Fruit trees

When to collect plum?

The plum is one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees in all temperate regions of the world. Its rapid growth and frost resistance, as well as its high production, make it one of the most loved plants in orchards.

Its fruit, the plum, has a delicious flavor, and is so nutritious that if your stomach starts to complain, you can have it as a snack and feel much better. But when is it collected?

Origin and characteristics of the plum

The plum, whose scientific name is Prunus domestica, is a deciduous tree native to southern Europe belonging to the genus Prunus. It is characterized by reaching a height of 7 to 10 meters, with lanceolate and serrated leaves that are 10cm long by 4cm wide. Its growth rate is fast, starting to produce plums from 6 years after planting.

It blooms in spring. Its flowers are white, about 2 centimeters in diameter. The fruit is a somewhat globose drupe, reddish, yellowish, greenish, or bluish-black depending on the variety and/ or cultivar.

Plum types

There are many varieties, such as:

  • Pink: it is a variety that is larger in size than others, which produces plums with a great color variety.
  • Laroda: it is a variety that produces bluish-black plums, almost lilac.
  • Claudia: produces greenish plums.
  • Stanley: it is a variety of medium size and very productive. It produces very dark red and bluish plums.
  • Red Beauty: it is an early variety that produces red plums.
  • Angeleno: it is a vigorous tree, but somewhat slow. It produces bluish-black plums.

It is important to know that there are varieties that need suitable pollinators, so it will be necessary to educate yourself well at the nursery before buying one so that there are no unpleasant surprises later.

What is the care for Prunus domestica ?

Location

Once you have your tree, you must plant it outside, in an area where the sun shines directly, and at a distance of about 5 meters from walls and other tall plants.

Its roots are not invasive, but it is necessary to leave enough space for it to develop normally.

Irrigation

It must be watered frequently, especially during the summer, as it does not withstand drought. The frequency will vary depending on the weather, but in general it should be watered three times a week in the hottest months, and somewhat less the rest of the year.

Earth

  • Flowerpot: use urban garden substrate.
  • Garden: grows in fertile soils, with good drainage.

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With a regular fertilizer from spring to summer, you will get it to have a large amount of fruit. For this reason, it is highly advisable to fertilize it with organic fertilizers, such as horse manure or worm castings, applying a layer of about 3cm around the trunk once a month.

Pruning the plum

The pruning of the plum tree can be winter or also what is known as spring-summer pruning or green pruning. Both are different:

  • Winter pruning: or structural pruning. It consists of that pruning that will shape the tree. You have to cut those branches that are growing too much, those that intersect, and also those small and pointed shoots that come out of the trunk. Likewise, the suckers, that is, the shoots that come out from almost the base of the plant, should be eliminated.
  • Spring-summer pruning: consists of eliminating the branches of previous years that are not useful, and trimming those that measure more than 40 centimeters in order to get lateral shoots.

Always use pruning tools previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol.

Multiplication

The plum is basically multiplied by T-grafting during the autumn or spring, on another plum, or on almond, nectarine, blackthorn, peach or apricot tree.

Related article:What are grafts and what are they for

Another way to get new specimens is by sowing their seeds in autumn or by cuttings under fog.

Harvest

The fruits of your tree will be ready to be picked from May to September, depending on the variety you have purchased. As soon as you see that by shaking the branch a little, one of them falls without difficulty, you can pick them up and enjoy their flavor.

In any case, it is very important that you know that the plum tree requires between 500 and 1000 hours of cold per year to achieve good productivity.

Rusticity

It is a fruit tree that resists cold and temperatures of up to -8ºC, but is harmed by late frosts.

What uses is given to Prunus domestica ?

It has several uses:

  • Ornamental: the truth is that it is a very beautiful tree, ideal for large and small gardens, and even for -large- pots. It looks great as a single specimen or in groups.
  • Culinary: without a doubt, it is grown above all for its plums, which are edible. They can be consumed as soon as they have been picked from the tree, in desserts, and to make jams.
  • Medicinal: its fruits, in addition to being delicious, are consumed above all to combat and prevent constipation. In addition, they can be used as part of a weight loss diet.

What did you think of the plum tree?

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