This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. 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. They are a whitish colour, with a wooly surface and purplish-brown underside. Begin pruning immediately when you plant a young tree to ensure proper shape. 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. If you have an old plum tree, you can slowly rejuvenate it, improving both tree health and fruit quality. Wait until new growth is 3 inches long. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Do this in early summer while fruits are still small and can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. Never prune in winter (to avoid silver leaf disease). Dispose of all cuttings to avoid transfer of disease. Autumn-fruiting raspberries (primocanes) should be cut back in late winter to within a few centimetres of the … ", climate. Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0 I wouldn't advise spraying anything on your plants, and especially not while they're in flower or fruit. Can I prune a plum tree if it already has blooms? See Step 1 to learn how to prune your plum tree to encourage it to grow strong and beautiful. Thanks! What if anything can I spray my trees and bushes with? After having harvested the plums Maintenance pruning is performed in winter but not during freezing weather. Thank you! 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. Choose a point just above a bud. A center trunk does not make much difference in the production of fruit; it just means the tree will not get much taller unless you encourage a branch to become the central leader. Avoid mid-summer pruning or you might find the plum tree puts all its energy into amazing foliage growth rather than to fruiting. 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. thanks, ", "Learned about pruning both cross-over branches and side shoots from roots. ", larger limbs and what time of year to do so. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Pruning too late in the summer can make the tree vulnerable to cold winter temperatures. when I touch it, it is hard, although I emagined from the look of it, it would be sticky. They often tend towards what’s known as biennial or alternate bearing, where trees produce a bumper crop one year, only to take the following year off. The best time to prune plums is early spring or early summer during a dry day. 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. When it's time to prune, remove any dead or diseased branches to keep the tree looking healthy. Too much fruit is your problem. 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. 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. The best time to summer prune is as soon as a crop is harvested. It has 25 trees including varieties of apples, pears and plums. If you need help designing your vegetable garden, try our Vegetable Garden Planner. Another plus is that winter pruned plants … Thanks for your help. Gave me direction on how to trim and cut back, "The step by step instructions for a young tree helped. The time for plum tree pruning depends on the maturity and type of plum tree. Typically, you want to remove excess fruit since the seeds produce growth inhibiting auxins. ", Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow. Do this in early summer while fruits are still small and can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. But if you cut back plum trees in the summer they are much less likely to succumb to either diseases. ", such as myself. Nectarines, peaches, almonds and plums - w e recommend to prune stone fruit trees in late summer after fruiting has finished, however it can be done in early-mid autumn if necessary. What's wrong? If left it may well undermine the foundations of the porch. Unfortunately, I do not think that your tree is healthy. Cut through a branch for a certain diagnosis. Plums are pruned in early spring or mid-summer to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. Very few plum trees are said to be self-pollinating. Cutting them out sooner rather than later means you can make smaller cuts that are less likely to become infected. I have some kind of insects in my fruit trees in Rio Linda CA they remind me of Lady Bugs but usually all I find is a molted shell attached to the leaf. Summer is also an important time to prune stone fruit to thin excessive growth and encourage fruiting wood. Avoid removing branches that are less than three years old unless you have to. Find out how to plant a bareroot fruit tree. July is the month for pruning fruit trees, especially well-established ones. Careful pruning can adapt the tree to the available spaces. ", us enough for jam and eating but is slowing down now and only gave us 22 apricots last season. Regarding pruning an established plum tree in Northern California, can it be pruned after the tree buds? I would worry about it surviving winter. For tips on pruning a young plum tree, keep reading! I wouldn't worry unduly about it unless the area around it looks diseased or sunken. Make your cut so that it slopes away from the bud to help rain to drip off. ", opportunity to apply the knowledge passed on in this article. % of people told us that this article helped them. Plum trees may produce generous harvests of some of the most mouth-wateringly juicy fruits, but they’re not without their problems. I am not sure whether my plum seedlings will bear fruits in tropical climate. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. 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. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. "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. 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. 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. In the US, don't prune after July to reduce the risk of frost damage to new growth. It’s harder for the trees to resist the disease in winter, so again summer pruning is the safer option. 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. These branches begin to droop when they’re heavy with fruit, and are liable to break. 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. Once that’s done, step back again and look over your tree. This is healthier for the tree, unless there is a recurring issue with silver leaf or other diseases. Pruning during a tree or shrub's dormant season offers a couple of additional perks that are worth considering. Plum trees are best pruned in a vase format to get a short trunk … 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. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. (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. Pruning the young plum tree is 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. This should reduce or eliminate problems next year. The tree has many tall none fruiting limbs at the top of the tree. These issues are heartbreaking when they occur, but the good news is they can usually be avoided by carefully performing one simple annual maintenance task: summer pruning. Apples. 'Victoria' is technically self-fertile, but pollination will be much improved by having a pollination partner. 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. My tree bears a lot of fruit, but it all falls off the tree when it is tiny. Dormant pruning is a more aggressive pruning. Thinning fruits can be regarded as the first stage of pruning, as it reduces strain on the branches. Prune it to the shape you want. Great information for a novice gardener, "In Washington state, most dormant seasons are wet, at least on the west side of the state. (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our Contact Form to send us your comment, along with the title of this article. ", "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. Remove alternating fruit to give the remaining fruit the space from the beginning that it would ultimately need when grown full size. Like all pit trees, especially the cherry tree, pruning is performed at the end of the summer or in the beginning of fall. Your plum tree needs a mate. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. An expert shows how to escape. Young plums are generally pruned in early spring, before bud break, in order to avoid infection by silver leaf disease. I needed advice on how to care for young plum trees in Georgia. Also, prune off any branches that aren't producing fruit. Winter plum tree pruning should be avoided because it can leave the tree prone to infection by silver leaf disease. Is this somthing to be worred about? ), By clicking 'Add Comment' you agree to our Terms and Conditions, " Thank you. Jon", "I think my plum tree has curly leaf. :) ". Now, if I can only keep the deer off them. "I've had this 'jelly' at the base of my plum tree for a couple seasons now. Read all of it, even if, "Hi. 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. This is a fungal disease of the leaves and wood to which plum, apple, apricot and cherry trees are prone. Don’t leave a stub of branch sticking out – it will only die back and could introduce disease. Find out the variety of your tree and then get another variety that is suitable for cross-pollination. Summer pruning improves fruit quality and helps to inhibit growth (or control the size of your tree, whichever way you want to look at it!). If you have a fan-trained plum, you will need to shape as you cut it. ", "If yields are normally good I'd be inclined to leave pruning until after harvesting Wendy. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. If you need to cut back to the main trunk, cut close to the raised ‘collar’ but not into it. Prune as late in the winter as possible before new growth occurs, since heavy freezes after pruning could damage the tree. Can I cut a tall plum branch bearing fruit in the summer? Pruning the plum tree takes a few growing seasons. In fact, you can trim many fruit trees, including apple and peach trees, any time of the year without doing damage. Before any pruning task, stand back and take a look at your tree. Silver leaf disease can affect other fruits such as apples and cherries, as well as some other trees and shrubs, but it is most usually associated with plums. Can I prune fruit trees in summer? Cropping so prolifically can also cause branches to become so weighty that they actually snap under the strain. 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. ", trees, but decided to wait for a little dryer season in springtime. It has never born fruit in 6 years. Make sure to choose upward-pointing shoots to counteract this. "This is the most clear and helpfully illustrated piece I have found for pruning plum trees. Branches can quickly die of this disease. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. ", "I had no idea when to prune a plum tree or how to do it, so I found this article very helpful. July and August is the best time to prune plums in most Northern Hemisphere locations. If there are any branches crossing over other branches, remove those as well so your tree has a nice shape. This used to be the recommendation, but best practice nowadays is to leave pruning wounds open to ‘bleed’ and heal naturally. The best time to prune plums is early spring or early summer during a dry day. Read on to find out. 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. Feeling trapped by your life and career? ", "Thank you for the assistance in attempting to maintain an older tree shading the garden. You’ll be tasting the delicious rewards of your efforts soon! If you see signs of silver leaf, cut well beyond the area where the dark stain shows in the centre of the wood to make sure that no trace of the fungus remains. 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 … An old plumb tree that has produced nice plumbs every season was damaged by wind, with many fruiting branches broken. In summer small holes appear in the leaves. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. I was glad to get the information about pruning in wet weather. Find out how to prune your plum tree, below. What do I do if I pruned my plum tree and now there's no plums? It's possible your blueberry bushes have spider mite - we have a spider mite guide, please use the search box at the top of the page to search for it. unlocking this expert answer. Don’t use a wound paint or wrap to try and seal the wound. How can this be treated? If there is a really cold winter will this hurt it? However if the problem is severe, wait until winter when the tree is dormant then use a winter tree wash. Is summer pruning good for fruit trees? Some plum varieties, like ‘Victoria’, tend to grow branches that spread outwards horizontally. Thank you. How to Summer Prune an Espalier. Late winter . For tips on pruning a young plum tree, keep reading! They look like they’ve been used for shotgun target practice, giving the disease its alternative name of ‘shothole’ (careful how you say it!). wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. If not, chop it wherever you want. If a branch is broken by the wind or by a heavy load of fruit, then prune back the ragged edges, making a smooth cut that leaves no stubby stump. Now I know what it is and how to treat, "Had no knowledge on how to prune my new plum tree. Plums typically need to be in the vicinity of another tree to bear decently. Your explanation combined with visual aids made the task easy. 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. Gouges and jagged edges leave the tree vulnerable to pests and disease. Pruning your trees in summer can help keep them at a manageable size, says Contra Costa Master Gardener Helen Erickson. I would recommend cutting it down. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. This orchard in the Adelaide Hills was planted eight years ago. Apple trees are among the easiest, and most forgiving, trees to prune, but plums are just as easy. Usually late summer or early Autumn. After pruning, should I use pruning sealer? 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. How do I prune my plum tree if it doesn't have a center trunk? In the UK, the best time to prune your plum tree is in mid June 2017, never in winter when they are dormant. 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. Remember: Winter pruning promotes vigorous growth; summer pruning inhibits growth. When do I prune a plum tree that is in a pot? Often they don't cause too much damage, although it may not look pretty. By using our site, you agree to our. Branches that rub together will cause wounds, so they should be removed. Opening up the canopy of the tree (and restricting its size) through pruning, will, in turn, help in a number of ways: It promotes good air … Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? Can I prune it hard now, in July? Younger trees are best pruned in spring and established trees in mid-summer. There is not much you can do unless you can identify what is going on and treat the tree. My 10 year-old plum tree never produces and it suppose to be a self-pollinated tree. There are many advantages to keeping your deciduous fruit 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. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Last Updated: November 18, 2020 If larger branches have developed a collar, cut just outside the collar, a few inches from the trunk. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. You prune in summer to restrict the size of the plant and open up its interior (canopy). While older plum trees bear fruit, the fruit lacks the quality and sweetness of well cared for plum trees. Sunken, dead and often oozing areas of bark will become apparent from spring and early summer, and shoots may die back. The timing is important, since pruning at the wrong time of year can expose the tree to disease. Yesterday, I spent the whole day on an Espalier Pruning day at Painswick Rococo garden. When plum trees drop very small fruits like that, it's usually a sign of insufficient pollination. In autumn and winter, spores of Chondrostereum purpureum may infect trees through wounds, so it’s important to avoid pruning at this time. This was very helpful to us, as all our trees are 20 years old or even more. Save to My scrapbook Lady bugs do molt between their pupal and adult stages. Use loppers to make clean, sharp cuts. 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. First and Second Year Pruning. Stonefruit, such as plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines, need to be pruned into what's called a vase shape, or open centre. Plum trees need to be pruned once a year so that they'll retain a healthy shape and produce abundant fruit. Summer-fruiting trees such as mango and lychee should be trimmed lightly after harvest to keep them to a manageable size. Established fruit tree plums are best pruned in mid-summer. I also have little webs in my Blueberry bushes, leaf curl and something that lakes fruit tree leaves look like lattices. 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). Soft shoots can be pinched out with your thumb and forefinger. Make sure your tools are sharp and sturdy enough for the job; hand pruners can be used for very small twigs, but anything larger calls for loppers or a saw. Summer pruning will help to contain growth and control size of your tree. Winter Pruning vs. Summer Pruning Winter Pruning In general winter pruning promotes vigorous growth and the harder the tree is pruned in winter the more vigorously it will grow in spring. If you prune while the tree is trying to actively grow in the spring, it is even more of a burden. Never prune in winter (to avoid silver leaf disease). Regards Learn how to trim one and the rest will be easy, as the base principles of pruning are the same. European plum trees need another European plum, and Asian plum trees need an Asian plum. 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. Prune out the affected branch, and if the tree is quite overgrown it may be worth thinning it a little to improve airflow. If you want to let the fruit ripen, cut just beyond the fruit. 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? Then remove any dead or diseased wood. ", "Learned the time of year to trim my mature tree. It was great fun and I learned a ton about how Apples grow and how to maintain an espalier. ", (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our. 8. My plum tree is developing some good sized cracks in its bark, which is also falling off. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Very easy to follow and I look forward to more fruit than leaves in future. 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. Just what I needed, thank you. If you prune in the summer, be careful not to cut away too much of the tree. My plum tree had some flowers in spring, but no fruit. Use pruning paint on cut branches to prevent disease. All young fruit trees need some pruning to get them off to a good start. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 541,194 times. ", "Very informative, answered all my questions without going elsewhere. Cut back new side shoots to 6 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 is the time to prune when you want to train a tree to a particular shape or want to encourage substantial growth. Approved. Can I prune my plum tree whenever I want? ", "Hi Jon. The short answer is yes - you can prune fruit trees in summer. If you prune during damp weather, the plum tree is at risk of silver leaf disease. Summer Pruning. What can I do? For example, summer pruning may be necessary to repair damaged tree limbs. Thank you! ", "My plums, probably Santa Rosa, will be around Early July. Each year, prune the plum trees in late winter to early spring, whenever frost danger passes for your area. Support wikiHow by Pruning in early spring stimulates new growth. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. What is the optimum height for a plum tree? But remember, plums fruit on young wood. Summer pruning Take the time to study the active illustrations more than once. 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. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. New growth will occur where you make each cut. But if you feel yields are lower than they should be, by all means give it a try and compare with previous years. Summer Pruning Plum Trees Thinning fruits can be regarded as the first stage of pruning, as it reduces strain on the branches.