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by Maya
(Olivehurst, CA)

My boyfriend trimmed our white nectarine, cherry, and plum tee the way this book told us to and then this year only half of the tree is producing blooms but the half of the trees seems to be dying or already there any way that we may be able to prune them to save them or are they a lost cause now? The cherry and plum tree are about 15′ tall and the white nectarine tee is about 8-9′

Hi Maya, what time of year did you do this pruning?

If it was early in the spring, this can be a major problem, because unlike other fruit trees, all stone fruits (plums, peaches, cherries and similar) will ‘bleed’ or have excessive sap run. The proper time to prune them is in the late summer, when the sap is not so active.

Unfortunately, once they have gone into decline like this, it’s really hard to say what is going on without some pictures.

If the leaves have fallen normally in the fall, but new growth hasn’t started, it could be caused by some kind of fungus or bacterial infection, which if it is this, it’s probably too late to save the tree.

If you are not familiar with pruning, it can be a steep learning curve, and it’s also important to properly sterilize your pruning tools between each cut, so you don’t accidentally transfer any diseases to other trees.

Continue to watch it, but don’t attempt any other pruning at this time.

Sometimes, it takes a while for a tree to recover, but I have seen some drastic improvements by trees that you wouldn’t think could overcome the damage or disease. They are amazing organisms, and have their own way to combat this type of issue.

If you can afford it, I might get an arborist or horticulturist to visit and see if they have any suggestions.

Hope that helps,