I'm happy you were pleased with the information I found. :)
One rule to follow is after each tree you prune, remember to disinfect
your pruning tools in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water
followed by cleaning with soapy water and then drying. Tree diseases
are easily spread by infected tools.
I have located a book for you that is highly recommended.
Illustrated Guide to Pruning by Edward F. Gilman
From Book News, Inc.
"Universal and species-specific techniques are detailed here for the
appropriate training and pruning of young and medium-aged trees and
advice is given on challenges associated with pruning, including
disease prevention. Eight new chapters in this second edition cover
areas such as shrub pruning, tree biology, structural pruning, nursery
pruning, industry standards, and writing pruning specifications for
landscape trees. There is more material on the differences between
pruning shade trees and smaller trees, and on species from both
temperate and tropical climates. New learning features include
objectives, key words, exercises, and challenge questions. The author
teaches tree pruning at the University of Florida.Copyright © 2004
Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
This book provides guidelines for developing and maintaining sound
architectural trunk and branch structure. It is written around the
drawings and photographs to serve as the the main teaching tool for
students to learn by acutally pruning. The concepts presented in the
drawings will provide enough information to allow you to begin pruning
trees quickly, correctly and more efficiently. A must for anyone who
works with trees and shrubs."
Pruning Fruit Trees
"Olea europea, olive. Control fruit development in winter and early
spring. Trim lightly to reduce wind load. Encourage uniform shape and
form. Remove all suckers. Thin from within the tree. Heavy pruning
increases sucker growth."
[Suckers are swift-growing shoots which appear around the tree's base.
Suckers rob the tree of nutrients and should always be removed
From a question I recently I answered:
"Maintain a stable center of gravity. Wind, winter snow loads, or
previous loss of a major limb can create situations where the tree's
center of gravity is not positioned over the trunk. Then when a severe
storm hits, a slight bit of extra weight or wind pressure can break
limbs, snap the trunk off, or even topple the tree, roots and all. You
can help reposition a tree's center of gravity by selectively removing
branches on the leaning side and encouraging branches on the opposite
Remove rubbing branches, suckers, watersprouts, and temporary
branches. Branches that rub against each other produce wounds and
decay. One of the offending branches should be removed. Watersprouts
and suckers can occur at the base of the tree or inside the crown.
They are rapidly growing, weakly attached, and upright branches that
do not follow the tree's normal growth pattern. On trees that have
been severely damaged, these kinds of branches may be temporarily
needed to provide foliage. In healthy trees, however, they most often
use more energy than they return to the tree, and it is best to remove
them as soon as possible . (see Illustration F4)
Temporary branches grow low on the tree when it is young and protect
young bark from injury by the sun. After a tree is three to four years
old, these temporary branches should be gradually removed.
Because leaves are vital in providing the tree with nourishment, never
remove more than one-third of a tree's leafy crown when pruning.
Don't cut branches back to stubs. Often people have the mistaken idea
that long natural limbs on a tree will break more easily in a storm,
and should be cut back to make them stronger. Just the opposite is the
case. When a branch is cut back to a stub, new branches will grow from
the edges of the stub. Because they cannot form a strong union with
the stubbed branch, these new branches are even more likely to be
broken in a future storm.
If a branch needs to be removed, cut it back to a main branch or to
the tree's trunk. Never leave a stub. (see Illustration F5)
See Figure 5 on this page: (third on the right side)
"Scaffold branches are the primary branches that will make up the
"Scaffold branches should look like ascending spokes around a central
axle (Figure 5). This will provide a structurally strong tree that is
attractive, balanced, and allows sunlight to penetrate and wind to
pass through the canopy."
Pruning of newly planted trees should be limited to corrective
pruning. By removing torn or broken branches. Save other pruning
measures for the second or third year.
The belief that trees should be pruned when planted to compensate for
root loss is not correct.
Trees need their leaves and shoot tips to provide food and the
substances which stimulate new root production. Unpruned trees
establish faster, with a stronger root system than trees pruned at the
time of planting.
Don't remove too many bottom branches (over-lifting) because those
will give the tree strength.
Never cut the top off your tree!
Tree topping is also harmful practice to trees.
After 3 years, you may prune the lower limbs to approximately one foot
off ground level. If you want to walk under your tree canopy, continue
to remove the lower limbs (1' off the ground) each year for up to 5 or
6 years. Bottom limbs give strength to the tree.
A good article on pruning can be found at:
You'll see links on the left side of page - there are some
illustrations along with the description.
Planting Plum Trees
Care of Plum Trees
Pruning Plum Trees
Pruning Fruit Trees
"Plums - Bear the majority of their fruit on vigorous spurs on wood
two years or more old. Avoid heavy pruning which stimulates
watersprout growth. A light thinning out of small branches and twigs
is needed each year to open up the tree and prevent declining fruit
production in the inner area of the tree. Older tree which haven't
been properly pruned bear fruit only on the outer 2-3 feet of each
Cherry-Plums - Small, short-lived trees which bear good for the first
few years with little pruning. When the trees are young, prune back to
stimulate new growth and reduce breakage from heavy loads of fruit.
Each year older trees should be pruned to remove old wood and
encourage the growth of new fruiting shoots. Two to four year old
stems are the most productive.
Sour Cherries - Produce some fruit on annual shoots but most is borne
on spurs. Light thinning out of upper branches is needed to keep the
tree open and to allow for good sun penetration.
Renovating Neglected Trees
When pruning neglected fruit trees, it is not necessary or possible to
correct all errors in tree structure due to the lack of pruning in the
past. Complete rejuvenation may take several years of heavy pruning.
Do not remove more than one-third of the top growth in any one year.
Fertilizer should not be applied during years of heavy pruning to
reduce the amount of regrowth. The main objectives in pruning
neglected fruit trees are to reduce tree size, thin out branches and
most importantly increase fruit production and quality.
Tree size is reduced by lowering the height of the tree and cutting
back the lateral branches to obtain the desired width. When reducing
tree height, no more than four to five feet of growth should be
removed in one year. The top should be removed just above an outward
lateral branch. Water sprout removal may be necessary in subsquent
Thinning out of undesired, large branches should all be done at one
time. However, if more than four large branches need to be removed,
remove half one year and half the next. After removing the unwanted
large branches, remove smaller low hanging branches and dead, diseased
or broken branches. As a final step thin out the smaller branches in
the tree. Remove underhanging branches, vertical growing shoots and
other weak growth. The thinning out process will open up the tree for
better light penetration, the development of fruiting wood and finally
more and better quality fruit."
"Cherry trees have some specific guidelines for pruning. They can be
pruned moderately to let in light in and to thin out branches, this
can improve air circulation to help prevent disease. Most stone fruit
trees are pruned in winter, when the tree is dormant. However,
cherries are usually pruned in summer, to reduce the attack of a
disease called Silver Leaf. It is recommended to cover pruning cuts
with a non-asphalt-based pruning paste to protect against disease.
Prune off dead, damaged or diseased wood. Shape the tree into an open
vase-shape if you can. However, weeping cherries should be pruned to
maintain their weeping shape. Cherries fruit on 1-year-old shoots and
lateral spurs, so you can prune off new material as you see fit. Make
sure you remove and destroy any fallen wood, leaves and old fruit as
this will help to reduce the risk of disease. Cuts should be made
about 1/8th of an inch above a bud and should be made on an angle to
allow water to drain off. Also, it is important to disinfect pruning
tools after each cut when pruning diseased tree."
How to Prune a Tree (Illustrations)
If you'd like to take a peek at a recently answered question on
planting trees, it also addresses general pruning issues.
prune olive cherry plum trees
how to prune a tree
pruning tree illustrations techniques