Home > Ask Our Experts > What is the Best Plum Tree for a Small Garden?

What is the Best Plum Tree for a Small Garden?

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
What Is The Best Plum Tree For A Small Garden?

Q.Which plum tree is best for a small garden and will fruit the year after planting?

(Mr Christopher Mcvey, 2 October 2008)

A.

It’s time for tree-planting – and the choice you’ve got is enormous. Plums are popular and deservedly so: the sweet fruits are perfect for eating, but also wonderful in pies, desserts and jams.

It is difficult to find a tree that will guarantee fruit next year, or the following year. Plum trees take 4-5 years to begin producing fruit. Even then, plum trees do not produce fruit reliably – if the flowers suffer a late frost, they could all be lost. To give your tree the best chance, plant in a deep hole away from shade, because they don’t like frost, and feed with bonemeal in early spring.

Make sure that the tree you choose is also self-fertile. Many varieties must be planted in pairs or more to ensure that the flowers are pollinated. Plum flowers are fairly short-lived and lack of pollination often causes a poor harvest. To get the best harvest, thin out the fruits in early summer to give the best fruits a good chance to grow and ripen.

As for the size, you’ll need a plum tree in fan, pyramid or bush shape. Ask for a tree that has been grafted onto a dwarf or semi-vigorous rootstock – Victoria, Czar and Opal are all approved by the Royal Horticultural Society, which is a good indicator of quality. You can buy named ‘Dwarf Plum Trees’ too, even those which can be grown in outdoor pots, but, because plums are so easy to shape by pruning, they’re usually suitable for small gardens anyway.

Plums are easy to keep in shape by pruning – you’ll see them grown on cordons or espaliers in show gardens. If you have a south or west-facing wall, you could grow the plum tree against it in a fan shape to keep garden space free. If not, choose a bush type, which will grow up to 4m tall but will have foliage that starts quite high on the trunk. Refer to the pruning instructions for your particular tree; plum trees are usually pruned in the summer, but different varieties require different treatment.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
My mum has a new greengage plum tree, which was put into her garden last year. this year it has fruit on it but before the fruit got ripe the leaves on the tree all went yellow and the fruit has all shrivelled up can you please help?
moondancer490 - 12-Aug-13 @ 1:24 PM
Having planted our Conference pear tree last year there has been no sign of growththe leaves are very small again this year although the tree looks healthy it does not show any signs that it is progressing as it should have also fed with bloodfish &bone could you please advise.
Roly - 11-Jun-11 @ 6:57 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • jake47
    Re: Growing Apricots
    Hi i have an apricot i got from aldi (it was labelled as an almond lol)its about 5 years old now 2 years ago i got just 2 fruit ,last year 4 fruit…
    24 March 2019
  • kings
    Re: Growing Grapes
    I Would Like To StarT Grow Grape In My Country Cameroon. Which species Will Be Best And How Can't I Get Them? Thanks. I'll Be Waiting.
    16 March 2019
  • Tina
    Re: Pear Trees
    What comes first blossom or leaves on a robin pear tree please
    15 March 2019
  • smiffy01
    Re: Plum Trees
    Hi i have bought a victoria plum tree online and it has just arrived, it looks like a straight stick no branches etc , it is my first time buying one of…
    4 March 2019
  • Adrian
    Re: Plum Trees
    I work for a client who has a green gage and a golden gage they've been in a few years since 2012 and the golden and green gage havent had fruit in that…
    22 February 2019
  • Elly
    Re: Plum Trees
    I bought a plum tree today, Opal, and it has thorns. Is this usual for an Opal plum tree?
    14 February 2019
  • Miagreenfingers
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I’ve a polytunnel, south facing, up a mountain, in Ireland, with over 40avocado trees growing, ranging in size from sprouting stone to 2ft tall. I…
    11 January 2019
  • Joe
    Re: Cherry Trees
    I have a cherry tree in my garden called MARILO. Is it edible, if so is it sweet or sour
    18 December 2018
  • Joe
    Re: Cherry Trees
    My wife purchased a cherry tree called MARILO and never recorded what type it was before she passed away. Could you tell me if it is edible and if so…
    18 December 2018
  • Dekzion
    Re: Growing Goji Berries
    We've had the standard red Goji for years, it's in full sun, just one plant, never gets pruned (unless there's bits sticking out and get in…
    16 December 2018