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Prunus 'Shropshire' | Plum Tree

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prunus_domestica_shropshire
From £22.50
Buy 3 Bare Root Fruit Trees for £50
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The definitive northern English damson adored by commercial growers

'Shopshire' fruits an excellent blue-black plum with a tart flavour, which is best cooked, but can also be eaten straight from the tree. The variety makes up the preponderance of the damsons grown in the UK, which is concentrated in Lyth Valley, Cumbria. This tree will create a beautiful focal point for your garden in all seasons, from blossom to fruit.

Variety Information

  • Pollination Group: 3
  • Self-Fertile: Yes
  • Harvesting Period: Late (September)
  • Estimated Time to Cropping: 2 years
  • Estimated Time to Best Yields: 5 years
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Supplied As: 9L Pot
  • Height on Arrival: 1.5m (5ft)
  • Age: 2 years with 4 year Rootstock
  • Rootstocks eventual size: St.Julien A
  • Eventual Height & Spread: 4m x 4m (13 x 13ft)
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by their nursery, which means their roots are of a different plant to that of their trunk, branches, and fruit. Rootstocks (amongst other environmental factors) will determine the eventual size of your tree.

Dwarfing rootstocks produce smaller trees than the one grown on its own roots. Some rootstocks have a greater dwarfing effect than others, with Pixy/VVA-1 producing the smallest tree. While having a smaller tree may sound like a negative, it is actually highly beneficial! Dwarfing trees will crop earlier in their lives; placing more energy into their fruiting instead of vegetative growth. Nonetheless, some dwarfing rootstocks, such as Pixy and VVA-1, need permanent staking to make sure that they aren't uprooted by strong winds.
Your fruit tree will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by pollinating insects, which will transfer pollen from one flower to another. Honeybees, the main pollinating insect, will travel several miles in search of blossom. So if there exists another plum tree within that radius it will most likely bear fruit.

Some plum trees are self-fertile, while others need a pollination partner from the same or neighbouring pollination group. Although self-fertile varieties form fruit without the help of a pollination partner, a pollination partner will still greaten their yields. Please note, Japanese plum trees can't pollinate regular plum trees as they belong to a different species.
Packaging

We have developed an eco friendly polypot that is currently in use across our 9 litre range. This polypot has less than 20% of the plastic used by a regular pot, and is importantly recyclable. Polypots also prevent root spiraling, encouraging a healthier root system.

All trees arrive in an extra thick cardboard box with a clamp to hold their pot in place. This prevents them from moving around on their journey.

Nursery staff will wrap the roots of our bare root trees and use compost to keep them moist during transportation. This extra protection prevents them from drying out, allowing for a flying start. We also use the same specialised box that our potted trees have to keep them nice and secure as they make their way to your home.
How your order will arrive
Once planted, you should water your plum trees at least bimonthly for two months. It is also important to have adequate spacing between each tree, with 3 - 3.5m between Pixy/VVA-1, and 3.5 - 4.5m between St. Julien A/Wavit rootstock trees (respectively).

Bare root and containerised trees have differing planting requirements, detailed below:

  • Watering: Bare root trees should have their roots soaked in water for up to 2 hours before planting, while with containerised trees, it is important to drench their root ball before planting.
  • Pruning: Another difference is that for bare root trees, it is useful to prune their woody roots back a few inches. However, for containerised trees, you should free any spiralized roots growing around their rootball's circumference.
  • Planting: With bare root trees, you should dig a hole to enable the graft point to be above the soil, while with containerised trees, the pot should sit no lower than an inch below the ground.
Bare root and containerised trees also share planting requirements, detailed below:

  • With both, you should dig a hole that is twice the radius of their rootball. Stake your trees no more than 2 - 3 inches from the stem, and make sure that they are pointing away from the prevailing wind.
  • Fill the planting hole with a mix of compost and garden soil, finishing with fertiliser and mycorrhizal fungi. Take care to not compress the soil.
  • Once you are happy with your efforts, give your tree a generous watering.
  • Add mulch on top (this can be bark and wood chippings, compost, manure, leaf-mould, and stones), and ensure that these do not touch the stem of the tree.
  • Tie the stake to your tree (and leave space for growth), and place a rabbit guard around your tree to protect it from harmful pests.
  • Apply fertiliser and replace decomposed mulch come spring. When autumn arrives, remove fallen leaves to prevent the risk of disease. You should also make sure that the ties are not rubbing your tree.
  • Easy to grow, a plum tree will make a perfect first fruit tree. Your tree’s growth and output will likely be excellent providing you follow our planting and care instructions. Below we address some common query topics:

    • Hardiness: Plum trees are well accustomed to colder regions, so the UK’s mild winters will not risk damage.
    • Position: In the UK, the greatest barrier to successful fruiting is lack of sunlight, so be sure to plant your plum tree in full sun. Choosing a sheltered location will help prevent uprooting and allow it to leverage more resources into fruiting.
    • Soil: Soil types can be an unwelcome confusion as many plants will adapt to their conditions. Nonetheless, less than ideal conditions will certainly limit your tree’s growth. Waterlogged soils will starve your tree of oxygen, which plays a key role in photosynthesis; causing its roots to rot and creating an optimal environment for disease. Similarly, compressed soils can starve a tree of oxygen and water, so do not compress the soil when planting. Plum trees prefer soils with a pH between 5.5 - 6.5, and a pH beyond this range will reduce its uptake of nutrients.
    More Information
    Needs Ericaceous Compost? No

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