The plum tree you planted last year survived. Now What? If your tree grew vigorously last year it may be time to prune it. Plum trees should be pruned in the late winter, just before the bud breaks. Open center pruning is recommended for stone fruit trees and should be done when the tree is 1 to 3 years old. Large branches that fill the center of the tree should be removed. This will leave a “bowl like center”. Be sure to leave enough branches in the center of the tree to provide some leafy growth, which will provide a bit of shade to prevent sunscald. Vigorous upright shoots should also be removed. Light pruning may be done at any time during the year. The same rules also apply to peaches.
Debrah Golden, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service