Planting plum trees

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Raphael and John (who’ve been at Riverford for over 5 years) have been planting Victoria plum trees on our Devon farm this week – over 720 of them. This year they’ll look beautiful as they flower and next year the fruit will come. We’ll just have to be patient!

They’ve planted the trees at a 30 degree angle and attached them to wires running horizontally. You can see the trees are in open space to let the wind blow through rather than blowing them over and that lovely organic fertiliser (mainly chicken poo) will help get them going in the early days.

9 responses to “Planting plum trees

  1. Nadine Hengen

    Out of curiosity: why the 30° angle? Is this purely for convenience during picking time, or are there more subtle reasons?

  2. We have planted a victoria plum this year , just the one though . What a fab plum it is too . Makes wonderful jam and crumbles if you have any left .

  3. We have planted a plum this year as well, looking forward to seeing and tasting the ‘friut’ of our ‘potted’ orchard!…any tips for plum seccess?

  4. Hello Kate

    Our Farm Manager, John has a few tips on how to get the best from your new plum tree.

    ‘The site needs to be free draining and relatively frost free. Fruit enjoys a warm, sheltered environment so if a bit exposed you may need to think about establishing a windbreak.

    Regarding yields – cold winds, heavy rain or frost at the wrong time in the Spring may significantly reduce the yields. In the ideal world a warm, frost free April and May will lead to good pollination and fruit set. A mature tree (3 years plus) may produce 15 kg of fruit but this could double in a bumper year. The plums will not ripen altogether and may need to go over the tree two to three times.

    Make sure the young tree is guarded if there is any chance of damage from rabbits etc. It is also important to keep down the weeds directly around the base of the young tree. Conventionally, they spray round-up but to manage weeds around the plum tree organically you can either use mulch or keep strimming, mowing or shallow hoeing. If you use a mulch check that mice and/or voles are not making it their home underneath as they can do a lot of damage on young trees.

    Avoid pruning plums in the winter due to the risk of getting silver leaf disease.’

    We hope this helps!

  5. We planted our sole plum tree a couple of years ago. Last year we had loads of plums which were thoroughly enjoyed by our squirrel population! The tree is too big to net and they were eating them before properly ripe. This year no fruit at all, just lots of growth and leaf curl. Better luck next year I hope!

  6. How and when should we prune our tree- this year it looks like there will be loads of plums but we find it difficult to get to the top of the tree so think we should cut it back to a more manageable height

  7. Campbell Parker

    I am glad to hear that you are planting victoria plum trees, the fruit of which will hopefully be available next year. I moved last year from Reading, where I had a victoria plum for over twenty years and have now not had the luxury of access to a tree. Local greengocers/supermarkets do not appear to want to sell this product. This I find strange as it makes great jam, tart, crumble and even bottled.

  8. I bought a Zcar plun tree in november,I had to prune it to get planted where i wanted it .Have i damaged it.reading up on after pruning it said that it should have been done in June.

  9. Thanks bud. Great website you got going on here. Got some more websites to link to with more information?

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