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when to prune a plum tree?

(6 Posts)
Kveta Sun 09-Mar-14 18:34:25

We have been told it's too late this year by friends who have allotments, that it is the right time by parents who are keen gardeners, and too early by the river cottage fruit guide!!

Heads exploding!

Also, how to prune it? As different people tell us different ways!

Thanks in advance!

AugustRose Sun 09-Mar-14 18:51:46

My mum says you can prune in late autumn or spring - I do it in spring and my fruit trees always fruit well. As long as you know there will be no frosts in the days after you've done it it should be OK.

Must point out I'm just a novice so someone else might be better educated on this but it workd for me.

ProfYaffle Sun 09-Mar-14 18:52:41

Ooh! I need to prune mine too, watching with interest!

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 09-Mar-14 18:55:25

I don't prune any prunus [plums, damsons or cherries] until May. As if you prune in the cold and wet it can get Silverleaf and DIE.

Apples, pears [Malus] - winter or early spring. Ideally, late Jan. Until end March.

Kveta Sun 09-Mar-14 21:29:22

thank you so much Funky that is what the river cottage book says too - I think we are erring towards leaving it, but the poor tree ended up pruning itself last summer by being so heavily fruited, 2 branches fell off with the weight, so we want to look after this year!

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 09-Mar-14 22:30:34

How to prune it....

Fruit trees want to grow up and you want them to grow out...my rule of thumb is:
dead, diseased or damaged - get rid.
anything growing directly up - get rid
anything growing into the tree or crossing - get rid.

Then - you need to think about the shape and prune accordingly - so a fan will be different to a standard style...and plums don't like being trained too much.

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