How to Plant a Japanese Plum Tree


Japanese plum trees originate from China but came to the United States through Japan in the 1800s, according to the University of Georgia. Available in different varieties, they produce delicious fruit tasting similar to apricots and peaches. The trees grow in most types of soil but do best in soil with a pH level from 5.5 to 6.5 and require a separate variety nearby for pollination. Preparing for your planting will ensure fewer problems arise.

Step 1

Select an area that receives full sun with well-draining soil conditions. Leave 10 to 20 feet between planting sites.

Step 2

Use a shovel and rake to clear an area at least 3 feet in diameter. Remove all roots, rocks or other objects from the area.

Step 3

Dig a hole the same depth of the container but wider. Rake the sides and bottom of the newly dug hole to loosen the soil.

Step 4

Remove the Japanese plum tree from the container carefully. Rinse the roots' top and sides to get rid of any non-soil material used at most nurseries in container plantings. Try to remove about one inch of this from the root ball. This material restricts the movement of water, air and the roots, which can slow development of the Japanese plum.

Step 5

Loosen and untangle roots carefully. Place the Japanese plum tree in the hole, spreading out its roots.

Step 6

Use only the dirt removed from the hole and do not add any fertilizer or other matter to the soil. Fill the hole halfway with dirt using a shovel.

Step 7

Press gently on the soil to remove any air pockets. Finish filling the hole with dirt.

Step 8

Check that you planted the Japanese plum tree in the ground at same height as it planted at the nursery. Look at the trunk for markings showing the location of planting material. If the markings don't line up with the tree's current level in the ground, adjust the tree in the hole until it does.

Step 9

Pat the soil down again when you have finished filling hole. Create a water ring or basin around the tree for watering.

Step 10

Use a shovel and dirt to make a wall around the tree at least six inches wide and high and at least two or three feet in diameter. Fill the hole with water.

Step 11

Add a layer of mulch three inches thick or more around the tree but stay at least six inches from tree and go out two or three feet around it. This will prevent weeds from appearing and will help retain moisture.

Step 12

Continue to fill the water ring every third day for a week. Fill the water ring weekly after that, until it naturally erodes in about four to six months.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Gloves
  • Water supply
  • Mulch


  • Texas A&M University Extension: Home Fruit Production Loquat
  • University of Florida: Growing Plums in Florida
  • University of Georgia: Plums

Who Can Help

  • Flower and Garden Tips: Growing Plums
  • Plant Care: Japanese Plum, Loquat
  • National Gardening Association: Plum Varieties
Keywords: Planting, Growing, Plum tree, Loquat