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2 Central leaders on my plum tree

Hi, I have a four year old Victoria plum tree that appears to have two central leaders as it forks at about a foot above ground, and they are both the same size, should I cut one of them right down to the join (if so which one?) or leave them and prune to tops of both ready for fruiting this year.
Thanks in advance


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,859
    edited January 2022
    I would want to see a photograph in order to advise you on whether and how to prune ... but I will say do not prune your plum tree now!!! 😱  Not even a little bit!

    No prunus trees should be pruned until early summer when the tree is in active growth.  Pruning during the winter makes all prunus trees susceptible to Silver Leaf Disease.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for your reply DFA, I have had to resize this photo I hope you can see it?
    The red branches are from a nearby dogwood
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,859
    I would leave both branches. I can’t see that anything is to be gained by removing one and the wound might make it susceptible to infection/damage. 
    It’s a handsome tree, if a little unusual. There’s a lot to be said for individuality 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LesGreenLesGreen Posts: 7
    Hi again,
    I have a different issue with my 4 year old plum tree this year.
    Last year all the fruit that had formed disappeared before it became ripe and that was put down to squirrels etc.
    This year hardly any fruit developed at all and a lot of the branches have been attacked and broken by wood pigeons and collared doves etc leaving the branches quite bare. I'm sorry that the photo I have attached needs rotating, but I didn't know how to do it. I need advice, obviously I am going to prune the broken branches, but what should I do with the branches that are stripped bare? prune them or leave and hope that the pigeons don't do the same next year? My initial thoughts were to prune it right down and next year cover with a net whilst the flowers/fruit  is forming. Any advice welcome, thanks. Les
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,902
    Yes, prune the branches back to a bud that points outwards and away from the centre of the tree.

    You could also prune the stripped ones by a small amount. They will have dormant buds along their length and by removing the tips you will encourage them to burst into life.

    I have no idea what to suggest for future years. I have the same problem with a cherry tree and now just accept that it will always be there only for the blossom.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
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