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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.



  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    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.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740

    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 image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,221

    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?image

    The clothes prop idea is brilliant Dove  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Val40Val40 Posts: 1,377

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

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    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.

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    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



  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

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

  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    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 SDimage

    Rant over.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214


    I'll second that.

  • Val40Val40 Posts: 1,377

    And I'll third it. Well said Gilly.

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