Pruning plum trees

Hi Lynn

I have been given a Victoria Plum Tree in a 7.5 Ltr pot, it is 3 meters high and a bit spindly.  Will I harm the tree if I cut it back to 2 meters high?



Dear Jim

It is perfectly OK to prune your plum tree as it’s always a good idea to establish a good shape and keep the tree contained to the space you have available for it to grow.  This should be done yearly to keep the tree in good condition.

However there are a few things to bear in mind:-

Always prune your tree in June and not on a damp day to avoid the risk of silver leaf disease.

Prune gradually over a 3 year period and don’t be tempted to do it all now.

Plums will not bear fruit for 4-5 years so this gives you time to establish a good shape.

After the 3rd year plum trees don’t require much pruning. Annually prune out any dead wood and burn it as it may be diseased. Remove any new branches if needed to retain the shape and any branches that conflict with other branches. Any branches below 4ft off the ground should be removed.

Avoid congested branches and encourage ventilation and sunlight.

Disinfect your pruning tools to avoid spreading disease to other trees.

Good luck and enjoy your Victoria plums I personally think they are the best!


Lynn Burton
Horticultural Adviser