Pruning Plum Leaf Sand Cherry: When And How To Prune A Purple Leaf Sand Cherry
The most common question that I get asked when it comes to pruning plum leaf sand cherries is “How do I prune my plum leaf sand cherry?”
The answer is simple, but there are several factors involved in deciding what type of tree you want to grow.
You may have heard that there are three types of plum leaf sand cherries:
1) The “classic” plum leaf sand cherry, which is a small tree with large branches and a few leaves.
These trees tend to be quite tall (up to 20 feet), and they often bear very large fruits. They’re not too difficult to prune because their size makes them easy to see under the canopy.
2) The “medium” plum leaf sand cherry, which tends to be smaller than the classic variety, but still fairly tall.
They usually produce medium sized fruits and don’t need as much pruning attention.
3) The “small” plum leaf sand cherry, which is similar to the classic variety except they’re shorter than average and their branches are thinner.
Because these trees have fewer branches, they require less pruning attention.
It’s best to research which type of plum leaf sand cherry you have so you know what you’re getting into. Also, if you have the opportunity, take pictures of your tree before pruning so that you can see what it looked like before taking the shears to it.
The other factor is when to prune your tree. Since the plum leaf sand cherry has multiple varieties, each maturing at different times, there is no single answer. For the classic and medium types, you can generally prune them when they are still fairly young (2-3 years old). They will have plenty of branches and stems to play with. The small variety should be left alone for a bit longer (3-5 years old) as they develop fewer branches.
Again, this is just a general guideline. If you want to prune a mature tree, it can be done, but it will require more labor.
How to prune your tree is really up to you and what shape you want it to be. Personally, I prune my trees into an “umbrella” shape since it allows for the most sunlight to pass through (and thus encourage more fruit growth). One thing to keep in mind: DO NOT CUT BACK TO BRANCHES WHICH ARE TOUCHING THE GROUND. This will damage the tree and could kill it. Instead, cut the branch just above a “bump” on the trunk so that the branch can still develop but won’t touch the ground.
Whether you want a small tree with plenty of sunlight or a large tree with more shade, the plum leaf sand cherry is a great tree to have. With its beautiful flowers and delicious fruit, it’s sure to be a favorite in your garden.
NOTE: Some people have requested information about the types of plums that are available. Unfortunately, I do not have any experience with these trees, but I have provided a link to another website with some good information about several different types of plums: Types Of Plums.
Pruning Orchard Trees
Orchards are a great addition to any homestead, but they require lots of work to maintain. Among other things, this means pruning the trees every year. While some may find this task tedious and boring, you may find solace in the fact that you’re keeping your orchard healthy and ensuring a bountiful harvest for years to come.
Most orchard trees require heavy pruning to keep them healthy and productive. Some, such as the apple tree, only need light yearly pruning. Others, like the peach tree, need to be pruned heavily every couple of years. No matter what type of orchard tree you have, it’s important that you prune them correctly to ensure they’re growing as best they can.
One thing you need to consider when planning your orchard is the potential size of the trees. Some trees, such as peaches, will only reach a modest height (between 6 and 15 feet tall). Others, like apple trees, can grow to be very large (up to 40 feet in height). Naturally, you’ll want to place your trees in the orchard area accordingly. If you have room for a full grown apple tree, then by all means plant one.
If you only have room for a peach tree, then plant several peach trees so that they’ll be able to grow as large as possible.
When planting your trees, plant them at least 12 inches apart (or as recommended by the tree’s instructions). This will prevent the roots from competing for nutrients, which can damage or even kill the tree. Between the gaps in the trees, you may want to consider planting grass to keep the area green and neat looking.
Sources & references used in this article:
The western sand cherry by NE Hansen, CE Bessey, C Wedge, RA Emerson – 1904 – openprairie.sdstate.edu
Growing minor stone fruit in Montana by RE Gough – Montana State University Extension Service …, 2002 – missoulaeduplace.org
Pruning Made Easy-How to Prune Rose Trees, Fruit Trees and Ornamental Trees and Shrubs by HH Thomas – 2013 – books.google.com
Tree fruit culture and varieties in North Dakota by RG Askew, LJ Chaput, RC Smith – 2005 – library.ndsu.edu
Tree Fruit Culture and Varieties in North Dakota by LJ Chaput, RC Smith, D DeCock – 1997 – library.ndsu.edu
HORTICULTURAL AND ECONOMIC COMPARISON OF HAND VERSUS MECHANICAL PRUNING IN A HIGH DENSITY FRENCH PRUNE ORCHARD by SM Southwick, W Krueger, JT Yeager, J Osgood – HortScience, 1990 – journals.ashs.org