1. Q: When do you prune plum trees?
A:The best time is late winter just before bud break. The later the better; usually trees can even be pruned after budbreak without damage to the tree.
2. Q: A plum tree three years old is ozzing a clear sap on the lower trunk toward the ground. Could it be borers?
A: Scrape away the sap to check for borer tunneling. If holes found, it's borers. If there are no holes it probally is just fungal gumosis which is not harmful to the tree. Sometimes this oozing can occur from bacterial canker. There is no cure for canker except limb removal.
3. Q: I have two different plums and would like directions to graft.
A: Fruit trees such as plum are relatively easy to graft. Most nursery trees are "t"-budded in the field. The procedure can be performed anytime the bark is slipping on the tree you wish to bud or graft. However, in order to do the procedure in early spring one must have dormant budwood. This procedure works well on small trees, ie. about the size of a pencil up to an inch in size.
Once the bark slips, make a "t" cut on a smooth spot on the tree about 6 inches off of the ground. Then cut a dormant bud shield off the stored wood or directly off of the tree. Insert the bud into the "t" cut and slide it down about a 1\2 inch or so. Then wrap all cut surfaces with a polyethylene budding tape leaving the bud exposed. After 10 days cut the tape off and prick the bud shield; if the bud shield is still green, then force the bud by cutting the top off of the tree.
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