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Tree pruning near a fence

adrian 912adrian 912 Posts: 2
edited March 2019 in Tools and techniques

I have a pear(left/first picture) and plum (right/last picture) tree that look healthy and produce lots of growth. The Pear tree produces lots of delicious pears but the plum tree now hardly produces any fruit. It used to be great 3 years ago but I think my pruning means it is now not fruiting at all. I have yet to really prune the pear tree and don't want to ruin that too!

I have read up a bit on pruning trees and growing along a fence but none of the guides seem to start from where my trees are now!

My question is can I keep the trees to a reasonable size (less than 12ft, the fence is 6ft for scale) and still keep them producing loads of fruit and how to prune them? We only have a small garden so wanted to have trees not take up too much space. The trees are only about 6 years old and are south facing so get lots of sun.

Thanks for any advice. 



  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    first off plums need pruning after they've flowered, pears need pruning during winter. So you've miss they chance to prune the pear until next winter now.
    so, plum, i'd remove the biggest branches, plums (and cherries) fruit on wood produced last year and the year before (after that the production level drops off), so you can sacrifice this years poor crop for a better one next year and even better the year after. So, the central upright branch, and the one that looks like its bent over the fence i'd remove back to the main branch and the other two main branches i'd reduce by half (the left one to the top of the trellis, the right one to about where the really bent branch is), you have some smaller branches that will be your productive branches next year, these need the tips taking out so they send out side shoots
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,567
    Plums can get silver leaf disease if pruned at the wrong time.  I suggest you have a read of this advice from the RHS - link below - and then search the RHS website for more info on espalier formation and pruning as that will let you have productive trees in a small space.

    Plums - 
    Pears -  

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for your help treehugger80 very useful, makes good sense. I'll have a ready of the link from Obelixx too. 
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