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Plumb tree disaster.

Hi, just been outside and found our big plumb tree split near clean in two.

There has been a large crack for some time, however we have now lost a full side of the tree, the split is about 3' up the trunk and not clean.

Can anyone suggest the best way to proceed, obvisously we will need to cut this branch off now (and loose the healthy crop it was growing), is there anything we should be using to treat the exposed wood?



  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    These days it is not suggested that you paint wood wounds with stuff as we used to do - nature will heal the area.  You will need to cut it nice and flat with no splintery bits left.  Such a shame, but plums are inclined to do this I gather.  If the tree is then very much heavier on one side than the other, you have a couple of choices, you can reduce the wood on the other side and lose the crop on that branch as well, or support it if you can until cropping is over.   You will need to prune to get some balance on the tree or it will split again.  Don't prune plums in winter, but as soon as fruiting is over, unless you need to take bits off now to balance it.  

    I am just wondering how big the tree is?  Would it be possible to 'splint' the two sides together?  Using very strong tree ties it can be done, I have seen this with split trees but not fruit trees, and not very big ones - may be worth trying?  Probaby someone else here knows more than I do about your problem.  Good luck with it, such a shame to lose it. 

  • BriggsyBriggsy Posts: 71

    Hello again Bookertoo,

    I've put some pictures below, far to big to splint together I think!

    We'll just have to try and remove as cleanly as we can.






  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Hmm, yes you are right, no splinting that I think.  You will just have to remove the falling split part as smoothly as you can, and hope that nature will do the rest.  In spite of not wanting to lose this years fruit, I'd be inclined to reduce its load as it has alot of healing to do, and may find that too much with fruit production - you'll be best judge of that.  Maybe clear the grass from around the roots a bit and give it some good feed to build it up as it heals - it doesn't need any competition at root level just now.  It is not absolutely certain tht you can save this, but it is always worth a try - why did it split int he first palce I wonder.  It looks as if a branch has come of that  area before?  

    You've got some lovely trees in your garden, lucky you - ae they all productive fruit trees or a mixture?

  • BriggsyBriggsy Posts: 71

    Will do our best to save it. We do have another three, however not sure which is plumps and which is damsons yet. The split had clearly been developing over a long period and had in fact I had been contimplating the issue and wondering if a form of binding was in order! Too late now.

    This is only our second season here & last year was a total fruit catastrophy, not one plump, damson or apple!

    Behind the damaged tree in the picture you see apple trees, thankfully this year with what looks like a healthy crop. A couple of big storms at the wrong time last year and we lost all the blossom.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Don't worry about last year Briggsy, no-on had good crops last summer - too wet, too dark and too windy - my crab apple, which is usually laden with frui,t managed to produce 10!  The eaters had some, but not many and at that we did better than some as the trees are espaliered next to a wall so got some shelter.  Only the redcurrants/blackcurrants did well, but they always do.

    Damsons make the best jam ever, hope you get a good crop of those.  Are your plums eaters or cookers, or don't you know yet?  No room for anything as big as a plum tree here, and as yet there are no reliable fruiters on dwarfing root stocks, which I have for my eating apples and cherry - maybe in time huh?

  • BriggsyBriggsy Posts: 71

    Blackcurrents were the only fruit we got last year aswell.

    This year they are so laden that I have had to string them up to stop them drooping onto the ground........................hopefully a sign of things ahead.

    Don't yet know if cookers or eaters.

    The branch will be coming off the tree shortly, I'm not sure how practical it will be to strip it of fruit as it's propably 20' tall and the fruits are all the way to the top!

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Well, I just thought that a reduction in load might be helpful for it, but not at the risk of the gardener!  Trees are incredible things and recover from the most amazing damage without our interference - just look at some of those in our woods and forsests.  Lets hope it fruits well and gets no wood bug in the hole.  Will be thinking about it as time goes on. 

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