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Plum Tree 'Opal' - Bare Root

Code: TR0039
Plum Tree 'Opal' - Bare Root
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Plum Tree 'Opal' - Root Wrapped

Plum Opal is a very reliable, trusted, and easy-to-grow fruiting tree variety with heavy crops of juicy, sweet fruits that are ready for early picking in August. Its medium sized fruits are yellow-green in colour with a reddish-purple overlay. As the fruits ripen, they become much darker in appearance, softer in texture and milder in flavour. They can be processed into savoury jams and preserves, or made into wonderful tarts and desserts. 'Opal' has been awarded the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) which helps gardeners make informed choices about plants.


Characteristics

  • Flower Colour: white
  • Foliage Colour: green
  • Approx. Growth Height: 4-5m
  • Rootstock: Saint Julian A - Semi-Dwarfing
  • Comes in a: no pot - root wrapped
  • Approx. Height on Arrival: 150-170cm
  • Tree is approx. 3 years old with a 1 year old rootstock
  • Flowering Period: early spring
  • Harvesting Period: September
  • Tolerance: frost tolerant, fairly drought tolerant once established
  • Growing Habit: bush, fan, half-standard
  • Uses: eating fresh, cooking, jams and preserves
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
  • Exposure: sheltered
  • Self-pollinating: yes - (see 'Pollination' section below)
  • Rate of Growth: fast
  • Scented: barely
  • Wildlife friendly

Requirements

  • Light Requirements: full sun
  • Soil Requirements: neutral, loam, sand
  • Moisture: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile

Caring and Maintenance

Water young trees regularly until roots are well established. Trim annually from mid to late summer. Apply some fertilizer in spring in order to promote healthy growth and a good crop. Optionally, mulch in spring. Check tree ties regularly and loosen any if necessary to avoid rubbing of the stems.

The branches may need an extra support in order to avoid breaking under the weight of fruits.

Planting

  • Planting Distance: 5m (18ft)

Suited to almost all well-drained and moderately fertile soils with pH between 6.0 and 7.5 in a sheltered, full sun location.
Before planting your tree, clean up all wandering weeds and keep a clean ring around the tree base. Water well during the first year until well established.

Autumn is the best season for planting fruiting trees, as the soil moisture and heat allow easier and faster root establishment and regeneration of damaged root systems.

Pollination

  • Pollination group: 3 (self-pollinating)

Fruit trees will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by flying insects such as honey bees, bumblebees, flies, wasps etc. This tree is self-pollinating; it produces compatible flowers that can pollinate each other. However, even self-fertile varieties tend to crop better when another cultivar is planted nearby for pollination. Although this is not necessary to produce fruit, it will offer improved crops. The two trees will have to be near each other for the pollination process to be successful. The general consensus is that the two trees should be within 18m (55ft) of each other. To make things a bit easier fruit trees are categorised into different pollination groups. Just remember that the fruit must be of the same species but of a different variety; only a plum tree can pollinate another plum tree. However, if you buy two of these 'Opal' trees they will not offer each other any of the additional benefits of cross pollination.

The pollination groups are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, according to flowering time. Best results will be obtained if one variety is planted near another plum tree of the same group. In the UK, because of our longer spring, you can also choose a partner from a group on either side (so an ideal pollination partner for group 3 would be one in group 2, 3 or 4).

Fruit Benefits

These fruits taste best when freshly picked from their branches. They please even the most sophisticated of palates, and can be made into jams and preserves to bring great summer memories on autumn or winter days. Fruit plants are a valuable addition to any garden, bearing in mind that they do not only provide fruits, but also make a bold statement in garden arrangements by producing clouds of pink and white flowers, which at the slightest breeze fall like raindrops. When planning your garden, try to choose varieties with fruits that ripen from early summer to late autumn to ensure a constant supply of fresh fruits throughout the warmer months.

Fruit Tree Rootstocks

Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by the nursery, this means the roots of the tree are a different plant to the trunk, branches and fruit. Effectively sticking two plants together, one that has good roots and one that has good fruit, ensures that you get what you pay for. Plants raised from seed will vary from the parent plants and there will be a wide variation in the size or shape of a tree and the quality and quantity of fruit it produces. Another result of budding and grafting a variety onto selected rootstocks is the ability to control the size of the tree to a certain degree. However, the size that a fruit tree ultimately grows to is dependent on a number of factors:

  • The fruit variety ( i.e. Apple Braeburn)
  • How itís pruned
  • Soil type
  • Position
  • Its rootstock
Some varieties of tree are naturally more vigorous than others, so this will affect how much they grow each year. For instance a Bramley Apple seedling will naturally grow bigger than a Coxís Orange Pippin Apple seedling. The correct pruning will also help to control the size of tree, as well as encouraging it to produce flower buds from which fruit develop.

This is a typical example of our root wrapped trees that you will receive - note the fruit/ornamental trees we stock will vary in appearance according to species and season. Please be aware that the compost around the roots is there just to keep them moist and will fall away when unwrapped, leaving a bare-rooted plant. You can mix this compost with your soil when planting your tree.

 
Customer Reviews

Average Rating: 4.3/5 (3 reviews)

Rating: 4/5

"As Above"

Reviewed Monday, 20 June 2016

Rating: 5/5

"Lovely tree"

Reviewed Saturday, 21 March 2015

Rating: 4/5

"The service is good and the delivery is fine. Apart from the problem mentioned below I am quite satisfied."

Reviewed Monday, 2 March 2015

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