Pruning plum trees

Question ...

We have a Victoria plum that has started to overshadow a pear espalier and we would like to cut the plum back. I note that it is not recommended to prune plum trees, especially in the winter because of silverleaf disease, but we would really like to cut it back before the pear next flowers. Is it really an absolute no-no to cut back a plum in the winter? Whether we cut it back in the winter or in June what sort of organic wound treatment would be best to use?

Answer ...

Victoria plum is highly susceptible to the fungal disease silverleaf. Infection enters through pruning cuts or damaged branches and is more likely to happen when the plant is not actively growing. There is no organic wound treatment.

Wait until vigorous growth starts, usually in April some time, then cut back the overhanging branches. This should be early enough in the season to give plenty of light and air to the pear tree.

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