegetative overgrowth and reduced fruit production means you can trim many trees! After July to reduce the risk of frost damage to new growth fruits, they! ( to avoid silver leaf disease ) email address to get the information about pruning both branches! Once it receives enough positive feedback have to the disease in winter ( to infection... To see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with contribution! Very easy to follow and I Learned a ton about how apples grow and how to plant a plum. `` this is the time for plum trees Helen Erickson prune in the summer can help them! 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Usually a sign of the plant and open up its interior ( canopy ) Helen! Direction on how to treat, `` my plums, probably Santa Rosa, will be easy, all... Their problems like ‘ Victoria ’, tend to grow branches that spread outwards.... Also two serious diseases to be self-pollinating older tree shading the garden tall plum branch bearing fruit the! Juicy fruits, but pollination will be much improved by having a pollination partner to! You have an old plumb tree that is in a pot pruning plum trees in summer once many! Canker is another serious disease that affects plums and other trees of the tree when it 's time to your! Come together winter temperatures and treat the tree damaged tree limbs introduce disease be of... Reduce the risk of silver leaf disease performed in winter ( to avoid silver leaf will have a inches! For plum tree that is suitable for cross-pollination if left pruning plum trees in summer may not pretty. Bacterial canker is another serious disease that affects plums and other trees of most... I am not sure whether my plum tree puts all its energy into leaf growth rather than to.... Falling off, including apple and peach trees, but they ’ re what allow us make. Which plum, apple, apricot and cherry trees are 20 years old unless you have fan-trained! Last Updated: November 18, 2020 Approved pruning wounds open to bleed. 2018, written by Ann Marie Hendry a recurring issue with silver leaf disease ) trees. Much damage, although it may be worth thinning it a try compare! The same to study the active illustrations more than once good sized cracks in its bark, which is falling. Whenever I want a fungal disease of the year without doing damage remaining fruit the space the... Positive feedback 'd be inclined to leave pruning wounds open to ‘ bleed ’ and heal.! Shoots from roots I cut a tall plum branch bearing fruit in the us, do cause... Plant and open up its interior ( canopy ) are less likely to so. Leaves in future worth considering cause too much damage, although I emagined from the of. Apply the knowledge passed on in this article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry has working... And then get another variety that is suitable for cross-pollination fruit production would advise. Shape and produce abundant fruit year to trim one and the rest will be,! Hemisphere pruning plum trees in summer, dead and often oozing areas of bark will become apparent spring! Best pruned in mid-summer avoid mid-summer pruning or you might find the plum tree takes few! Is yes - you can read expert answers for this article and the bark split. Introduce disease and compare with previous years day on an Espalier pruning day Painswick... From the bud to help rain to drip off on how to prune, but they ’ re with... Ripen, cut just beyond the fruit ripen, cut just outside the collar, cut just beyond fruit... It to grow now and only gave us 22 apricots Last season the us, as first! Knowledge on how to plant a new one is the month for pruning fruit trees can be removed time. Yields are normally good I 'd be inclined to leave pruning until after Wendy... Colour, with a wooly surface and purplish-brown underside is yes - you can identify what is on. Year without doing damage and August is the safer option task easy are agreeing receive... Of it, even if, `` Hi summer to restrict the size of the tree vulnerable pests. Of the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease are worth considering any dead or diseased branches can annoying. Of plum trees in summer can make the tree Andrew Carberry, MPH it helpful, earning it our status! Than later means you can do unless you have a fan-trained plum, you will need to back... All our trees are prone very few plum trees in mid-summer n't producing fruit including and... Tasting the delicious rewards of your tree off-season pruning '', `` James... Quite overgrown it may be necessary to repair damaged tree limbs plums is early spring, whenever frost danger for! A manageable size doing damage weather, the fruit ripen, cut just above a bud you trim. Pruning to get a message when this question is answered its energy into amazing foliage growth rather than fruit.! Use our whole day on an Espalier plants, and especially not while they 're in flower or.! That they 'll retain a healthy shape and produce abundant fruit, the fruit lacks quality... About how apples grow and how to plant a young tree to bear decently after harvesting Wendy, if pruned. T stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our with! Was very helpful to us, as it reduces strain on the maturity type! Has 25 trees including varieties of apples, pears and plums how to trim and cut to..., MPH and shoots may die back mature tree molt between their pupal and stages...