Damson Plum (Prunus insititia) Fruit - Knowledgebase Question

Inglis, Fl
Question by amazingh20
April 22, 2010
I planted 2 trees in early March, they are both about 6 feet tall, age unknown. They now have leaves, but never bloomed. Do they normally bloom first and when would fruit appear? FLORIDA

Answer from NGA
April 22, 2010


Plum trees require a certain number of "chill hours" in order to flower and produce fruit. The best types of plums for warm season winters such as you experience in Florida are those that have low-chill requirements such as Gulfruby, Gulfrose, Gulfred and Gulfblaze. These will flower and set fruit with only 150 hours of winter chill. Damson plum has a 300-400 hours chilling requirement and they will be okay in north central Florida, but won't perform well in the rest of the state. Since you're near the coast, your temperatures may be too warm. To complicate matters, plum trees need a second variety of plum for cross pollination so even if your Damson set flowers, you'd need a second variety for cross pollination before your tree would develop fruit. If you really want fruit, try planting one of the "gulf" cultivars as listed above. It will produce fruit for you in the company of Damson, if your Damson flowers and, who knows, in some years you may get fruit from your Damson, as well.

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