As any experienced orchardist knows, the advantages of dwarf fruit trees are many – the trees take up less space and so more numbers can be accommodated in a given area, the fruit is more accessible and pruning is easier. And this holds good for dwarf plum trees as well. In this article, we look at how to pick the right type of trees, how and where to plant them and what else you should keep in mind about growing them.
What are dwarf plum trees?
These trees are created by grafting together more than one tree. Special rootstock is used for the so that the tree typically reaches only about 8 feet in height. You can pick any type of plum to grow depending upon the type of soil, weather and conditions you have in your area.
If you’re located in an area with warmer climate, the Santa Rosa variety of plums is a good option for you since they require less chilling time. If you have the space, plant two trees of different types for better pollination. Even if the tree is a self pollinating variety, your yield will be better with two trees instead of just one.
Where to plant?
Sunlight is of course vitally important, so ideally you should pick an area that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight in a day. Also pick a place that is breezy, if possible. If you do decide to plant more than one tree, keep a minimum of 8 feel in between. If there are trees or vegetation already in place, make sure that your plum tree(s) have enough place to spread out and grow.
When and how to plant?
It is best to plant when there is no danger of frost. In most places this would be early spring or a little later. Some experts however recommend autumn as the best time for planting so you will need to see what is right for your area – consult the nursery for their recommendations.
It is recommended that the hole you dig should be at least double the size of the sapling’s root ball to give the roots enough space to take root. Mix fertilizer, compost and native soil together to pack into the hole. Here as well the amount of compost, type of fertilizer and so on to use should depend upon the nursery recommendations for the type of tree and your climate and soil type.