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If You Cut the Top of an Older Plum Tree, How Will It Grow?

A neglected plum tree gets too tall for easy fruit picking and creates fruit. A mature plum tree which has not been pruned needs help to develop into a good fruit producer, however whacking off the top isn’t the best option. If it doesn’t destroy the tree, then it will assuredly create unattractive and unproductive new growth. Instead, you’ll need to choose between three alternative pruning choices.

Tree Evaluation

Neglected trees need work, a great deal of work. Before jumping in, you should determine whether the project will be worthwhile. It is a good start if you like plums more than other fruits you may grow in the exact same location. A walk across the tree will say something of its condition, whether it is attacked by insect pests or suffers from broken branches or ailments. If the tree has been in your yard for many decades, new pest-resistant varieties could be available that would make your life easier. If you opt to maintain the tree, then you’ll have to prune it.

Thinning High Branches

If your plum isn’t unreasonably tall and can be essentially healthy, you can leave the tree at its existing height and prune it to clear away branches that don’t bear fruit. The initial branches to remove are those that are dead, broken, broken or infected. You can even trim away branches going into the center of the tree and also those that cross each other or rubon. More sunlight will enter the center of the tree if you lean the uppermost branches, taking care not to cut out so much the tree will probably suffer from sunburn. This kind of pruning should be done annually.

Slow Height Reduction

Some trees are so tall that even using a ladder you cannot harvest the majority of the plums. In cases like this, you’ll have to lower the canopy. Ideally, this does not need to be a hasty project, but it is possible to undertake over three decades. It is important that you understand how high you want the tree, then every year for three successive years, it is possible to remove one-third of the surplus height. It is best to do major pruning in spring, while the tree is inactive. The tree will appear and fruit best if you make every cut at a good-sized lateral branch using a diameter at least one-third of the diameter of the branch you are cutting.

Speedy Height Decline

Although some trees withstand major stature pruning without too much trouble, plums have a hard time sprouting new lower divisions through their thick bark. Important height reduction pruning should only be contemplated to get a plum tree if it has several important divisions below the 6-foot degree, and even then should be a process of last resort. If you opt to do all the necessary height pruning in 1 year, you should cut each major branch back to the height you would like the tree, making the cuts just above substantial lateral divisions. The lateral branches are vital to fruit production, so don’t trim them away; you can prune them back if they’re too long.

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