How do you prune this kind of branches

Some of my plum have below problems.

  1. 4’ long branch only the top 1’-1 1/2’ branched out. The bottom2’ is a stick. What do you suggest to balance the top heavy situation?

  2. the branches all grow on top. Should I prune all off except one? Or just shorten each branches? Or thin the branches and leave few, how many branches to leave?

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The ones that are going straight up,can be cut out.It looks like they’re mostly vegetative growth anyway.
Also any that grow inwards.


@IL847 do you have any other photos from further back?

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These two pictures are taken from the same branches, top and bottom. Since I have other branches with either problem#1or #2 or both so I am looking for separate solutions.

Ok. Plan to cut it off. Should I leave the rest branches as is?

One of the two that are running parallel,by the two straight ones and going to the right,may not need to be there either.
Like Sean commented,it might be helpful to get a picture of the full tree.

This is a branch off main scaffold of the plum tree. I I side grafted to the scaffold. However this variety grew extremely vigorous. I forgot the name I actually grafted (but I can narrow down to couple of names to pick once I saw the fruits ) on. The rest of this tree don’t have similar problem.

Brady, I will cut these two branches off (marked in orange), one grow inward, one grow upwards.
What about the two in red narrow? The angles aren’t bad but a little bit two closer. Do you think it might cause problems later on?

The two with the red arrows,were the ones I referred to in my last response.One of them can go.
What about the other branch growing straight,to the right of your orange marker?Is that one a wanted variety?

That one(in blue) has a good angles if I remember it correctly. I might bend it little flat late. I still have a foot of snow in ground and not easy to take another picture.

How should I deal with this section

What to do to make the green section(about 2~2 1/2’ long) grow more branches? These branches are facing east south, got plenty of sun but they just don’t want to branch out

Seems like you have an abundance of buds below that have not grown out, so once you prune out per the advice above you may want to select those buds that you want to grow into new side branches and notch above each bud about a 1/4” down to the wood. Notching should give them the urge to grow. For the longer limbs you keep, tip prune them to remove apical dominance. That plus notching should give you the shape you desire.

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I don’t know if silver leaf is “a thing” where you are? (Chondrostereum purpureum)

But i always prune stonefruit in the summer because of it.
By summer pruning you also avoid those long brances without fruiting spurs/buds.
Might be worthwhile to consider for this season. If a new growing branch gets to long. just cut it back a bit, and usualy it wil start to form smal side branches, and a few weeks later wil continue it’s length growth.

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Are these the two branches with the red arrows,pointing at them?Without seeing the whole tree,another way,might be to remove the one on the right and cut the other,just above the bottom lateral.Then reduce the lateral by about a third.
It’s kind of like starting over,in that area,but there may be better control afterwards.

you can try notching/girdling to get the blind wood to branch. if it doesn’t work then summer prune back to the blind wood and start over

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Thank all, I think I got the idea the best way to deal with this kind of situation on plum now. I have other japanese plum that has similar growth problems that I am collecting solutions.

I changed the thread tile , took away the plum specifically because I have pruning problem on Asian pears and peaches. As the snow is melting down, spring is near, I am thinking more of the pruning issues nowadays.

I watched the WU pear pruning and 3 years branch renewal video(including that similar concept 1-2-3 method). It was great video, great idea but hard to apply to my tree. My Asian pears mostly are spurs types. It grow less than a foot new wood on the scaffold tips, less than an inch on the side branches (mostly are the spurs). If the branch is pruned away here goes all the fruit spurs.
I read @alan’s 5 year ago thread about spurs prune for apple/pear. And remembered that he said it I will be two years no fruits when spurs prune. So I need be careful if I do spurs pruning this year.

First of all, should my pear trees have spurs pruning this year , or I can still wait till the chicken paw situation get worse.

  1. tip of the branch has two equally fat (camera angles one may look fat than other)flower buds. Should I keep both or prune one away? I know tip grows best quality fruits but will these two clusters fight for nutrient?

2)should I prune these chicken paws? How to , each chicken paw, leave how many buds is the best?

  1. If I understand the best way to deal with 1) ,2) above then I know how to deal with this one.
    I am thinking prune off the blue, but wait for all your suggestions

I posted it so other readers following this topic would understand your point of reference. For beginners it can be helpful to wait till early spring

If that’s an Asian pear as it appears, I don’t think you have to really worry about maintaining spurs beyond just removing a lot of them every season to help reduce to necessary thinning. A lot of times the main issue is just to keep the trees adequately vegetative to help size the fruit and maintain or increase tree size.

Consider the ultimate size of the fruit and that each one of those flower buds is capable of producing a cluster of fruit.

Leave the best lit and fattest flower buds along with enough annual shoots to keep the tree productive and adequately vigorous.

Alan, I have read the article you linked above. I have specific pruning questions that either the article nor video give me a straight answer. But in your thread (don’t know how to link here) you talked about it.

Pruning the spurry beasts