Plums grow well in Central Vermont. They are beautiful flowering trees worth planting as ornamentals. Many varieties start bearing their sweet, juicy fruit in as little as one or two years after planting. Late frost sometimes damages spring flowers reducing crops. Coating developing fruit with kaolin clay (Surround® spray) just after petal drop can dramatically reduce fruit loss to the pest plum curculio. Most varieties will grow to about 15 ft.
Most hardy plums are crosses between American and Japanese plums. The Toka plum or seedling American plums are the best pollinators for these varieties.
For best pollination, plant three or more varieties close together (8-15 feet). European plums (mount royal and greengage) are self-fertile and will not reliably pollinate the American crosses.
Cherry-plums are very hardy crosses between a cherry and plum. The attractive small trees flower profusely in spring. Quick to bear, with fruit the size of a small plum, eating quality is good typically with tart skin and sweet flesh. Our two cherry plums (compass and sapalta) need to be planted together for reliable pollination.
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