How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Training

Young trees are pruned to develop a tree structure that supports the limbs that ultimately support the heavy fruit load during the season. The goal of training is to develop a sturdy tree and a canopy that is capable of producing large crops and fills its allotted space. Training occurs during the first 2 to 3 years after planting and should be completed before fruit is allowed to set.

Japanese plums can be trained to the open center vase or delayed open center system where the center is open and has 3 or 4 main scaffolds with no central leader. Delayed open centers are similar to the open center, but have wider spacing between scaffold branches. European plums and prunes are trained to a modified leader system: The central leader is allowed to grow to a height of 5 or 6 feet and is then headed to an outward growing limb. Remember that exposed limbs on young trees sunburn easily. Protect exposed limbs with a 50:50 mix of white interior latex paint and water or whitewash.

A vase-shaped open center tier (left) Training
Sketch of a modified leader system (right)


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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