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 pruning plum trees 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:51 am
Posts: 1
Post pruning plum trees
two years ago I planted two plum trees here in King County, WA. Both are growing well and healthy. One is a verital pollinator and have yet to produce any fruit due to the cold spring last year. My concern is that one of the trees has shoots (limbs) that have grown over ten feet up from the main branch and need to be pruned.

Some say not to prune until June to avoid fungus and damage.

Can I prune these ungangly limbs now is March to better form the trees?

Thanks for any advise.

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:10 am

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: pruning plum trees
So we’re talking about four year old “plum” trees; would that be European (prune) or Asian (plums)? ...not that there’s a tremendous difference, though European's seem a bit harder and disease resistant.

At this moment a large percentage of the tree’s nutrients are being stored in the roots. Trees that young can not afford to waste stored energy. And by removing worthless wood, that energy would push into more productive wood - with a few ‘water suckers’ you could either remove or train. If you were to wait until June, or even April/May… the limbs you plan/need to remove will be loaded with that stored energy and growing. By removing them ‘then’ you’d be wasting that energy while lessening the tree’s ability to replace it, thus weakening it’s root system as well. Avoiding that is the best reason for pruning now.

To avoid disease I’d wait until we’ve a stretch of predicted dry weather – but don’t hold your breath :mrgreen: At the first sign of said weather (two or three days..), I’d prune. Remove unnecessary shoots to the point where they emerge. And research has shown it’s best to let a flush-cut wound dry and heal without sealing it, I agree. Don’t make too wide of cuts by cutting too close to the base limb (from where they emerge), but don’t leave ‘stubs’ either.

As most plums are beginning to send up sap with swelling buds… sooner’s better than later, in MHO… Have fun – and welcome to our forum ~

Temperate Orchard Convservancy:

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:53 pm
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