Instead, you will have to choose between three alternative pruning options. Ultimately you choose how tall your tree eventually grows, once it is tall enough, you need to keep it topped. Winter pruning is all about making the tree the right shape. Plums: pruning Plum trees do not require as precise pruning as apples and pears, but still benefit from initial training and the thinning of old wood to ensure they produce as much fruit as possible. … 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. Mariana (uncertain origin, possibly Prunus cerasifera x P. munsoniana) rootstock is often used in New Zealand for home garden trees as it helps reduce final tree size, (depending on culltivar) to 3 to 4 metres. In hot summer areas, sunscald of fruit is minimized by allowing greater leaf-cover over fruit. Step 2 Prune or pinch side shoots back to two or three buds from the base of the current season’s soft growth. 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. And don’t worry, we hate spam too! Remove diseased wood and branches that invite wounds by rubbing against surfaces or each other. 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. Keep the tree small with vigor-reducing pruning in summer as required. These spurs are usually 20 - 30cm long. Pruning fruit trees is one of the more intimidating parts of growing your own food for many. Almost all methods of training fruit trees require dormant pruning. See our Disclosure statement for more information. When you do it in the dormant season, it revitalizes and tree and focuses its energy. Apples and pears are usually pruned with one main leader (the trunk) with scaffold branches coming out in levels from that. Read more about 'Pruning a Central Leader Fruit Tree'... Fruit Tree Pruning - Videos Wairere Nursery826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: emlink(). We encourage you to make your own health care decisions in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Remove vertical branching and water shoots’ regularly. If your trees are straight from the nursery, your first pruning will be a key element in deciding the future shape of your whole tree. Japanese varieties (Prunus salicina – including ‘Elephant Heart’, ‘Fortune’, ‘Santa Rosa’, ‘Satsuma’ and all plumcot varieties) fruit mainly on previous season’s growth, with a light crop on older spurs. The shape you want to achieve is an Open Centre, also known as the Vase Shape, as this method lets plenty of light and air into the centre of the tree. Plums and plumcots are generally pruned into a vase shape, but the variety of plum will influence where the fruit is mainly produced. Depending on the variety, 20 - 40% of the fruitwood around the tree is renewed annually by leaving young shoots and removing old wood. Harvest all the fruit prior to pruning. If you need to remove a branch that is too large for your loppers you will need to use a saw. What's a spur? Shorten all the lateral branches to about 15cm to allow the main stem to thicken. Plums bear much of their fruit on lateral spurs that are two years old or older. Summer pruning can be used t… Branches that are pointing in to the middle, Over-crowded branches – choose one strong one and remove the rest, Trim back overly long growth by 1/3 to an outward, downward facing bud. The principle is to avoid damaging the collar of the branch and to make a clean cut which doesn't tear the bark. ***************************************** Guide the tree on where to add new growth by pruning out branches that go the wrong way and cutting branches at points of outward-facing buds. So, for size restriction of fruit trees, I am a big fan of summer pruning. You can choose to grow apples and pears as a vase/open crown/goblet shape if you prefer, but it is not the shape they naturally grow in, and you may find that they continually try to grow new leaders (straight upward branches). Eating food that has been produced from your own home can be a very satisfying experience. Only a few diseases affect plum trees, so a very basic organic spray programme will keep the tree healthy and productive. Pruning fruit trees are a must for anyone who loves to grow fruit in their backyard. Hello and welcome, I’m Dana. Pruning in the summer, on the other hand, shapes the tree and keeps it healthy by removing dead, diseased and crossed branches. Sometimes (usually!) If you let a tree grow all summer without any pruning, the tree captures all that solar energy and converts this into a strong, expanded root structure. When plum trees are not carefully pruned, they can easily become heavy and break under their fruit load. Trees strive to balance their root mass and their leaf canopy. Pruning Fruit Trees Advice and Help in New Zealand. In New Zealand’s warmer climes, fruit trees are a Kiwi backyard staple. Pinch out the growing tips of all the other branches at about four or five leaves, including those lower down on the stem. Advertisement. Pruning apple, pear, plum, peach, apricot or nectarines is actually easy once you understand a few basics. You may want lower branches to make picking easier, or higher branches to make mowing underneath easier. 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