Plum Tree Facts

Overview

Plum trees are native to the U.S., Europe and China. They are easily managed fruit trees that can be self-pollinating. Plum trees are a good choice for the small, backyard orchard.

Plum trees produce small, edible fruit. image by Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of lost in translation) (Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic

Description

Plum trees are small, rarely exceeding 20 feet tall. The wood is somewhat brittle and regular pruning is needed to keep trees strong.

Fruit

The smooth-skinned stone fruits of the plum tree are usually purple, but they can be black, red or yellow. They are rounded and plump with a depression where the stem attaches the fruit to the tree.

Habitat and Range

Plum trees are suitable for USDA zones 5 through 7. They flower earlier than some fruit trees and may be vulnerable to late spring frosts in some areas. This may limit fruit production.

Requirements

Plum trees require well-drained soil and a neutral pH. Use a thick layer of mulch to retain moisture during dry spells.

Dried Plums

The dried fruit of the plum tree--prunes--have been renamed "dried plums" in an effort to jazz up their staid image.

References

  • Backyard Gardener: Plum Trees
  • CNN: The Prune Gets A Makeovver
Keywords: plums, prunes, small backyard orchard.

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.