A good home grown plum tree produces very sweet fruit that are far superior from what you can buy in a grocery store. The plum tree is cold hardy and therefore suitable for growing in northern Canada. Contrary to apples or pears, plums do not keep well and have to be eaten fast once picked. However, in order to bring them to the market, they are harvested before totally ripped. If they were to wait for full ripeness, they would end up with smashed plums on the grocery shelves. The problem is that when plums are harvested, they stop ripening, they 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 plum 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!
Despite of all its qualities, plum tree has the drawback of flowering early, what means that the flowers have at high risk of freezing. When the flowers freeze, there won't be much fruit. As an average, you can expect to have one good year out of three. There is a trick to prevent the flowers from opening early, we will cover this in the tutorial section. 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.
La Crescent - A freestone plum looking and tasting like apricot
'La Crescent' plum is tasting like apricots! It is freestone and it was introduced by the University of Minnesota.
Size Price 3-4 Feet $45.00
Petite Soeur de la Mont-Royal
Not available this year, sorry. The round blue skinned fruit has a very sweet and aromatic flesh.
Fofonoff plum tree - Prunus Fofonoff - Also known as Homesteader
The Foffonof plum tree is a must for cold climate, it is hardy to zone 2 and produces a wonderful sweet plum. It originates from Saskatchewan.
Grenville plum tree - Mild and sweet plum in zone 3
Not available this year, sorry. The Grenville fruit tree is hardy to zone 3 and gives red-orange plum with golden flesh. It is mild and sweet, delicious.
Pembina Plum Tree - Plums for the North in Zone 2
Not available this year, sorry. Red plum with yellow flesh, it is a good choice for the North as it is hardy to zone 2.
Canada plum - Prunus nigra - The best plum pollinator
The Canadian plum (Prunus nigra) is native, but it is also the best plum tree to use as a pollinator for hybrids plums trees.
Size Price 6-12 Inches $20.00
Valton Plum Tree
This vigorous plum tree is very productive. The skin of the fruit is red and the flesh is yellow and very sweet. Ready to harvest by the end of August. This selection comes from Father Valton, a pioneer in organic agriculture in Quebec.
Size Price 1-2 Feet $35.00
Underwood Plum Tree
Not available this year, sorry. The Underwood plum is a good keeper. The harvest is done over a long period of time, from late-July. Underwood skin is light red, its flesh is golden-yellow, tender and melting, almost ot acidic. A good quality plum.