Plum trees are one of the easiest varieties of fruit tree to grow in the home garden. They are low care, require less pruning than most fruit trees and come in types that will fruit from early in the season to very late.
In Australia Mariposa with its sweet juicy fruit and Ruby Blood which is a late bearing variety are very popular.
Another factor that makes plum trees popular is the anti oxidant qualities of the fruit and it is the Japanese varieties that have this quality.
Plum Tree Varieties
Plum trees fall into two main categories, European types such Green Gage and Damson and Japanese types (blood plums). The most popular plum trees are red plums such as Satsuma, a red plum with red flesh.
However plum tree varieties such as Santa Rosa, Mariposa, and Satsuma are all well known Japanese types. Angelina, Damson and Green Gage are some of the best know European varieties.
Plums are also great for the home garden, not only for fresh fruit but also for making jams and preserving.
Although many different varieties are available, in terms of fruiting plum trees, most come from two species :
- Prunus domestica – This is the European plum.
- Prunus salicina – This is the Chinese plum.
You will also find a number of dwarf varieties available, these are some of the well known varoeties grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock – look for the following names.
- Dwarf Plum ‘Damson’
- Dwarf Plum ‘Donsworth’
- Dwarf Plum ‘Elephant Heart’
- Dwarf Plum ‘Green Gage’
- Dwarf Plum ‘Satsuma’
Plum Tree Pollination
Most plum varieties need cross pollinators to fruit well (another plum tree of as different variety) although some such as Damson and Santa Rosa are self fertile to a degree. Generally speaking you will get larger crops on cross pollinated trees than self pollinators. Plum Tree Pollination
So for example Mariposa, which is a Japanese plum will produce more fruit if pollinated by another Japanese type plum, for example ‘Santa Rosa’
Pruning Plum trees.
It is worth noting that these are a tree that fruit on one year old wood as well as older wood and fruiting spurs.
It is really only the crossover branches that crowd the centre of the tree that need pruning.
When pruning it is best to leave a good structure of two year old wood as this is where most fruit will form. Try to keep plum trees pruned so that they have a good strong framework. Also prune for ease of picking in the home garden. (don’t let them get to big)
Plum Trees are available for sale from the following online and retail nurseries
Mail order fruit tree nursery with over 200 temperate climate fruit trees.
Heritage varieties and dwarf fruit trees. Apple Trees, Stone Fruit, Nut Trees and Berry Fruit.
Carey Gully, Adelaide Hills.
Family business selling a large range of deciduous trees in pots 1-4m high. Crepe myrtle specialist. Includes Ornamental pears & plums, Red maples, Japanese maples, Gingko, Cercis, Ash, Birch, Crab apples, Weeping cherries, Gleditsia, Liquidambar and more. Hedging plants, evergreen trees & fruit trees.
55 McDougal Rd Neerim South Victoria 3831 PH: (03) 56281507
Advanced ornamental trees and garden designs and concept plans. Direct to your property combined with specialist knowledge and outstanding service.