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How to Space for Planting a Plum Tree

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

There are three varieties of plum trees--Japanese, European and America. Plum trees will grow in most climates, in most parts of the country. They need well-drained soil and do best if they have some sort or protection from frost, such as a wall nearby. Spacing is important when planting a plum tree, because each tree needs room to mature. In addition, some plum trees need one or two others nearby for cross-pollination.

Plant a plum tree between November and March. The sooner it's in the ground, the better, because it will give the tree time to become established.

Space plum trees at least 12 to 15 feet from other trees, depending on the variety. Some trees need 20 feet between them. You want enough room to walk around the tree when it's mature. Don't let the fruit trees grow into each other or nearby structures such as fences.

Grow at least two plum trees within 50 and 100 feet from each other if cross-pollination is necessary for the variety tree you're growing. This will ensure that the process goes well.

Dig a hole with the shovel deep and wide enough for the plum tree's root ball. Put the tree in the hole and fill with soil. Pat it down and add water.

Stake plum trees securely and lay mulch down to keep the soil moist.


Things You Will Need

  • Plum tree
  • Shovel
  • Dirt
  • Water
  • Stake
  • Mulch


  • Wear gloves when planting plum trees.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.