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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.

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.


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 


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  


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


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.


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



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


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.


And I'll third it. Well said Gilly.


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


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


Can we safely assume that SD knows it all?


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



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.


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.


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.


I hate the man but Donald Rumsfeld once said one interesting, and probably unintentionally funny, thing. He said that "There are the known knowns, (the things we know that we know), the known unknowns (the things we know that we don't know), the unknown knowns (the things we didn't know we knew) and the unknown unknowns ( the things we don't know that we don't know)".

Poor old Hover was in an unknown unknown situation when the branch broke. S/he is now in a state of known unknowns, soon to be a known known one.

Telling someone that they should know all about something before they do it is unreasonable, not to say a bit bonkers. There would be many fewer babies born if that were the case, for a start.

Addict, I have yet to prune my plum trees as they were flowering so nicely in the spring I didn't like to interrupt them and now that they are bearing fruit I'm having to wait for it to ripen which, up 'ere, will be a couple of weeks yet. Nils desperandum, I'm quick draw McGraw when it comes to pruning and sealing. No silver leaf on my little pets.