Plum trees are perfect for any size of garden, with heavy crops of delicious fruit to eat straight from the tree or in crumbles and jams. Read on for all the best tips on choosing, growing and caring for plum, damson and gage trees.
What size/rootstock do I need?
A tree’s rootstock determines how large it will grow, so it’s important to choose the right one for your space. Trees on Pixy rootstock grow to around 3m so they’re perfect for small-medium gardens. Trees on St Julien A rootstocks are more vigorous, reaching heights of 4.5-5m - Opal is great for a medium to large garden. If you have a small space or want to grow in a pot, choose a patio tree like Victoria.
Do I need a self-fertile plum tree?
Not necessarily - if there’s another plum tree within a mile (very likely), they will be able to pollinate each other. If you live somewhere less populated, it’s best to get two trees of different varieties which will act as pollination partners or go for a self fertile variety like Victoria or Farleigh.
What's the difference between a plum, a damson and a gage?
Plums, Gages and Damsons are all members of the Prunus Domestica family. Plums are large , soft fleshed and can be used for eating or cooking, depending on the variety. They’re easy to grow. Gages are smaller, rounder and sweeter for eating but need more sun than plums. Damsons are very easy to grow, have a tart flavour and are best for cooking and jam. Plums and Gages will produce a crop within three years (1-2 years for smaller dwarfing varieties) while Damsons may take between 3 and 5 - however it is worth the wait!
Other things to consider
You may want to consider harvesting time - most trees fruit in August but some will crop earlier or later. If you’re looking for a tree which is lower maintenance, Plums and Damsons are a good choice for beginners. Several of our trees have also been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit. For more information, you can find all of our Plum Tree tips and advice here.
Fighting plastic waste
Delivering fresh from the nursery
Supporting UK growers