Plum trees are one of the most profitable fruit to grow. If you’re looking for an easygoing fruit tree, these are the ones for you. Have you ever considered growing plums as a backyard fruit tree?

The plum tree is a great place to start if you’re a first-time gardener with fruit trees. Gardening with plums can yield a lot of fruit and be visually appealing. It’s surprisingly adaptable. There’s a variety to suit any location, soil type, or available area. Only sunlight is most necessary.

You only need one self-fertile variety of plums to provide your kitchen garden with a bounty of fruit, one of the numerous benefits of planting them. These fruits also have beautiful spring blooms, making them much more attractive.

There are many ways to enjoy plums, from eating them directly from the tree to making preserves, jams, pies, jellies, and even wines out of their juicy. By reading this guide, you will be able to know, When Do Plum Trees Produce Fruit?.

When Do Plum Trees Produce Fruit? | Complete Guide

Which factors affect the fruiting plum tree? 

Your plum tree’s demands are pretty simple as long as it is adequately supported as it grows (with a stake or against a wall).

The quality of your plum trees is directly related to the level of care you provide. The following are some of the most critical aspects,

  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Soil condition
  • Watering
  • Mulching
  • Fertilizing
  • Pruning
  • Thinning
  • Temperature
  • Pollination

How much sunlight need for plum trees?

Generally speaking, plum trees require full sunlight to produce a large crop. Ensure your plum trees get at least six hours of daylight a day. Indirect sunlight is fine for plum trees, but they may not bear as many fruits.

What is the condition of the soil for plum trees?

Soil pH of 6.0-6.8 is ideal for plums, which grow in light, loamy, well-draining soil. A well-drained but wet fertile soil rich in organic matter is perfect for plum trees to thrive, although they can grow in many soils if water and nutrients aren’t restrictive and the soil pH is appropriate.

How much water do plum trees need?

During the first growing season, be careful to water the trees heavily every week to encourage growth. Then, be sure to water frequently. When watering a plant, it’s ideal to start with a deep soak at the soil surface.

Wait for the soil to dry out (but not totally) before watering again. As a result, the root system grows broader and deeper instead of staying shallow and close to the soil’s surface. Drought or neglect won’t kill the tree if it has this protection.

To ensure your tree has sufficient moisture for the winter, water it regularly until mid-October if there isn’t any rain.

On the other hand, overwatering your plum tree can lead to root rot and fungal diseases. Reduce watering during the winter months, but increase it during the flowering and fruiting.

How to apply mulch for plum trees?

At least 3 feet around the base of the tree should be weed-free. Weeds can control using compost or well-rotted manure as mulch, which helps keep the soil moist. Take care not to mulch too close to the tree’s trunk.

You can apply organic materials for mulch in the spring before placing it down. The second layer of mulch as shredded bark used in the autumn will keep the soil warm and well-nourished when the temperature drops.

How do fertilize plum trees?

You add some compost to your soil before planting a plum tree or stone. Your tree will benefit from the organic material and nutrients it gets from it. Most importantly, you don’t need expensive materials to make your compost.

It is essential to keep in mind, do not to use commercial fertilizer for young plants. When fruiting has begun, regularly use a complete fertilizer explicitly formulated for fruiting trees. When fruiting, apply a liquid fertilizer for an extra dose of nutrients.

If the soil is low in nutrients, it can require supplementing compost with fertilizers. A soil test is the best approach to determine whether or not you need fertilizer on your tree.

Over-fertilizing your plum trees might hurt or even kill them. So, prevent overfertilizing.

How to prune plum trees?

Once a year, prune plum trees with shears to keep them free of pests and diseases like aphids and silver leaf disease. For young trees, prune in early spring, and for older trees, prune in mid-summer.

Never prune your tree in the fall or winter because this leaves it open to infection and frost. Pruning requirements for different varieties of plum trees may differ.

Does thinning needed for plum trees?  

To improve the quality of fruit produced and protect the tree, “thinning” is the practice of removing fruit that is still developing from a tree.

The weight of the plums on the branches can break if the trees allow growing as much fruit as they can. To avoid this, thin your fruit regularly. The fruit should be between three to four and two inches apart, depending on the variety.

What temperature is best for plum trees?

A plum tree must endure a specific time in a cold climate to bloom and bear fruit. Each plum variety has a different chill hour requirement when the ground temperature drops below 45 ⁰F but not lower than 32⁰F.

How do plum trees pollinate?

A bee-friendly garden is vital if your plum tree isn’t self-fertile and needs pollination from another tree to bear fruit. When your plum trees are in bloom, do not use insecticides.

How much Space do plum trees need?

Providing each plum plant with 20 feet of room on all sides will ensure that it can grow to its full potential. 

Is it necessary to plant two plum trees to bear fruit?

A plum tree’s ability to yield fruit determines whether or not you need two of them.

Only one plum tree needs self-pollinating kinds, such as Damson or Santa Rosa. If you have a little yard, this may be the best option.

For plum trees like Ozark Premier that don’t bear fruit on their own, they need to cross-pollinate with another plum tree of a different variety. If you want to plant plum trees that don’t bear fruit on their own, you’ll need two different kinds of plum trees.

When do plum trees produce fruit? 

When does a plum tree produce fruit? 3 to 6 years after establishing a plum tree, the tree will begin producing fruit (sooner if you buy more mature trees). In late winter or early spring, plum trees start producing fruit, which lasts from June to September.

Dwarf varieties might bear fruit one year earlier than standard ones 2 to 5 years after planting. Fruit production increases as trees mature and gain the capacity to take the additional weight.

Your plum tree may take longer to bear fruit, depending on the kind you choose when planting it.

How many fruits does a plum tree produce each year?

Japanese plum trees typically produce 2 to 4 bushels (45 to 91 kg) of fruit every year. A small Japanese plum tree can yield 1/2 to 2 bushels (11-45 kilograms). 

A mature Europe variety plum tree can yield between 68 and 136 kilograms of fruit each year on average. A miniature European plum tree can produce between 22 and 45kg of fruit per year.

Do plums come back every year on the plum tree?

In the first year of planting, you won’t obtain any plums. Three to four years pass before it bears fruit, and it takes six years to achieve its full maturity. Smaller dwarfing trees may produce plums in two years or so.

Even so, you shouldn’t expect a bountiful harvest every year. Plum trees tend to over-produce one year, then produce little or nothing the following year as a rule of thumb.

If the tree’s resources deplete by a solid cropping year, it will use this method of replenishment, known as ‘biennial bearing’ When your plum tree has an unproductive year, don’t be alarmed. It may have simply decided to take a break.

Cold or prolonged periods of dry soil are the most common causes of a plant’s failure to blossom.

To reduce these hazards, you should ensure that your tree receives regular hydration, especially during the summer, and cover flowering trees with a tent of horticultural fleece when the temperature decreases. In such a case, you’ll be able to enjoy a steady supply of juicy plums from your trees each year.

Why are there no fruits in the plum tree? 

You can know if your tree will bear fruit as soon as it blooms. After the blossoms have fallen, inspect the ends of the stems. As the new fruit develops, the ovary should swell. A problem with the original fruit set is evident if these are missing from the table.

1. Problems with pollination

The absence of a co-pollinator is a common cause of plum tree difficulties. Plums are not self-fruitful and necessitate the presence of another plum to pollinate. Pollinators such as bees, moths, and other flying insects aid in this process.

2. Temperature Issues

After a period of dormancy, when the temperature drops below 32⁰F, fruit trees are ready to develop and produce fruit. A plum tree’s fruit ruin if it gets too cold during flowering because the blooms fall off too early.

The flowers will also die if exposed to freezing temperatures before they open. No fruit will produce if there are no blossoms.

3. Pest Attacks

Insects that eat the ends, branches, and blossoms of plum trees will also result in no fruit.

4. Over-fertilizing

Nitrogen aids in leafy growth, but fruit production may harm as a result.

5. Pruning Mistakes

Pruning too early or too late eliminates the flower and fruit buds.

6. Lack of Sunlight

Plum trees need full sun to bloom and yield ripe fruits. A tree’s blossoming cycle may delay or halt entirely if it does not receive enough direct sunshine. Plant trees where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day for optimal growth, and stay away from planting trees where they will shade by other trees or buildings.

How do prevent plum trees from producing no fruit? 

There are ways to prevent plum trees from producing no fruit. Above mentioned factors are essential to prevent the production of no fruit.

Keep grass and weeds away from the trunk of a tree. Make sure your fruit trees have adequate watering and fertilization. Flowering and fruiting will benefit from phosphorus-rich fertilizers. Phosphorus is rich in bone meal, which is a good mineral source.

Reduce upward growth by pruning trees in their infancy to build a solid framework. Prune the tree while it is still dormant before the buds form.

Avoid planting trees in areas where they will shade or compete for resources with other trees’ roots. A plum tree should not grow in a climate where the temperature drops to -15⁰F. Because of these frigid temperatures, plum trees don’t produce fruit.

The following year, fruit from heavily producing trees may not be available. When the plant’s reserves run out in a year, it will restart. A little patience and excellent stewardship are all it takes to get plum trees producing again after they’ve been dormant for some time.

When to harvest plum fruits?

When Do Plum Trees Produce Fruit? | Complete Guide

Your plum tree’s variety will determine how often you can pick your fruit. Plums can pick from late summer into the fall, depending on the climate in your region.

European plums offer the most excellent flavor when left to ripen on the tree. Applying light pressure with your fingers can inform you whether a plum is ripe. When the fruit’s skin is soft to the touch, it’s time to harvest it.

Plums from Japan were harvested earlier and stored in the refrigerator until they were fully ripe. While picking plums, be sure to do so when they are ripe, as they will not get any sweeter after harvesting. Trying one before you buy them all is a good idea.

Leaving plums to ripen on the tree gives them the most pleasing flavor possible. Squeezing them will reveal if they are ripe or not. In most cases, it’s necessary to go through a tree a few times.

You can typically tell when to pluck your plums by giving them a little squeeze. Do not exert too much pressure on the fruits (but not enough to bruise them). Try lifting, twisting, and pulling if it’s not too hard to the touch. Fully ripe plums should come off the tree quickly. When picking the fruit, be sure to sweep each branch regularly. After a while, you’ll have to repeat this process.

The fruits can eat fresh or make into preserves after careful harvesting.

Where to store plums? 

Because plums don’t keep well, they must be consumed right away or preserved somehow. Once they ripened, the fruits can store in an excellent, dry spot for future consumption.

Plums should store in the refrigerator. When stored at 31° to 32°F with a relative humidity of 90–95%, plums will keep at the maximum recommended temperature for 2–4 weeks.

Store them with an Ethylene-producing fruit like an Apple, Banana, or Pear to speed up the ripening process. Avoid overripeness by keeping a close check on them.

5 Best varieties of plum trees for your garden

There are 5 best varieties that can grow in your garden. Grow them and enjoy the fresh fruits.

1. Plum ‘Mirabelle de Nancy’ 

Cherry plums, also known as pink and gold fruits, resemble large cherries thanks to their pink and gold hues. These European heirloom plums, sometimes known as Mirabelle prunes, are delicious in jams, jellies, and brandies because of their high sugar content.

2. Plum’ Victoria’

This well-known kind of plum tree produces heavy and regular yields. Late in the summer, the pink, medium-sized fruits are ripe. There is no need for a pollination partner for this variety, as it is self-fertile.

3. Plum’ Avalon’

“Avalon” is a newer plum type that produces vast, oval-shaped, golden-red flushed fruits that are excellent for dessert. These are best eaten fresh from the tree since they are juicy, sweet, and flavorful.

4. Plum’ Santa Rosa’ 

The Santa Rosa plum tree is another popular type. It is an upright tree that blooms in the spring and produces fruit in the early-to-mid summer months.

An upright plum tree that can grow to 25 feet tall is one of the most significant types of tree.

5. Plum’ Alderman’

Colder areas benefit from the American-Japanese hybrid of the Alderman plum tree. Alderman trees are fast-growing and can reach heights of 15 feet or more, having a stunning ornamental canopy due to their prolific growth. It bears white blossoms in early spring and ripens in the middle of the season like other plum types.

Watch 5 Tips to grow a ton of plums on one small tree | Video

Top 5 FAQs & answers related to When do plum trees produce fruit?

Why do fruits in plum trees fall off before they ripen? 

A plum tree can drop its fruit before it ripens for a variety of reasons: Stress exacerbated by pests, disease, strong winds, and other environmental factors such as too much water, too little water, lack of nutrients, poor drainage, weed competition, and excessive shade, etc.

What is the best fertilizer to feed plum trees? 

To fertilize newly planted plums, spread one cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer across a three-foot-wide (almost nine-meter) area in early spring. The best time to use a calcium nitrate or an ammonium nitrate solution is between the middle of May and July.

How long does a plum tree live? 

Plums are among the fruit trees with the shortest lifespans. They only have a lifespan of 20-30 years on average, and this can shorten even further if they are struck by a storm or infested by insects or illness.

To prune plum trees, when is the ideal time of year?

Fruit trees need to prune for a variety of reasons. Pruning fruit trees should do in the late winter or early spring when the trees’ winter hardiness and health are at their greatest. However, excessive pruning in late July or August can weaken the tree and should avoid if possible.

Why do plum trees have no leaves? 

Some of the causes of a plum’s leaves falling off are inadequate nutrition and deficiency in specific nutrients, such as boron, iron, manganese, sulfur, or Nitrogen. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are essential for stone fruit trees.


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