By pruning now, instead of winter, the tree has time to grow lots of new wood, and is likely to bear a heavy crop in about 12 months time. Silver leaf and bacterial canker can weaken or even kill plum trees. Save some pruning for the summer. For your other plant problems, sorry, it's hard to say as many things could cause the problems and depending on where you are in the world and which plants are affected the culprits might differ. The best time to summer prune is as soon as a crop is harvested. In the UK, the best time to prune your plum tree is in mid June 2017, never in winter when they are dormant. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. Choose a point just above a bud. 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. 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). The first thing to do is identify and remove the 3Ds – dead, diseased and dying wood. Prune out the affected branch, and if the tree is quite overgrown it may be worth thinning it a little to improve airflow. Find out how to prune your plum tree, below. Prune it to the shape you want. 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. This article received 22 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. ", "If yields are normally good I'd be inclined to leave pruning until after harvesting Wendy. There are also two serious diseases to be aware of. 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. Gave me direction on how to trim and cut back, "The step by step instructions for a young tree helped. First and Second Year Pruning. If you want to let the fruit ripen, cut just beyond the fruit. By using our site, you agree to our. Any kind of pruning stresses a plant. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. It’s harder for the trees to resist the disease in winter, so again summer pruning is the safer option. What do I do if I pruned my plum tree and now there's no plums? ", "Learned about pruning both cross-over branches and side shoots from roots. 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. A few simple, well-placed cuts can improve fruiting and limit the size of the tree, ensuring it stays compact enough for a small garden. Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. If there is a really cold winter will this hurt it? 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. Once that’s done, step back again and look over your tree. If larger branches have developed a collar, cut just outside the collar, a few inches from the trunk. Oozing bark, though alarming, isn’t necessarily a sign of the disease. 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. Use pruning paint on cut branches to prevent disease. 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