Japanese Plum Tree
How to Grow a Japanese Plum Tree
The most common plums that you see every day in grocery stores are grown on a Japanese plum tree. The Japanese plum tree is not from Japan at all as it originated in China. The plum tree has been in the United States for over two hundred years.
In the spring, the Japanese plum tree is quite attractive with lots of small white flowers. It grows to be around fifteen feet high. If you live in a warm climate, you should be able to easily grow this plum tree. It doesn’t like cold weather, however, so if you live in a cold environment with snow and below zero temperatures, you won’t want to try to grow this tree. The Japanese plum is susceptible to cold because it is one of the first trees to blossom in the springtime.
Japanese plums are red so not only will you have some nice eating plums, this tree will be very attractive at harvest time. You should start by digging your hole as deep as the rootball and twice as wide. Prepare the soil to have a moderate pH level of 5.5 to 6.0. You can do this organically with lots of natural matter or by using a synthetic fertilizer.
Center the tree in the middle of the hole with the roots positioned about an inch above ground level. The place of the graft should be just above ground. Fill in about 50% of the soil and then water the hole thoroughly. Replace the rest of the soil and pack down the top. Water the soil again thoroughly. Mulch around the tree so that the soil will retain moisture. The tree will need a lot of moisture in the first year of growth.
The best tree to buy is one that is two or three years old. The tree should be pruned to have a pyramid-like shape with plenty of room for air circulation. You will need to prune a Japanese plum tree once each year after it has the desired shape. Cut off any branches which are damaged or weak. Plums weigh a lot and you want to enable the tree to grow the sturdiest branches possible. You should trim back the new growth on the tree each fall after harvest.
Many diseases, such as silver leaf diseases, can be prevented by regular yearly pruning of this plum tree. You will need the appropriate tools such as pruning shears and a hacksaw. Depending on the size of your tree, a chainsaw is also a good investment. Whenever you cut off a large branch, you should seal it with a sealer that can be obtained from most nurseries. That keeps pests from burrowing into the wood and spreading diseases. Whenever you prune your plum tree, remove all of the debris from your yard by either burning it or taking it to a landfill. Some diseases can remain in the soil for many years.
If you want to plant many trees, just follow the above directions and leave around 20 to 25 feet in-between each tree. If you should get very young trees, such as ones which are only a year old, you will need to support the trees with a stake or other object until they have grown for a couple more years.
Japanese plums are juicy and soft. It will take up to four years for a Japanese plum tree to produce fruit, although it will flower each year. .If you don’t want to eat the plums yourself, they can make a tasty treat to attract birds to your yard. These trees are very popular even among people who do not care about the fruit. That’s because they make a great ornamental tree. Not only do they have the wonderful white flowers in the spring, they have nice reddish-purple foliage in the fall.