This weekend I am proud to say that our edible landscaping situation has been improved by two plums! We planted two (hopefully delicious) plum trees along our sideyard. To get proper pollination you have to plant two varieties that bloom within the same window so that they may cross pollinate. The two plums trees were Prunus salacina ‘Morris’ and Prunus salacina ‘Bruce’. One of the trees was loaded with spent blossoms and the promise of fruit to come. I know that it isn’t wise to allow it to fruit in its first year in the ground. I “should” pick off the fruits and encourage the root system of the plum to fill in and get well established.
The truth is I’m not disciplined enough! I will be thinning some of the potential plums in order to make larger fruit. If you look at the first picture of one branch of the tree you will see lots of spent blossoms clustered on the branch. One fruit every 2-4 inches depending on the size of fruit is probably the ideal spacing. Thinning also helps prevent the branches from getting too heavy. I witnessed a peach tree with tons of peaches on its branches break under the weight of the fruit last year in our neighborhood. The tree is fine today but the whole branch had to be cut back to the trunk.
I planted my two plums up on a slope along one side of our driveway. You can’t see the spacing too well form the photo but they are about 12 feet apart. With proper pruning these trees should stay fairly manageable.
These two trees bring our little backyard orchard to a total of four fruit trees. The other two trees are apples, one a ‘Gala’ and the other a ‘Fuji’. Apples need cross pollination just like the plums. What fruit trees do you grow in your garden?