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The top of my plum tree is growing a little unsightly, but Im unsure how to correct it. The top is growing away sideways. SHould I just cut it back to a lower branch? If so, will this lower branch then become the lead stem?
Hi Leadfarmer, I have a Victoria plum tree which does pretty well each year and in my experience they need very little pruning, however I do know that the only time to prune plum trees is in the summer or you risk the tree getting a fungus infection. Be careful not to prune any flowers/ fruit off. You might be better off letting it fill out a bit as it looks quite a young tree to me.
Its about 8-9ft tall, Ive only photographed the top bit of the tree. The top of the tree is spoiling its shape.
If you are aiming for a more rounded shape, take top leader down to the bend. Keep taking the top leaders back to the next set of buds until the tree is filled out to the required shape. When taking the top out, be very vigilant for all the new growth on the lower branches, prune out the crossing stems etc. Depending on the weather, you may well find you have a nice shaped tree with lots of space around the internal structure by the end of the season and next year you will be rewarded accordingly. Good luck.