Training Plum Trees

maria leahy asked 13 years ago
The questions relate to training these two plums trees to train against 6’ high concrete post and panel wall. (All wires not in place yet.) Pictures attached. The first is ’Opal’ and I would like to know if I should leave only it’s 2 lower laterals or could I use both these and two other strong laterals higher up (by 2 ft.) to train as fan, or could this particular specimen be trained as a Palmette or is this method suitable for plum trees? The second is Golden Gage. Should I retain the 2nd left lateral (with the ID tag attached) rather than the lower left one as it seems the stronger of these two in training this tree? What length should I prune these to (16”?) and should I do this when they start into growth or shortly afterwards?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 6 years ago
Plums can be trained successfully as fan-trained trees on a fence or wall. The wires need to start at 50 from ground and each 30 cm up the wall.

Ideally plum trees to be trained as fans should be on the Pixy rootstock which helps to reduce vigour.

With the Opal tree, prune out the central shoot and shorten the others, tying them in to give a fan shape. With the Greengage, the shoots are very well positioned, except the one the tag which is facing the fence which can prove awkward later.

When tying in shoot at this early stage, try to get them as straight as possible and as well positioned as possible. It usually helps to tie the stem to a cane and then tie stem and cane to the wires.

Pinch out unwanted shoots as they develop, thing in those well placed.