clairedatefowler
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:15 am
Location: Idaho

Pruning a plum tree

The house we just bought has a lot of trees that have not been properly taken care of. One of them - I believe to be a plum tree - is awful looking. I know I need to do something with it, but I have no idea where to begin. I need help!!!!
This link should take you to a picture of it...

https://img862.imageshack.us/i/1002292q.jpg/

bullthistle
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Location: North Carolina

First that's not a plum and secondly when the person planted it they did not cut back the leader by 1/3. That's what you need to do now or in the fall, your choice.

JONA878
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Can't be sure from the photo Cdf..but it could be a plum and if so then you need to prune it back while it is in strong growth dureing the summer months.
Unlike other Top Fruit the prunus species are liable to Silver Leaf and Bacterial Canker infections and so it pays to do any pruning to them while they are in full sap flow, the ' bleeding ' that takes place from the wound helps to repel any fungal spores that are flying around.
It would also help your tree to slow down its upward tendancy if you tie some of the outer branches down to as near 60 degree angle as you can get them without snapping them.
You can easily do this with a plastic bag filled with stones and the branch tied to the bag...loosely so as not to strangle the branch....after a couple of months the branches should stay in that position.
This helps to slow the sap run to that branch and encourage fruit bud initiation along its length.
As Bullthistle says ...the top is getting out of hand and needs to be reduced . All the prunus species love to go skyward if they are allowed to.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

clairedatefowler
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:15 am
Location: Idaho

Can I tie the branches down now, or should wait until it's full this summer?

I'm not certain it's a plum, but I did find fruit and pits on the ground that look like a plum....what do you think it might be?

Thanks for you help! :lol:

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digitS'
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I think that it might be a plum, CDF.

The title of this tread caught my eye and I'm thinking, "where would someone be who would be pruning a plum this late." And, there your are - probably right in my part of the world.

I have a peach that has gotten nearly out-of-hand. I pruned it some in early March but the folding ladder just doesn't reach high enuf. So, I'm looking at it now and the buds still haven't quite broken, wondering if I could still do something with that tree.

JONA's response is really encouraging to me and I'm inclined to use the extension ladder to make an effort off the neighbor's fence. I'd better get someone to stay the end of the ladder or I may end up going from one yard to the other, the hard way!

Beyond pruning, I've done just a little "tree shaping." It seems reasonable to me that weighting the branches would work during the spring. But, you'd better wait for someone more knowledgeable to answer your question.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

JONA878
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clairedatefowler wrote:Can I tie the branches down now, or should wait until it's full this summer?

I'm not certain it's a plum, but I did find fruit and pits on the ground that look like a plum....what do you think it might be?

Thanks for you help! :lol:
It is best if you wait until the tree is well and truely into leaf then you can be sure that the branches will be at their most supple.
If any branch should start to crack...don't dispair.
Have some protactive paint to hand and just paint the wound.
Professional growers deliberatly crack the branches of plum and cherry to get them into the position they want .....not recommended unless you have to..... but it's not the end of the world.

As to what it is....plum...damson.....cherry plum....etc. take your choice until it crops to be sure.

:?
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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