My tree bears a lot of fruit, but it all falls off the tree when it is tiny. Unfortunately, I do not think that your tree is healthy. ", opportunity to apply the knowledge passed on in this article. "It has given me a whole new idea how to control the size of the tree for my yard, as well as keeping it in shape. This article received 22 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. your tree is older than the example at the start of the article. Once you’ve trimmed the height, if there are competing leaders, or stems that are very close to the main stem, cut them off completely flush with the main stem. How much pruning can I do at this time of year? Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 538,363 times. Thank you. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. No matter the age of the tree there are routine tasks to perform with every pruning. To prune a plum tree, wait until the tree is dormant in the winter if you want to encourage more growth in the spring, or prune it during the summer if you want to slow its growth. Plum trees are best pruned in a vase format to get a short trunk … When your Stark Bro’s bare root tree arrives, our professionals have already pre-pruned your tree for you. The tap root of any deciduous tree will be longer than the radius of the tree and as the tree trunk expands in diameter so does the tap root. I would recommend cutting it down. The best time to prune plums is early spring or early summer during a dry day. Pruning helps balance the top growth of your tree with the root system, giving the roots time to re-establish in your yard before spring growth. How to Grow a Japanese Umbrella Conifer Pine, Washington State University: Pruning Tree Fruit – The Basics, Alameda County Master Gardeners: Pruning Fruit Trees. ", larger limbs and what time of year to do so. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. What's wrong? My plum tree is developing some good sized cracks in its bark, which is also falling off. Plums typically need to be in the vicinity of another tree to bear decently. Trimming flowering plum trees is not advised. A center trunk does not make much difference in the production of fruit; it just means the tree will not get much taller unless you encourage a branch to become the central leader. Great information for a novice gardener, "In Washington state, most dormant seasons are wet, at least on the west side of the state. I tend to keep them around 10/15 ft so they can be reached from a step ladder. In the third year you’ll want to create additional … From here you’ll want to choose four lateral branches that are evenly spaced around the tree and remove all others. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Established fruit tree plums are best pruned in mid-summer. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? Just what I needed, thank you. My plum tree had some flowers in spring, but no fruit. Wait until new growth is 3 inches long. Your plum tree needs a mate. If there is a really cold winter will this hurt it? ", Unlock this expert answer by supporting wikiHow. ", "These instructions and graphics were clear and concise. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today.