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A forum for growing fruits and rare tropical and temperate fruits, and tending our orchards

Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby sautesmom » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:44 pm

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sautesmom
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Does anyone have any experience pruning a Weeping Santa Rosa plum? I have had mine planted for 2 years now, and it has grown crazy out-of-control (10 feet tall with branches all over the place), but I am afraid if I have to keep hard-pruning it pollard-style I will never have any fruit.

Carla in Sac
Carla in Sac

Re: Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby proust » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:52 pm

proust
 
that is a pretty tree. you have good taste. Plums you have to get on top of them 'early' like the first and 2nd year, after that it is more like sculpting them or restorative surgery to get the growth back under control. Fortunately its a small tree unlike some plums.

The question is do you want it for an ornamental alone or ornamental plus fruit. how you prune an ornamental tree depends what artistically you want to achieve. I love to prune/train trees into wild shapes.

in general all plums lend themselves to an open center type of pruning style so you would select 3-4-5-6 'scaffold ' branches equally spaced then prune out the centers, the more scaffolds you select the more dense your tree will look.

the good thing about the plum is once you have the basic shape, it does not want to 'fight' you like peaches and nectarines and apricots to put back on all that growth. thus they are easier to maintain year to year. it would help if you uploaded a picture of your tree showing where it was in the landscaping.

this is an excellent video i always recommend for people who have back yard orchards and want to learn how to prune properly. i think it will be clear after watching this on what you want to do.



pruning can be dangerous and heavy and dirty work so you might want 'direct' someone or get someone to help you that has pruned trees.

dont throw your dead branches away you can cut them up for bbq wood then use the wood ash in the garden.

nice tree for sure.
Last edited by proust on Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby harveyc » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:56 pm

harveyc
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Location: Isleton, CA Sunset 14, USDA 9b
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Carla, I forget the name of the guy who patented that sport, but he was on Feather River Blvd just south of Yuba City. He was a customer of mine 30 years ago and it came up when I asked him about his royalty income. About ten years later I bought one of these out of curiousity. I sold that place about three years after the tree was planted, but remember the vigor which you explained. Naturally, you want to keep the weeping structure for the appearance you intended. What I did was remove completely many (a third or so) of the branches each year and then shorten the others to where they were hanging a couple of feet off the ground. You'll get fruit on those branches and can trim off growth that touches the ground during the growing season.

Strange, I see that Raintree shows that this is patented by Zaiger but I know that is not the case. The patent expired a long time ago and it wasn't patented by Zaiger, but maybe he did some crosses with it later that were patented. I do know that my customer received royalties from Dave Wilson Nursery back then.

Re: Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby Kurt Mize » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:33 pm

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Climate Zone: 9b
Hi, Carla. I purchased an "Ultra-dwarf Weeping Santa Rosa," and it started to revert to a non-weeping form a couple of years ago. Now it is at the point where only about a third of the original weeping portion of the tree remains. The rest has bolted into vigorous, upright branches. I, too, am uncertain how to prune it now. Do I try to train it as a regular plum? Or do I try to cut off everything that isn't weeping (in which case there wouldn't be much left)? So far, I've just been playing it by ear and pruning it to keep it decent-looking. :)

Re: Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby harveyc » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:36 pm

harveyc
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Location: Isleton, CA Sunset 14, USDA 9b
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Kurt, I'm pretty sure the weeping portion was budded onto the 4'-6' trunk of a standard plum. Take a look to see if the upright growth is coming from below the weeping branches. If so, cut them off unless you want to go for an unusual look.

Re: Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby Kurt Mize » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:04 am

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Climate Zone: 9b
Hi, Harvey. No, the vigorous upright growth has sprouted from the weeping part. Very odd.

Re: Pruning Weeping Santa Rosa

Postby DavidLJ48 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:55 pm

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Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
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No growth from the stand trunk, like Harvey, that would of been my question too. I think that weeping cherries and plums, do send, upward growth, you just need to keep it cut out. I have looked at them at nurseries and see where upward growth has been nipped back, when small.

I have a Japanese maple, most of the growth is horizontal and downward, but some goes upward. I just nip them off when small, to keep the more horizontal look I want.

Even columnar apples need some corrective pruning to keep them that way.

David
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b


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