You can buy plum trees to suit nearly every type of garden, from trees and bushes to cordons and espaliers, which, on a south or west-facing wall, only grow to around 2m high and 3m wide. Ideal for larger gardens, bush-trained plum trees grow to up to 4m in height, or for a really large tree try half standards (up to 6m), or even standard plum trees (8m).
Still a favourite, the Victoria plum is popular because it is a self pollinating tree that produces an abundance of delicious and juicy blue-black fruits that are both great eaters and ideal for cooking.
Czar is another older variety, fully self-fertile and one of the more frost-hardy plums. It is a heavy cropper, producing medium sized, dark-purple fruit with yellow flesh that is great for cooking, and enjoyed as a slightly tarter eating plum. It is an excellent pollinator for a greengage, a much sweeter plum that contrasts well with the Czar’s sharp tang.
Plums flower earlier in the season than most other fruit trees, so if your garden is in a cool area, avoid early flowering varieties – good later-flowering varieties are the trusty old Victoria, or Marjorie’s Seedling.
Plum trees have lots of roots near the surface, and may produce suckers, often a surprising distance away from the tree. The best way to control these is carefully to dig away the soil to find where the sucker joins the main root system, and then pull the sucker away. This will considerably slow down the production of suckers.