Help - Pruning to new leader following dieback

hungryfrozencanuck(4a)April 14, 2014

So you can add this to the newbie mistakes list.

Got a lovely 3 year old plumcot bare root late last spring. Heard should remove 30% and had brilliant idea to paint trunk white. Yes I used matte interior latex paint BUT did not thin to 50%. Also that 30% haircut was probably just before bud break meaning I knocked out alot of stored nutrients.

Long and short of it is that the whole trunk died back nearly to the base. Man I was kicking myself. Anyways, luckily it was tough and was able to push out shoots through the latex. So now I need to train a new leader. Snow has just melted 1 week ago. I was planning on letting everything grow this year and cut back next year but what do you all think?

Do I cut back to an inch above the longest leader (3rd down) and train it up? Do I cut back to the top smaller leader? Do I leave it alone this year? Any opinions on how I salvage this?

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I didnt know pluots were hardy to zone 4a....... I hope the graft was buried under the snow

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:22PM
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but greenbarn has had financial issues and really does not answer phone or e-mails anymore in my experience. BUT he has been growing for over 30 years on ile perrot near Montreal which is extremely windblown and frozen in the middle of the St. Lawrence. These guys are also doing apricots, peaches, ect.

So people are growing them and no, not always under snow cover.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:41PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Looks like a good candidate for a new leader. It should be fine. I like the branch on the right that is almost vertical. Tie it to the old leader to make sure it grows vertical. Remove those branches below it, and on the left remove one, and leave the other ever case your new leader has problems, you have another choice. But eventually you want to remove all other branches and form scaffolds off the new leader. I did this with a Neactplum. Leave the old leader on for now. Maybe remove it next year, but if any of it is dead, cut off dead wood. You'll be able to form nice and low scaffolds off the new leader. Here is my nectaplum.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:42PM
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