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in Fruit & veg
Hi, I woke up this morning to a very sad sight; my lovely plum tree has completely broken off in the rain last night, leaving just the forked trunk, no branches now at all. It had produced a huge glut of fruit this year, like bunches of grapes, so I have been thinning it out over the last month, and cutting off some of the branches, but not enough to save it, it seems. We have a small garden and inherited this tree when we bought the house, and I loved it! Is there any chance it will recover? Should I neaten up the breaks and paint the wounds? Or should we just plant another and say goodbye to our faithful tree?
Also, any recipe ideas for all the green plums?
( I tried to upload a picture but couldn't)
Sorry, I have no experience of plum trees, but I never give up on any plant straight away. It might take time, but if the roots are OK, I would leave this in place and just keep your fingers crossed. In my experience, patience will be rewarded.
Providing that the plum hasn't broken below the graft, it should grow back. Neaten up any jagged tears by all means, and I would probably apply wound paint to reduce chances of getting a fungal infection in this very wet weather. You should hopefully see new growth this year.
I'm sorry, but I disagree with Alina about painting the wounds. Nowadays it is widely recognized that painting wounds of trees isn't necessary at all because the trees are perfectly capable of helping themselves by shutting the wounds of from the healthy wood. If and when wounds are still wet this wetness gets closed in and will continue to give way to fungal infections so the tree will get damaged even more.
Try keeping the wounds as dry as possible ( maybe put an umbrella over the stem and then some plastic to cover that ). Indeed you should see some new growth this year. This is my opinion and others may differ.
I know that the wound paint's a contentious issue, Flowerchild - it's just my personal opinion, and I've never experimented to prove whether one way is better than the other.
I'm not sure that you could, anyway - too many variables, including how many fungal spores are in the air!
Yes Alina, the amount of fungal spores in the air is not provable yet (to my knowledge) and there are many other variables - I do agree on that one.
It's just that I've been reading a lot about the issue (CODIT) and have seen some awful damage in the many years that I worked at a tree nursery, that I've come to this conclusion. We did experiment (not scientificely) and painting large wounds in those cases was never beneficial to the trees. Small wounds however, did sometimes benefit when the weather had been dry.
As I said, this is only my opinion so hopefully some others will let Elsapelle know what they think.
So sorry to hear about your plum tree and its break. Trim up the jagged bits, don't paint it, and wait - I'd like to bet it will put out some new shoots given time enough. Good luck.
Bear in mind you may have to wait a couple of years before it gives fruit again, whereas a new planted tree could take longer than that. Ours,Czar, took around 4 years from planting before giving fruit.
Most expert opinions now don't advise painting wounds.