This is perhaps the most popular of all plum trees thanks to its reliable fruits and its combination of both dessert and culinary plums. Its dark red fruits can be harvested in autumn, whilst in the spring it produces lush white flower blossoms.
SJA stands for Saint Julian A, a Semi-Dwarfing rootstock helping the tree to reach an ultimate height of 4-5m. We also sell this tree on a smaller 'Pixy' rootstock - click here
- Flower Colour: white in spring
- Foliage Colour: green in spring and summer
- Approx. Growth Height: 4-5m
- Rootstock: Saint Julian A - Semi-Dwarfing
- Comes in a: 9L polypot (not a rigid pot)
- Approx. Height on Arrival: 130-150cm
- Tree is approx. 2 years old with a 4 year old rootstock
- Flowering Period: spring
- Harvesting Period: autumn
- Growing Habit: bushy
- Uses: eating fresh
- Hardiness: hardy - average winter
- Exposure: sheltered
- Self fertilising: yes - (see 'Pollination' section below)
- Rate of Growth: ultimate height in 5-10 years
- Scented: no
- Wildlife friendly - attracts bees and other pollinating insects
- Light Requirements: full sun
- Soil Requirements: neutral, loam, sand
- Moisture: well-drained, moist but well-drained
Q:Does Height Really Matter?
A: Not As Much As You Might Think...
One stand out specification that customers often use to judge the value of a tree is the height. So should height directly correlate with the price of a tree? No, not necessarily.
To an extent the height of a tree can give you a good indication of its maturity but you must not forget: To grow a productive, well shaped, healthy tree you must prune it back regularly, especially when young.
Our trees often grow up to 2m in the fields before we prune them back and package them ready to send out. This pruning encourages the tree to grow more, stronger branches and ensures there is a good balance between the root size and top growth. This ensures that your tree puts energy into establishing a healthy root base instead of supporting top growth, providing a better foundation for your tree in the future.
So, in summary: Don’t let the extra 10/20cm you may find elsewhere sway you. You are likely to be paying extra for the delivery costs and, if you want a healthy tree in the long run, you’re going to have to chop it off anyway!
Caring and Maintenance
Water young trees regularly until roots are well established. 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.
- Planting Distance: 4m (12ft)
Suited to almost all well-drained and moist but well-drained soils. Plant in a sheltered location in full sun.
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 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 'Victoria' 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).
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 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.
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:
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 Cox’s 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.
- The fruit variety ( i.e. Apple Braeburn)
- How it’s pruned
- Soil type
- Its rootstock
Where you grow your fruit tree and the soil it is growing in also impacts on its ability to grow and thus eventual size. Most fruit trees need a good amount of sunshine to grow well and for the fruit to ripen with high sugar content. Trees growing in cold, open spots will grow slower than those that are protected and warm. The same is true for the soil, with trees growing in light sandy soils generally growing more slowly and not reaching such a large size as those in rich fertile soils which will be more vigorous and taller growing.
RHS Award of Garden Merit
The Award of Garden Merit or AGM is an award made to garden plants by the British Royal Horticultural Society after a period of assessment by the appropriate committees of the Society. Awards are made annually after plant trials (which may last for one or more years, depending on the type of plant being trialled) at RHS Garden, Wisley and other RHS gardens, or after observation of plants in specialist collections. This is intended to judge the plants' performance for conditions in the UK.
Growth 3 Months After Planting In June
Tree When Planted In March