Plum tree

A good home grown plum tree produces very sweet fruit that are far superior to what you can buy in a grocery store. Our varieties of plum trees are cold hardy and therefore suitable for growing in northern Canada. Unlike apples or pears, plums do not keep well and have to be eaten fast once picked. In order to bring them to the market, they are harvested before totally ripened. If producers were to wait for full ripeness, they would end up with smashed plums on the grocery shelves. The problem with this system is that when plums are harvested, they stop ripening, and can not continue to develop sugar. When harvested ripe, the plums are delicious, very sweet, juicy and melt in your mouth. Believe me, once you have tasted home-grown plums, you won't be able to buy any more plums from the grocery!

The classification of plum trees is very complicated, so we will simplify for the sake of easy reading. The plum trees of interest to us are divided into three categories: the European plum (Prunus domestica), the American plum (Prunus americana) and the Japanese plum (Prunus salicina). The plum tree pollination is even more complicated. To make it simple, remember that if a plum tree is not indicated as self-fertile, it must be pollinated by a Canadian plum (Prunus nigra). As an example, two different plum trees planted beside each other, like Grenville and Fofonoff, will yield almost nothing if they are not planted close to a Canadian plum (Prunus nigra).

By the way, if you have already had a plum tree at home for many years and it never gave fruit, think about that! It is probably only missing a Canadian plum to pollinate it!

The only exceptions to this rule are European Plums such as Petite Soeur de la Mont Royal, Ewing Blue and Elroy, which all need another European plum to be pollinated and cannot be pollinated by the Canada Plum.

Despite all their qualities, plum trees have the drawback of flowering early, what means that the flowers have a high risk of freezing. When the flowers freeze, there won't be much fruit. On average, you can expect to have one good year out of three. Some microclimates are also more suitable to prevent this, one of them is the proximity of a lake or sea.

A plum tree will grow up to 4 to 5 meters (13-16 feet), will give fruit at 6 years old on average and should be planted 4 meters (12-15 feet) apart.