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Monday, March 9, 2015

You Can Still Prune after New Growth Starts

Q. Took your recommendation and planted a Dapple Dandy pluot and Santa Rosa plum in the same hole about 18 inches apart. New growth has already started to appear. What I’d like to do now is cut and lower the height of the Santa Rosa plum to the same height as the pluot. Is it too late to do that?
Pluot and plum planted in the same hole. Santa Rosa plum is one of the best pollinators for Pluots. The fruit trees are whitewashed to help prevent sunburn.
A. No, it is not too late to prune. People are mistaken when they think the only time to prune is during the winter months and when new growth appears, it is no longer permitted. This is a not correct.
            One of my professors used to say, “The best time to prune is when the pruners are sharp.” I still agree with him. However I would alter that by adding, “as long as it is a hand pruners.” If you are removing large diameter wood using a saw or loppers timing is more critical.

            In short, go ahead and lower the height of that pluot. Make sure you whitewash the upper surfaces of any exposed limbs to reduce sunburn unexposed branches. I will talk about summer pruning next month. I will post more about this topic on my blog.

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