If we know how to prune the plum we can get a lot of satisfaction from this plant. The operation is not trivial, however, and it is good to make an effort to understand at least what are the fundamental criteria to be able to proceed at best. And enjoy, satisfied, the fruits of your work.
Fortunately, there are general guidelines for pruning the plum, which are valid for all those trees that belong to this family in which we find European varieties, others from from China and Japan, others still wild, from which edible fruits come to us. Let's see broadly what these “universal” good pruning practices are.
When to prune the plum tree
The periods indicated are winter and the end of spring, in the first case a pruning on the branches which are in fact still dry, in the second, on the other hand, we act on green branches laden with leaves.
Winter pruning can theoretically be done at any time of the season, avoiding the days when it freezes, but it is best to wait the end of the cold season in order to better identify how to act, in light of the damage that the cold has caused to the incoming buds.
The pruning of the plum tree in full production is carried out in winter on the dry and during the spring-summer season on the green. In winter we could theoretically always prune, except in periods of frost, but to be safer it is better to wait for the end of the cold season and check for any frost damage to the buds. In the south it works in reverse. Here it is difficult for it to freeze, but it is always better to wait until the end of the season to assess the damage that the lack of cold could have done this time.
Prune the plum tree: varieties
In general, the rule may apply that for Sino-Japanese plum variety pruning must be more intense than that of European plum tree. We take this as a guideline when it comes to making treatment differences between different plum groups.
The European ones show a upright bearing, their branches grow vertically, on the contrary the Sino-Japanese plum trees also develop horizontally and can appear "weeping".
All plum trees, regardless of their species of belonging, bear fruit on branches about 15-20 centimeters long, or on mixed branches and on a court fruiting formations called "bunches of May" but as the type of tree varies, the proportions can change. The European produces mainly on bunches of May, the Sino-Japanese one indiscriminately on all these types of branches and with great generosity.
How to prune the plum tree
When this is done, the idea is to thin out the fruiting branches for pto produce plums and plums of adequate size and avoid the phenomenon of alternation of production. We proceed by cutting some branches at the base, where we find too many all close together, identifying those that tend to develop towards the inside of the canopy or those that cross with others.
It is also very important to thin out the fruit during the spring pruning, to ensure that the tree produces consistently over time. In fact, it is necessary to know that plants also have a sort of hormonal mechanism that causes, over the years, the flower differentiation of the buds for the following year it will decrease. When we thin out the fruit we avoid this happening, if we do it with the correct timing, that is before the stone hardens.
When pruning is also done on suckers and suckers, to always be eliminated because they steal energy from the plant. The former grow vertically on the back of the branches, the others are formed from the rootstock.
Criteria for pruning the plum tree
When working on a plant, it is good to know what the main objectives of pruning are. One of the purposes of this work is to thin out the hair for rebalance production so that it is also balanced with respect to vegetative development. It is also important to keep the plant healthy. Pruning also serves to contain the development of the plant so that it does not exceed 3-4 meters in length. The shape of the crown is also an element to be aware of and the pruning is used to keep it as we wish.
When we cut the branches we do it on purpose, even for eliminate dry or damaged ones. Even the diseased branches must not remain attached to the plant because they can cause problems, better to eliminate them by burning them or composting them.
Plum tree in pot
When a plum tree is grown for breeding, it is kept in pots as it happens also for peach and apricot trees. In this case the main trunk can measure up to 1 meter and divide into three open branches covered with lateral branches. In total, the plant raised in this way usually reaches a maximum of three meters but develops well laterally to better intercept the sunlight.
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