Santa Rosa Plum Pruning And Pollinating - Knowledgebase Question

Springtown, PA
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Question by priest21
January 15, 2000
Last spring I bought a Santa Rosa plum tree that I'm guessing to be about three years old. I planted it and it's been doing great; it even put up a lot of new growth. The problem I now have is, it is time to prune and I just read that Japanese variety plum trees need to be pruned with an open center and whoever grew this one let it grow with a central leader. Now it's about 8 ft. tall. It has nice shoots coming up from the bottom tier of branches. Should I just cut the central leader at that point and work from there or what?

Also, I just read that this one needs a pollinator. Do I need to know if it's male or female or can I just buy another and not worry about that?

Answer from NGA
January 15, 2000
The following page includes a diagram on how to train a plum tree into an open center; note that plums are not pruned during the winter. Instead, they are pruned in spring.

Some suitable matches for your Santa Rosa plum include Beauty, Fortune, Hollywood, Santa Rosa, Methley, Cocheco, Shiro, Sprite, and Delight; your fruit tree source may also have some suggestions.

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