pruning and transplanting plum *bushes*

ok, plums don't grow on bushes, but they are not pruned properly they look more like bushes than trees!
anyway, I bought myself a house and it has these plum "plants" than have been ignored for maybe over ten years. this fall we had a great crop of plums, so i think i'll try to promote them and see if I can get a really good crop of them.
problem is, most pruing guides dont work too well, as these have gotten so wild that pruning them normally wouldnt do much. also, suckers(i think?) have grown up over the ten years and are competing, making the trees reach longer and longer. trunks 2 inches in diameter will have branches over 12 feet long.
anyway, these plums are planted close enough together that the rule of "make the root ball the same size as the branches" means i'd be transplanting 4-5 trees at once, when what i really want to do is take the 4-5 trees and separate them.
advice?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not sure what you mean when you say normal pruning will not work. You can safely remove about 1/3 of a fruit tree's growth every season. You should be able to get rid of the suckers, crossing branches, etc. over a few year's time.
Sherwin D.
Tater wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

dead branches, of course, don't count against the 1/3. Regardless of what you do, as Sherwin suggests, it will take a few years to clean up the trees.
If you think you are getting enough plums, perhaps you should sacrifice 2 trees and keep three - that would double your spacing. If they are all fresh eating, poor keeping varieties, that is probably what I would do. No family can dispatch the fruit of five trees ripening all at once (unless you have chickens). Stanley plums, canned, are incredibly good, by the way.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
simy1 wrote:

I can NEVER get enough plums :) I've no idea how well they store because we ate them as fast as we could get them! well, we did waste a lot of them trying to find ripe ones(pluck, bite, pucker, toss, repeat)
I'm considering taking any excess plums and making wine, so I really dont want to sacrifice any trees. and it is more like 10-20 trees, most so close together that typical transplanting guidelines cant apply. looks like there were more lining the driveway, but it appears that many years ago a shed fire wiped out a batch, and i was thinking of movign the extras to where they were(note, this is all guess work, no history of the house, I just look at the solutions fits)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm afraid you took me literally. I said you can take UP TO 1/3 of the growth. You have to use your judgement as to how much pruning is necessary. You still have not answered the question of what recommended types of pruning failed, and for what reason.
Yes, and Stanley plums make great jam and pies, as well.
Sherwin D.
Tater wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
sherwindu wrote:

well, I suppose over (quite) a few years time they'll look presentable :)
if I remove 1/3 of the tree's growth every season, i'll end up having long skinny branches with knobs of pruned growth on the ends of them. most of the branches are 10 ft long. not sure how much growth happens in a season, but i think you see the picture.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.