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By Dee2uk

London, United Kingdom Gb

Should I clip off the top of my new plum tree,as I want it kept low,and would this make it more bushy?thank you...




It doesn't look necessary, Dee. It does have a couple narrow crotches forming--two of those near-vertical branches need to be removed. I would take off the two on the right, as close to the main trunk as possible. A fruit tree that young should look vaguely like a Christmas , with a main trunk and definite leader, and the side branches coming out at a 30-45 degree angle.

Be forwarned that it is too close to the fence, and that will cause problems in the next 5-10 years. If you can't move it, start working out an agreement with your neighbor now, about fruit ownership, raking, pruning, fence damage, etc. Good luck!

26 May, 2010


I would agree with Tug, it needs to be moved to a more open position. A full sized plum tree can get large, or is it one limiting root stock? We tried a miniature in our well established fruit border but it was not a success. Hessayon says that plum blossoms early, so sometimes fruit set is not good. A full sized tree can get up to 30 feet! Do not prune in winter.......March is the time. Aim by 2 years old to have five good laterals.....sticking out sideways..... Only keep tidy after that. I would guess that you need to curb the upward growth......but its your decision. if in open ground do not hoe near to the tree. All from Hessayon.

26 May, 2010


can you not train the upward branches longways bye tying them to a strate piece of bamboo . it would keep it low then .also cant you train the branches to not go over the nieghbers to much or cut them of.perhaps it would make it heavy on one side. its just that i have trained a cherry tree round an old swing with great suxsess .

26 May, 2010


Thank you all for your help.I think I shall move it to the end of the garden,nearish to the cherry tree.It is in fact in a very large tub,I was told would keep it in check so to speak,but saying that I think it shall have to be buried properly.I shall take tugs advise on the clipping,with full apologies as I do so :-) Thank you once again,as I am a real beginner in the garden dept......

26 May, 2010


In a tub is a tree of a different color, Dee. I would still cut off the extra branches--easier than trying to get them horizontal without breaking them. In addition, I would cut off about 1/4 of the growth from last year, just above an outward-facing shoot. If the tree is already near the height you want it to be, cut off 1/3 of the central leader, just above a shoot facing away from the top two branches.

Afterward, maintain the tree according espalier techniques. Maintain a basic scaffold of 4-6 branches, evenly spaced both vertically, and radially around the trunk. Early every spring, cut the growth from the previous year back to 4-6 buds, usually about 15 cm. After a few years, thin out the resulting clumps of twigs by about 1/3 each year, trying to reduce their size and density. Plums bear on 2-4 year old wood, so if too much is cut off at one time, or the clumps of twigs aren't regularly renewed, production may be reduced. It may be worthwhile to pinch the tips of the new shoots after they have grown 8-10 leaves, to reduce growth without wasting too much of the tree's energy.

Every 5 years, about pruning time, gently tip the tree out of the tub, scrape off about 5 cm off compost from about 1/4 of the circumference of the root ball, put the tree back into the tub, and replace the removed compost with fresh. That should keep the tree from becoming pot bound, and continue the dwarfing process. The soil change might be done every three years, but that also might reduce fruit production.

Hope all this helps!

27 May, 2010


Thank you so much for your valued advise Tug,I shall keep this info safe :-)

27 May, 2010

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