Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Fruit tree advice for an old plum tree

IMG_2934-1200A reader writes: “We moved house in August last year, a beautiful garden with a plum tree which gave us lots of plums. It’s very old I think! I’m wondering how to prune, some of the branches are just snapping off! I need to ruin it I think! Can you help and give me some advice?”

Dan Neuteboom of Suffolk Fruit & Trees provides some answers:

Old plum trees very easily fall prey to two specific diseases; Bacterial Canker, and Silver Leaf.
Therefore, special attention needs to be given to the following points:

1) only carry out pruning operations when the tree is in FULL LEAF stage
2) reduce the weight of the total number of branches. Remove those which are old and broken and leave the well-illuminated branches
3) remove the too-dominant near-vertical branches
4) always immediately seal the wounds with Arbrex, obtainable from garden centres.
5) do not let the tree cope with droughty conditions during the summer months – ensure it gets enough water
6) do not over-crop the tree. Thin the fruitlets during June and July.

An old plum tree

An old plum tree

One response to “Fruit tree advice for an old plum tree

  1. Sharon January 30, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you very much, that’s fantastic advice. Will leave till the tree is in leaf (about late spring!!)
    Thank u for your help

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