What to do with this injured but recovering Italian Plum tree

This Italian plum tree (don’t have any other details like root stock etc.) was planted in the ground from a pot last year, as it broke the dormancy noticed most of the branches were dead and only a couple of branches leafed out. I removed it this spring cut all the dead branches and put this in a half wine barrel. Now it has grown several waterspout looking branches.

The trunk circumference is close to 3 inches. Should I prune/train the branches or if I leave them as-is will it fruit next year?

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In my opinion you should

  • remove the strawberries and replace with an inch of 1/4" orchid bark to reduce evaporation and somewhat equalize moisture levels in the pot
  • stop watering with drip
  • only irrigate when the root zone is “less than moist” (not dry)
  • each time you irrigate, flood the soil with water so the entire contents is soaked, then allow to drain

You might need to increase the rim height of the pot.

Do you plan to keep in the barrel or are you looking to put in the ground some time soon?

Plan is to keep it in the barrel for at least one season. If we like the fruit, then I might find a spot for it in the ground.

I will remove the Strawberries for sure. I might redo the drip next season.

I would suggest getting it in the ground this fall, and pruning it to a vase, taking out extraneous water sprouts and leaving the center open and airy. But if you don’t have room to let it spread, you can certainly train it to a central leader, limiting it to maybe 8 feet in height.

You have a lot of room for error in pruning prune plums. They’ll keep on growing back and will give you plenty of opportunities. And they’ll eventually be productive in any shape.

My prune plums have been slow to come into bearing but worth the wait. I love them fully ripe out of hand, my wife likes them a little firmer. They make terrific jam. If you have a problem with root suckers then at least you can always start new trees with the suckers!

Than you. Looking at the trunk size I am thinking it’s probably 3-4 yr old tree. Do they fruit on the wood grown this year?

They bear on older wood.

I grow strawberries and raspberries in my food forest bed under and all around my che tree, apple trees, goumi, jujube… they seem to get along just fine… but that is in a in ground heavily mulched with wood chips planting… not in a container.

I doubt those strawberries are bothering your fruit tree all that much. You could increase your mulch depth and keep the strawberries until they go dormant then transplant them somewhere else… or just keep them there.

Ps…strawberry roots only go 4-6 inches deep.

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