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thanks i did that today but i tend to get carried away as its such a satisfactory experience when i get a pair of secateurs in my hands


Is it the same method for a gage please? We have had little fruit after an initial huge harvest but we have done little pruning. It is about 5 to 6 years old now.. Again There are only a few fruits this year with no pruning carried out. It is now very large & maybe a specialist should do it?


Gages are plums, so treat them the same way. If you have never pruned your gage tree, now is the hour. Cut out any branches that cross the centre of the tree, trying to open the centre up to leave a cup shape. 

Then cut back the main stems that are growing upwards to half the length they made this year. You can tell  what is this years growth as it is a differnt colour from earlier wood. Then cut the little side shoots that come off the vertical shoots you have just halved in length. Cut these side shoots back to four or five leaves. Choose a leaf that is pointing outwards.

If any branches that you cut off are thicker than about half an inch, paint them with a special paint you can buy called wound paint or pruning paint. It will keep infection out of such a big cut.


I have planted a plumtree this year that i bought bare rooted.It has made good growth so far but i was worried about the best way to prune it.There have been no flowers on it just new growth,what do you recommend?.

I planted a victoria plum. Pruned as best I could according to any advice I could find. I left three strong central stems with plenty of air between them and reduced them by a third.  Then all other stems reduced by a half.  No flowers to speak of for the first 2 years. No fruit for the first three years and then last year I had loads, although lost about 1/3 of fruit with brown rot.  Will keep perservering as the fruit was delicious.  Not sure whether to prune this year though.  If i leave it alone will it slow down its growth? The tree is about as big as i would like it to get now.

Any ideas?



Hi poppies, while Summer pruning will encourage growth less than Winter pruning (and plums must be pruned in Summer to avoid Silver leaf disease, as is mentioned earlier in this thread), any kind of pruning will promote stronger growth.  My advice would be to avoid pruning it for a couple of years at least - if it is still growing strongly after then, prune it back in Summer to the size you want.

Can you prune fruit tree suckers once the tree has already blossomed. ie late spring? I live in NZ hence this question now!
Steve 309

Late spring/early summer - when they're growing fast - is the optimum time to prune plums etc. to avoid silver leaf.  I'd certainly take off all new suckers and water shoots. 

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