Pruning plum trees in the spring or summer will help the tree heal its wounds and prevent the spread of silver leaf disease during the fall and winter. The best time to lightly fertilize young plum trees is in the spring and early summer. Plum trees are susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases, including silverleaf disease. Silverleaf is caused by a fungus that infects the leaves and stems of the plum tree.

The disease is spread by the wind and can be spread from one tree to another by wind-borne droplets of water on the branches of infected trees. It is most common in Florida – (See list below)

  • Georgia
  • but it can also be found in Alabama

  • Arkansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • South carolina
  • West virginia
  • Wyoming

States, the disease has been reported in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How do you prune and shape a plum tree?

Prune back the trunk 12 – 20 inches at a bud each year so fruit and vegetative buds concentrate in the bottom tree branches. Cut out the dead or damaged branches every year. Any crossing branches and unproductive shoots should be removed. Remove dead leaves, twigs, and other debris from the branches and trunks. If you have a large tree, you may need to remove the entire trunk.

You may also want to prune the top branches back to the ground level to reduce the risk of fire. Pruning can be done at any time during the growing season, but it is best to do it in late spring or early summer when the weather is warm and the trees are in their prime.

Can you trim the top of a plum tree?

If your plum is not unreasonably tall and is basically healthy, you can leave the tree at its existing height and prune it to clear away branches that don’t bear fruit. The dead, damaged, or diseased branches are the first to be removed. Once you’ve pruned off the dead and damaged branches, it’s time to move on to the healthy ones.

If you do find a dead branch, remove it with a pair of tweezers or a sharp knife. Don’t try to cut it off with your bare hands, as this can cause the branch to break off. Instead, use your fingers to gently pull it apart. Once you have removed all the damaged and dead branches from your tree, place it back in its original position.

How do you prune a plum tree after fruiting?

Pruning established plum trees Remove any suckers growing from the rootstock. Rub out any buds that are growing on the trunk. Remove dead, damaged or diseased wood from the garden and dispose of it in an appropriate manner. The leader of the central group should be cut back to the top of the tree.

Plum trees should be pruned at least once a year to keep them in good condition. Pruning can be carried out at any time of year, but it is best to prune at the beginning of each growing season to ensure that the trees are in the best possible condition for the next season’s growth.

Do plums grow on new or old wood?

If you are sure that the branches are healthy, don’t remove them less than three years old. Plums are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and selenium. They are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (vitamin B3), and niacinamide.

Do I need to prune my plum tree?

Plum trees need to be pruned once a year so that they’ll retain a healthy shape and produce abundant fruit. Pruning at the wrong time of year can expose the tree to disease, so the timing is important.

The best time to prune a plum tree is in the spring, when the leaves are just beginning to turn green and the fruit is just about ready to ripen. Pruning in late spring or early summer can result in a tree that’s too weak to bear fruit, which can lead to the loss of the entire crop.

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