Plum Trees, Greengages, Damsons and Bullace

Bullace, Damson, Gage and Plum Trees

Plum trees and their cousins Bullace, Damsons, Gold and Greengages and Mirabelles carry the vast majority of the stone fruit we can grow in the UK and you will find a terrific variety to choose from on these pages. Plums are essential components of any mixed orchard (the rest of which you can find in our range of fruit trees).

Plums and their relatives in Summary

  • Uses: Stone fruits ranging from very sweet to bitter in taste
  • Good Points: Heavy cropping, generally truly self-fertile
  • Position: Good ground in a relatively sunny and sheltered spot
  • Growth: Bushy - to 4.5 metres on St Julien rootstocks

Selecting, Planting and Caring for Plum Trees

Choosing Plum Trees

As trees, the whole family of plums are similar to look at. The huge differentiator is flavour which ranges Damsons so sharp they are almost inedible raw to Gages with a sweetness that matches Turkish Delight. So you pick your plum trees, first and foremost for what you want to do with the fruit. Next, keep an eye on pollination. The vast majority of the plum trees for sale here are self-fertile and so will grow, flower and crop quite happily all by themselves. But there are one or two (Greengage and Denniston's spring to mind) that need pollination and so should not be selected without you planting another variety to "keep them company". Have a look at our pollination checker if you are not sure.

Planting and growing Plum Trees

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 30 cms 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.

The whole plum family can crop heavily. So use Rootgrow to help them establish quickly and be sure to improve the soil int he planting hole with the addition of well-rotted manure or compost. Water very well after planting and also during any 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, NEVER prune in winter - always do so when the tree is in growth. Spring is a good time or just after they have flowered.

And then, you need to thin your crop

Thinning Plums, Damsons, Mirabelle and Gages

Why should I thin my Plum Trees?

plums

Professional fruit growers all thin out the crops on the plum trees in their orchards. They do this for three reasons:

1. Their trees bear tastier plums if they have to bring fewer to ripeness

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

3. People often do not understand why some trees fruit biennially (every two years). It is simply because a tree that has produced a large crop is exhausted and does not have the resources to grow the fruiting wood necessary for it to crop the following year. Thinning prevents this happening.

It is best to thin plum trees gradually. Towards the end of May remove some of the 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, Gages Damsons and the like

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. Pricing is per tree and there are quantity breaks shown below if you are buying in numbers.

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  1. Farleigh
    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group D.
    • Crops in September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £12.95

  2. King Damson
    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group D.
    • Crops in September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £12.95

  3. Damson Merryweather
    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group C.
    • Crops in late September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £12.95

  4. Shropshire Prune
    • Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group D.
    • Crops in September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £12.95

  5. Cambridge Gage
    • Eating & Cooking.
    • Self Fertile
    • Crops in late August
    • Pollination Group D
    From £12.95

  6. Jeffersons Gage - Eating

    • Bred in the US
    • Named after Thomas Jefferson
    • Fruits from August onwards
    From £12.95

  7. Old Greengage
    • Eating.
    • Self Sterile
    • Crops in August
    From £12.95

  8. Plum Oullins Golden Gage

    • Large golden fruit
    • Dessert plum
    • Stores well
    From £12.95

  9. Reine Claude de Bavay
    • Eating.
    • Self Fertile
    • Crops in September
    • Pollination Group C
    From £12.95

  10. Mirabelle de Nancy
    • Eating & Cooking.
    • Partially Self Fertile
    • Crops in late August
    From £12.95

  11. Mirabelle Golden Sphere
    • Eating & Cooking.
    • Partially Self Fertile
    • Crops in late August
    • Pollination group B
    From £12.95

  12. Mirabelle Ruby
    • Eating & Cooking.
    • Partially Self Fertile
    • Crops in late August
    • Pollination group B
    From £12.95

  13. Belle de Louvain
    • Cooking & Jam.
    • Self Fertile
    • Crops in August
    • Pollination Group C
    From £12.95

  14. Prunus domestica Coes Golden Drop Plum
    • Eating. Yellow.
    • Self Sterile.
    • Pollination Group B.
    • Incompatible with Jeffersons.
    • Crops Late September.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £12.95

  15. Prunus domestica Czar Plum
    • Eating and Cooking.
    • Self Fertile.
    • Pollination Group C.
    • Crops August.
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-March
    From £12.95

  16. Plum Dennistons Superb

    • Green, gage like fruit, but it is a plum!
    • Sometimes called Imperial Gage
    • Easy to Grow
    From £12.95

  17. Plum Marjories Seedling From £12.95

  18. Plum Opal

    • Bred in Sweden
    • Very hardy
    • Reliable
    • Multicoloured fruit
    • Good all purpose plum
    From £12.95

  19. Plum Rivers Early Prolific

    • Self -fertile
    • Eating/cooking
    • Small fruit
    • Very early cropping - July
    From £12.95

  20. Victoria Plum

    • The classic British dessert plum
    • Self fertile
    • Heavy cropping
    From £12.95

  21. St Julien A is a Semi-Vigorous rootstock for grafting your own plums, damsons, mirabelles, bullaces and gages. From £2.25

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