Plum Trees for Sale

The Best Plum Tree Varieties

Bullace & Damsons, Gold & Greengages, and Mirabelles

Plum trees and their close cousins in the Prunus domestica / insititia family produce the vast majority of the stone fruit that is grown in the UK. Plums are essential in any mixed orchard of fruit trees.

Plum family in Summary

  • Uses: Stone fruits ranging from very sweet dessert varieties to bitter cooking varieties.
  • Good Points: Heavy cropping, generally truly self-fertile.
  • Position: Good ground in a relatively sunny and sheltered spot. Cooking varieties are more shade-tolerant
  • Growth: Bushy - to 4.5 metres on St Julien rootstocks.

Growing Plum Trees

Choosing Plum Trees

As trees, the family of plums are similar to look at, but the flavour ranges hugely. To pick your plum trees, first and foremost consider what you most want to do with the fruit: cook it into jam and so on, or plonk it on the kitchen table for people?

Damsons and bullace are astringent. Some, such as Merryweather, can be eaten straight off the tree, and they all get sweeter as they ripen, but generally they're almost inedible raw. The classic use for them is in jam, and in Eastern Europe, they use damsons to make the perfect Slivovitz. Anyone who has drunk a good damson wine will understand why it was once nearly as highly rated as port.

Gages and Mirabelles have a sweetness that matches Turkish Delight: a tarte aux mirabelles, once eaten, is never forgotten, but if you have a lot of mouths to feed then the chances are that they will scoff them all fresh off the tree. 

It's fair to define plums are less sweet than gages & mirabelles, and sweeter than damsons & bullaces, but there is much more going on with these versatile and heavy cropping trees. The essential plum is Victoria, she is such a reliable producer and so good fresh or preserved. 

The vast majority of the plum trees we sell are self-fertile, but there are one or two (Greengage and Denniston's are popular examples) that need pollination and so should not be selected without you planting another variety to "keep them company", that is in the same pollination group, or one higher or lower.

Planting and growing Plum Trees

Apart from mini patio varieties, all our plum trees are barerooted and so should be planted between October and the end of March in a hole approx 1 metre square and 30cm deep with a stake, tree tie and protection against rabbits/deer if necessary. You can see what to do in detail if you watch our film on how to plant a fruit tree.

So use Rootgrow to help them establish quickly and be sure to improve the soil in the planting hole with well-rotted manure or compost. Water very well after planting and also during dry spells in the first year.

Caring for established Plum trees

Mulch your plum trees every spring with a good layer of the same stuff you used to improve the planting mix. As with all stone fruit, do not prune in winter - always do so when the tree is in growth. Late spring is a good time, after they have flowered, but it is fine to let a tree fruit and prune it immediately later in the season if you are working on an older tree and don't want to lose too much of that year's crop.

Thinning Plums as Young Fruit

Why should I thin my Plum Trees?

plums

Professional fruit growers thin out the crops on the plum, damson, mirabelle and gage trees in their orchards. They do this for three reasons:

1. Their plums are tastier if the trees have to bring fewer to ripeness.

2. Plum trees are famous for their branches cracking under the weight of enormous crops of juicy plums. Those cracks and splits provide points of entry for Silver Leaf which only penetrates a tree's defences through an open wound.

3. Some trees fruit biennially, with a bumper crop every other year, and a failed crop every other year. A tree that has produced a large crop is exhausted, and does not have the resources to grow the fruiting wood to crop the following year. Thinning prevents a bumper crop from exhausting the tree, giving it a chance to crop well the following year.

It is best to thin plum trees gradually. Towards the end of May, remove some fruitlets as they begin to form. Then, in July when the plums are still hard (and concentrating on fruit that is either damaged, bruised or diseased) thin out the plums, so they can develop until they are fully ripe without touching one another. Ideally, you should leave about 6-7cms (about 3") between plums, and you will get a perfect crop.

Buying Plum trees

Barerooted Plum trees are sold between October and the end of March. You can order them whenever you like, but we only deliver in the winter season. 

All our fruit trees are covered by our replacement Guarantee, so you can give them a whirl with complete confidence. Best advice & friendly support throughout. 

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    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group C.
    • Crops in September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group D.
    • Crops in September.
    • RHS Award of Garden Merit.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group C.
    • Crops in late September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

    • Size: up to 3.5m (11ft) eventually
    • Use: cooking
    • Pruning: needs little pruning
    • Colour: yellow/green/pink fruit
    • Taste: sweet
    • Pollination: self-fertile
    • Pollination Group C
    • Picking: October to November


    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

  1. A.K.A. Prune Damson
    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group D.
    • Crops in September.
    • RHS Award of Garden Merit
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

    • Eating & Cooking.
    • Partially Self Fertile
    • Crops in late August
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

    • Eating. Yellow.
    • Self Sterile.
    • Pollination Group B.
    • Incompatible with Jeffersons.
    • Crops Late September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

    • Cooking & Eating
    • Self fertile
    • Crops in September
    • RHS Award of Garden Merit
    From £24.99  Inc VAT

    OUT OF STOCK

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