The Q&A Archives: Purple Plum Tree

Question: When I moved into my new house 2 years ago, the builder planted a purple plum tree on the front lawn. We were told the tree bears no fruit. I was looking at it the other day and to my surprise there are little plums growing on it. I am wondering if these plums will get bigger and are they safe to eat? Can they be poisonous?

Answer: What fun! While most of the ornamental plum trees are grown for their blooms and foliage color rather than their fruit, some such as Prunus cerasifera "Hollywood" or "Trailblazer" will set fairly good sized fruit (up to 2 or 2 1/2 inches). They should be edible provided they have not been sprayed inappropriately for a food crop. I suspect, though, that the fruit will be very sour!

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