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
  • Emma
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have a 15 year old plant from a stone brought to UK from my father-in-law’s tree in Spain. It’s in a pot on wheels and lives outside in summer…
    15 September 2019
  • Dee
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Hi Pringleberry... you commented your cat chewed your avacado plant. Some articles maintain avacado plants fruit and leaves all contain a toxin…
    14 September 2019
  • Athena06
    Re: Apple Trees
    I have an apple tree in my garden but don’t know what they are if they are edible or not
    12 September 2019
  • KitchenGarden
    Re: Growing Avocados
    Ian, I will gladly give your avocado tree a loving home and can pick it up if you are within driving range of London!
    8 September 2019
  • Kev
    Re: Growing Goji Berries
    Hi, i have a Goji bush planted it after its first year, post 3 years its been in the ground now. was not growing much (3ft ) so i deemed the…
    5 September 2019
  • KEW22
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Whimberries collect and eaten today from the Shropshire Hills! Delicious!
    1 September 2019
  • Allotmenteers
    Re: Growing Berries
    Supports on our allotment blackberry canes have rotted and quite a few blackberry canes became rampant. I decided to do a general overhaul and cut…
    29 August 2019
  • Dick
    Re: Growing Berries
    I have several Jostberry bushes here in Birmingham about 5 years old but they have brown patches on the leaves. Am I able to send a picture? Advice…
    28 August 2019
  • ian
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have a much loved, potted avocado tree that needs an indoor home because I’m moving away. It’s 5-years old and 8 feet tall. Any suggestions?
    23 August 2019
  • Dawni
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Just eaten a piece of delicious Winberry tart lovenly made by my sister Kay from Maesteg. I haven't tasted Winberries in…
    15 August 2019