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How to prune plum trees - 2 or 3-year-old
If tree has been purchased as a 2 or 3-year-old, it is advisable to defer pruning for one year after planting. The branch system of such a tree will already have been formed. After framework of tree has been formed, subsequent pruning will consist of cutting out dead and diseased wood, badly placed wood crossing, or too upright growth, and ensuring that growth remaining is well spaced.
How to prune plum trees - Drooping varieties
Certain varieties have a drooping habit. Although during early years this factor need not influence pruning unduly, as tree becomes established drooping tendency will be more pronounced.
It will be necessary to prune branch leaders to an upward-pointing bud, and not to an outward one, as in upright growing varieties. Similarly, lower branches will hang down, and may have to be shortened eventually to a more suitable subsidiary branch.
How to prune plum trees - Silver Leaf Disease
This serious disease of Plums enters tissues through open wounds and cuts. It is able to do so during winter and most readily infects wood through large cuts which expose heart. During formation period of tree, pruning can be carried out in early Spring, as cuts are relatively small.
On established trees, however, it is better to defer pruning until late Spring or Summer, and to perform this operation during dry weather, especially where large wounds are made.
The natural gums exuded at this time assist healing. Broken branches should be sawn off neatly, and all large wounds protected with white lead paint. Always use a sharp, curved blade knife, or a good pair of secateurs, for pruning. Avoid "jagged" cuts, which can lead to damage, and do not cut too closely to topmost bud.
Paul Curran is CEO of Cuzcom Internet Publishing Group and webmaster at Trees-and-Bushes.com, providing access to their nursery supplier for a range of quality plants, trees, bushes, shrubs, seeds and garden products.Visit their fruit trees section to find a great selection of plum trees for your garden