You should prune a plum tree regularly, because otherwise its fruiting wood will deteriorate quickly and you will be able to harvest less fruit. In this article you will learn how to perform the different types of pruning.
A plum tree bears fruit only on two- to five-year-old branches. Therefore, for an abundant harvest, you should prune it regularly. The same applies to all subspecies of the plum tree, such as plums, mirabelles and reenklodes. Because the fruiting wood here slowly becomes senescent after five years, you need to encourage the tree to form new fruiting shoots by pruning it.
Pruning plum trees: Plant pruning
Shortly after planting the plum tree, you can promote growth with a planting pruning. The best time for planting and pruning is in spring. Prune the crown in a similar way to the apple tree:
- First, select the strongest shoot. It should have at least three to four evenly spaced leading branches to be suitable as a central shoot.
- Now remove the excess shoots or shorten them to at least ten centimeters.
- You can shorten particularly vigorously growing leading branches by about one third.
- Cut weaker leading branches by half.
Tip: If you want to grow more specimens from your plum tree, you can propagate it with cuttings.
Pruning plum tree
Plum trees often form many steeply upward growing, unbranched branches, so-called water shoots. To prevent the crown from becoming too dense, you should thin out your plum tree with a pruning cut.
- If green competing shoots develop that run in the direction of the central shoot, you should shorten them to a length of ten centimeters.
- Then also cut the newly growing shoots on the side branches down to ten centimeters.
- Cut all other new shoots as close as possible to the trunk and the leading branches.
Pruning plum tree: Maintenance pruning
You usually give your plum tree the right shape with regular pruning. Now you only need to carry out a maintenance pruning in the summer. To do this, proceed as follows:
- Examine the plum tree for inward growing and crossing branches and remove them.
- Also cut off all damaged and hanging branches and steeply upward growing water shoots. Water shoots are summer shoots that sprout from old, already woody areas.