What Are the Best Tips for Growing a Plum Tree?

Misty Amber Brighton

Planting a plum tree is a good way to have lots of delicious fruit. Plum trees are classified as European, American, or Japanese, and the right type will depend on the area where the tree is being planted. It is important to place the fruit tree in full sunlight and well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. The hole should be wide enough so that the roots are not crowded when placed inside it.

Plum trees grow best in well-drained soil and direct sunlight.
Plum trees grow best in well-drained soil and direct sunlight.

One of the first things a gardener should do is find out what type of plum tree grows best in his area. This can be done by consulting a local government extension office. Purchasing the seedling from a local nursery is recommended rather than buying a specimen from a mail order catalog, as these stores normally carry varieties suited for that geographic area.

Once a variety has been selected, the next step is to find a good location for planting. A plum tree does best when planted in direct sunlight and well-drained soil. This fruit tree can grow in either alkaline or acidic soil, but a gardener may want to enrich the soil with organic matter before planting. Manure or compost can be worked into the top ten inches (25.4 cm) of dirt in order to provide valuable nutrients that can help the tree thrive.

The roots of a plum tree are normally wrapped in burlap when it is purchased at a nursery. Before planting this fruit tree, a gardener should unwrap the roots and place them in water for one to two hours before planting. They should not be allowed to soak much longer than this, as the water could cause the roots to become rotten.

It is important to place a plum tree in the right size hole. This hole should be deep enough to cover the soil line, which is noted by a darker section near the bottom of the trunk. It should also be wide enough so that the roots can be spread out after being placed inside the hole. A hole that is around two feet (.61 m) wide and deep should be sufficient for most seedlings.

Caring for a plum tree after it is planted is very important. The specimen should be watered frequently so that the soil does not dry out. It is also helpful to add two to three inches (5.08 to 7.24 cm) of mulch around the plant to aid in moisture retention. The tree may need to be pruned from time to time to help maintain the tree's shape and prevent disease from occurring.

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