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27/08/2013 at 13:54

Hi there, I have a plum tree tree approx 5 years old, that has spit and one of the main branches is hanging. It first snapped about 2 weeks ago, and it was strapped back together with cable ties. Now the pressure has again got too much and it has snapped above the cable ties. There's not much room left to spint as it's a junction between two main branches.

The tree itself has flourished this year, producing ALOT of fruit, which is still 1-2 weeks away from cropping. If we lose this main branch, I fear we'll lose about half the crop. Is there anyway we can save the fruit?

I understand that the fruit should have been selected, and smaller fruit should have been removed to reduce weight, but sadly this never happened. Can anyone help? Thanks.

27/08/2013 at 15:02

You have a choice. You can take all the fruit off the hanging branch and then cut it off or you can cut the cable ties, just let the branch down gently to the ground to  try to let some of the fruit ripen, paint the wound with pruning sealant as soon as you do this and then cut the branch off when you have gathered the fruit.

I'm afraid that the join will never have the necessary strength to stand up to the weight of a crop. 

When you do cut the branch, make sure that you cut it as neatly as possible and give it a liberal coat of pruning sealant paint. Do the cutting before the end of September at the very latest.

27/08/2013 at 15:51

When we had a young Victoria plum tree we kept an eye on the branches and as they began to get weighed down with fruit we supported them  with clothes props 

27/08/2013 at 18:51

It's the same old story (shut the gate after the horse has bolted)

If your going to grow anything you owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can pre & during the growing,

A lot of people seem to think its some sort of crime to thin out "no matter if it's lettuce or as in this case fruit"

You've saved nothing by watching the trees wood bend and now break,

its going to cost you most of the fruit and you've a good chance of infecting the tree as "Now" is not the correct time to be prunning the tree.

The only good side to this is for others to take note and learn by your mistake,

if it was one of my plum trees and i'd let this happen i would remove as much of the fruit "NOW" to allow the tree to not break due to the weight.

Learn by your mistake "but" look at what other mistakes you can avoid before they happen".

27/08/2013 at 19:16

Well - none of us is perfect. How boring life would be if we were. Wb's advice sounds pretty good. Look on the bright side Hover - tons of plum crumble!!

Can I have custard with mine?

The clothes prop idea is brilliant Dove  

27/08/2013 at 19:18

Now that's just what Hover wanted to hear SD.  Bit of a Job's Comforter aren't you.

27/08/2013 at 19:31

Well, Smokin, now WOULD be the time to prune a plum tree, but just not quite so fiercely as it is going to be "pruned" now.

27/08/2013 at 19:35

Find yourself a good strong sturdy branch with a fork at the top and prop it for now as you see on old mulberrys etc in London. Then when you have your fruit and the weight is reduced try and tape it back together for now. It is the worst time to prune a plum. It will be open to infection by "silver leaf" if you do it now.,+August+funnies,+peach+tree+013.JPG



27/08/2013 at 19:40

Sorry Addict RHS advice says " never prune plums in winter because of the risk of silver leaf disease."

27/08/2013 at 19:47

I think we should try to be a bit more tactful in our replies (Please note Smokin Donkey)this was a perfectly reasonable question by someone new to the forum,advice was asked for not some sort of semi lecture.

Yes we can all be wise after the event,but when you are new to gardening mistakes do happen,encouragment is needed not this type of reply,it is a forum and we should make new members welcome.Not be a know it all SD

Rant over.

27/08/2013 at 19:50

I'll second that.

27/08/2013 at 19:52

And I'll third it. Well said Gilly.

27/08/2013 at 19:52


27/08/2013 at 19:55

Thank you Waterbutts,TT and Fairygirl,......I just thought it needed saying,it made me quite angry.

27/08/2013 at 20:44

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new" Albert Einstein.


Can we safely assume that SD knows it all?


27/08/2013 at 21:44
waterbutts wrote (see)

Sorry Addict RHS advice says " never prune plums in winter because of the risk of silver leaf disease."

Thats what I'm trying to say. Any pruning should be done no later than July or the break will not have healed up enough to get through the winter

27/08/2013 at 21:47

And for those who are new to being a member or as a new gardener, Do your home work first, the so called good advisers telling you and telling me how tough my reply is "wont be paying the bill for your mistake,*

If your told what to or not to do "thats good advise, if how ever you decide to go your own way and then come on here or any gardening forum asking what should you do now!

Well as i say who's paying the price me you or the people telling you im cruel,

Love me or hate I'll only ever give good advice both tried and tested "but you'd have to ask.

I have 4 rescue dogs all ill treated by people who decided to play games with these animals lives and they have really suffered, Because their previous owners didnt know what they we're doing,

That involved a living breathing animal,

Your mistake is with plants/trees etc If your keen to want to be good at anything be it driving, growing or what ever "then go about it the right way and you'll get good results,

Listern to people full of "well you didnt know " and you'll pay the price for lack of know how. (They wont) they'll still be telling the next person who didnt ask or find out before hand what they needed to know, "never mind" and so the mistakes go on until you learn,

So it makes sense to do it right from the start and this is my message to anyone wanting to garden "ask first or better still read up on the subjects that interest you,

It's not that long really until the cold nights are here and thats a good time to get yourself infront of the fire armed with the information about your subject and learn ready for the start of next season's growing and harvesting.

Have a think about what im talking about and see if it makes any sense to you!!!

Never mind anyone else? It's your garden "your mistakes" and it's you who needs to learn And learning at the moment is what you need.



27/08/2013 at 22:00

Hi Hover - I have a similar problem - am having to prune my branch back, and guess i will lose the fruit.  And I had read all the books (obviously just forgotten one of the important bits !!)

Hope you find some helpful answers above - and don't ever be afraid to ask a question here - there are loads of friendly people ready to provide advice and share their experiences.

The best advice I ever got about using this site was "take the best, ignore the rest" - with that motto, you can't go far wrong.

Good luck with your tree.

27/08/2013 at 22:11

SD  I am not offering advice on this topic,I am pointing out how unhelpful and rude I found your  first reply.

I agree that it is good to read up on something first,that is not the problem here,the problem is the manner in which you respond to someone who has made the mistake and is looking for help.

27/08/2013 at 22:14

Well, I for one would never have return to this forum if I had been 'spoken' to in the way you have done so SD. Believe it or not, new gardeners and experienced gardeners are allowed to make mistakes now and then and post to get good advice, not to be insulted.

You are no different from when you were on the BBC Forum except your name was then Punpun.

1 to 20 of 43 messages