The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Fruit => Topic started by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 23, 2014, 12:31:49 am

Title: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 23, 2014, 12:31:49 am
My plum tree is so laden with fruit that it bowed right down so I propped the main branch up with wood to help support the weight. When we got back from holiday, I was dismayed to see that it has still broken. The break only goes about two thirds of the way through so, if I leave it alone, will the fruit still ripen? I know I will have to cut the branch off later.


I should have pruned the tree before it started to produce anything. It's only a young one and the main branch wasn't very thick. I also know that it's recommended to take some of the fruit off to stop this happening but it's too late now.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: pgkevet on July 23, 2014, 07:39:56 am
Fruit may well riped. One of my plum trees here snapped on the main stem .. wasn't that loaded. I left it with the same hope of ripening but it's now come completely adrift.

Looks like I have to settle for just a few damsons from the other tree this year.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Greenerlife on July 23, 2014, 08:39:39 am
Mine broke last year and I left it for the plums to ripen, and they did.  I subsequently forgot to prune it back and this year there are plums on the branch.  This year,this year.....
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: bloomer on July 23, 2014, 08:54:47 am
if you can get someone to lift the offending branch up to where it should be you can bandage the joint tightly with strips of cloth or equivalent and resupport the branch in that position it can heal fully, or at least prevent it breaking off to ensure proper ripening of the fruit.



Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: ellied on July 23, 2014, 05:32:39 pm
I hav e a broken branch that I propped with the intention of pruning this summer and it flowered and is fruiting so will just reduce the weight and prune lightly rather than remove the lot!

I guess it depends how much cambium is still undamaged.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 23, 2014, 11:27:25 pm
if you can get someone to lift the offending branch up to where it should be you can bandage the joint tightly with strips of cloth or equivalent and resupport the branch in that position it can heal fully, or at least prevent it breaking off to ensure proper ripening of the fruit.


I wish I could but it's about 15 foot high - or was.


Ellie, I just googled cambium but I'm not much wiser than I was before I read the results. It's still alive at the moment so I think I'm just going to wait and see.


And I WILL remember to prune it.  :fc: :fc:
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: HappyHippy on July 24, 2014, 12:12:25 am
Cambium is the green bit between the bark and the wood - I learned that at a tree grafting workshop  ;D
I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions apart from propping it up, sealing the wound and seeing how it goes. I think I would try and take some of the fruit off though - maybe half, maybe all? I'm not sure  :thinking: Better to save the tree and have fruit for many years to come though  :thumbsup:
HTH
xx
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Fleecewife on July 24, 2014, 08:08:59 am

As HH says, seal the wound.  I get the impression though that it's more of a greenstick type fracture which will be difficult to keep bacteria free.   Plums are known for branches breaking under the weight of fruit.  Our golden gage is looking well laden this year, so we're watching it, although it's been ok in the past.
  :fc: for yours.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 24, 2014, 10:45:11 pm
Thanks for the info, Karen.


FW, it is a greenstick fracture and I would find it very difficult to seal it. I did have it propped up but the break is just past the prop (which is a piece of 4x4 timber so no light weight).


It's still not showing signs of dying though so here's hoping.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: HesterF on July 24, 2014, 11:57:10 pm
The danger is of infection (mainly silver leaf) entering through the wound though. If you want to leave it on to ripen the fruit, you'll be best off not cutting off the branch entirely until next spring because you don't want to open up a big wound later in the season/in the winter. Even if you can't prop it, I'd try painting it - or getting somebody else to.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 25, 2014, 04:57:07 pm
What should I paint it with?
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: HesterF on July 25, 2014, 10:20:23 pm
I think it's just called pruning paint - you should be able to buy it at any garden centre. Some people use it routinely when pruning - especially for the big cuts - the guy at Brogdale teaching our course was sceptical on the benefits so I don't normally bother but I think I would in your case.

H
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 26, 2014, 06:54:32 pm
Thanks. I'll get some.
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on August 08, 2014, 12:09:46 am
The plums on the broken branch are just starting to ripen so I shouldn't lose too many after all.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: pgkevet on August 09, 2014, 12:14:29 pm
My plum snapped two more barnches.. they are ripening but the wasps are there first. As I've mentioned before this is all in the inherited orchard... someone's idea of a 'forest orchard' for which i read cram too many trees together surrounded by taller ones to limit the light and ventilation ..and expect problems.
I've removed several and heavily pruned over the last two years but may have to be even more aggressive to get some fruit before my new lot properly establish.

For the plum-wasp battle I'm picking them under-ripe and stewing. You can only eat so many plums and apples before nature reminds you and makes you to run to the loo!!
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on August 10, 2014, 12:05:02 am
I think I'll have enough to freeze this year.  :yum:
Title: Re: Broken plum tree
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on August 17, 2014, 09:06:55 pm
Today I harvested over 5kg ripe plums from the broken branch and there are still more to come. :excited: :excited:  I'm so glad I decided to wait and see what happened. There is probably another kilo on that branch, not including the ones that the wasps and snails have started on. I haven't even started on the other branches yet, but this was the main one.


Once the rest are gathered, I will cut the branch off and the goats can have a feast.