And really, there’s no easier pruning. Pruning Fruit Trees Advice and Help in New Zealand. From Spring through late Summer, a deciduous tree is actively growing both leaves and branches  and its underground root structure to match. So, for size restriction of fruit trees, I am a big fan of summer pruning. But this easy guide will show you how to prune fruit trees in winter in your backyard orchard the easy way. A fruit tree that leaves you wounded or bald each time you engage with it is a tragedy. Remove the ends of branches in winter to encourage forking of the branch for more tip-bearing shoots. A fruit tree that towers over your head is a waste (unless your passion is keeping the birds fed.) The result is typically water sprouts, ugly, straight-up branches that a tree can grow quickly and hang a lot of leaves on and not grow fruit – not ideal. What's a spur? These spurs produce fruit in the same area, year after year, so should not be pruned off. Repeat the tiers as the tree grows, with the same distance between branches. In mid summer, chhose about four or five evenly spaced primary branches around the main stem - these are the ones you will use to create the Vase shape. Pruning fruit trees is one of the more intimidating parts of growing your own food for many. Shorten all the lateral branches to about 15cm to allow the main stem to thicken. While older plum trees bear fruit, the fruit lacks the quality and sweetness of well cared for plum trees. I like my fold out pruning saw. Prune at the right time. When you prune you get the very best out of your tree. Increase fruit size and quality by thinning baby fruits so that fewer, larger, uncrowded fruit mature. When a tree has lost its leaves you can see the structure of the tree, you can make cuts to correct the shape more easily. Hello and welcome, I’m Dana. When the tree is pruned in the summer months, the growth is strong and the sap is flowing and this prevents the disease from entering the pruning wound. Just as the buds are starting to break in the springtime, cut back the central stem of the tree to a bud at about two thirds of the height of the maiden tree. But this easy guide will show you how to prune fruit trees in winter in your backyard orchard the easy way. Plum Tree Yields. Remember leaves are the life of the tree, so don’t cut unnecessarily, particularly before the tree has matured. Homesteading is a mindset, a way of life – Get in to it! Promote high fruit quality by reducing or promoting leaf cover over fruit, depending on climate. These scaffold branches may have small branchlets, but are usually covered in short stubby growth called spurs, which is where the fruit is borne. If you do prune in autumn protect cut wounds with a water based paint or pruning paint to … If you never pruned your Plum tree it would still crop well but it would just grow large and sprawling. Justin Calverley from Sensory Gardens shows his technique for winter pruning of plum trees. I have put together a video of me teaching my sister and brother in law about fruit tree pruning that you will probably find quite useful. Depending on the variety, 20 - 40% of the fruitwood around the tree is renewed annually by leaving young shoots and removing old wood. Increase airflow and sunlight penetration into a tree for healthier trees less likely to be plagued by disease. Dormant pruning is pruning the tree during the late winter, when no new growth is happening and the tree doesn't have any leaves. Once shape has been established, they require little pruning. Each one of these will bear one or more fruits so you'll have far too many. Excessive pruning can over stimulate tree growth at the expense of fruit. Otherwise, … Plum Trees for sale in New Zealand New Zealander's love to grow plum trees, not only do they look good in the garden they are easy to grow as long as you have a sunny well drained position. The purpose of pruning and training is to encourage tree health and increase fruit yield. About Piwakawaka Valley Homestead Pruning the young plum tree is easy. Save to My scrapbook Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "abe26ef9385578a847923e9ebf117762" );document.getElementById("f1d325c993").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you would like help getting the most out of your garden, I would love to help you, find out more here, If you like tips on frugal living, self sufficiency and consuming less, sign up to our newsletter below, I would LOVE to have you. Semi-dwarf plums will produce 75 to 100 pounds of fruit each year. For these the encouragement of many tips for more fruit-producing branches is the goal. When you get your stone fruit from the nursery, you will need to do some drastic pruning. Then by aggressively pruning a tree back during winter, in spring the tree “wakes up” and notices that it has a root system far larger than its pruned-down canopy needs so it sends out LOTS of growth. You may want lower branches to make picking easier, or higher branches to make mowing underneath easier. To limit tree … … Pruning is a way to increase your stonefruit crops. Each year, prune the plum trees … Try not to remove your trees fruiting spurs on the main framework that you are planning on keeping, but don’t feel guilty for removing them on a poorly placed branch that you need to remove anyway. For the first winter you simply cut it off about 1.5-2 feet (45-60cm) leaving only a trunk and some buds. Only a few diseases affect plum trees, so a very basic organic spray programme will keep the tree healthy and productive. When plum trees are not carefully pruned, they can easily become heavy and break under their fruit load. While winter pruning is recommended for many fruit trees, you will find that plum trees are best pruned in late summer/early fall. PRUNING TECHNIQUES FOR PLUM TREES This section explains how to prune a branch, the same rules apply to plum trees and other fruit trees. How to prune a plum tree – pruning side shoots. These larger branches are best covered with a pruning paste to keep fungal infections out of the cut. Advertisement. Space full-sized trees 20 to 25 feet apart. In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Plum trees, like other fruiting trees, benefit from a regular maintenance program of pruning, fertilizing and preventive spraying to foster the healthiest most bountiful crops. our Disclosure Statement. Trees such as maple and birch produce a heavy sap flower when pruned in Winter, although this may be unsightly it does not harm the tree. Pruning a Central Leader Fruit Tree A central leader tree has one main, upright trunk with whorls of branches, usually beginning 60-90cm above ground, then again every 45-60cm up the trunk. Sometimes this means root dieback, sometimes this means canopy expansion. Smaller branches can be cut with SHARP secateurs or loppers, you want a clean cut, not a crush injury. The best time to prune … Depending on the variety, 20 - 40% of the fruitwood around the tree is renewed annually by leaving young shoots and removing old wood. Pruning apple, pear, plum, peach, apricot or nectarines is actually easy once you understand a few basics. The picture below illustrates the three steps. The little pointy spurs are fruit buds. Get exclusive content, discounts and updates. This ensures a balanced crop that does not need thinning. 266 pages of self sufficiency right there! This will force the tree to grow branches at the top of the trunk. You can unsubscribe at anytime. I own every one of them and they are amazing resources! Apricots mainly form fruit on two-year-old wood called spurs. Remove diseased wood and branches that invite wounds by rubbing against surfaces or each other. Pruning in the summer, on the other hand, shapes the tree and keeps it healthy by removing dead, diseased and crossed branches. Please read Remove all other branches back at the main stem. So the ideal is to prune it to a good shape in the early years and then just maintain that shape as time goes on. A tree can’t grow more canopy than its root structure will support, but it will do whatever it must to balance the two. 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