The plum tree is that tree that offers fruit known asplumsorplums. On this page we will seehow to grow plum trees, from planting to the choice of variety. Advice onpruningand the treatment of the most common diseases.
Plum tree: tree and variety
Theplumit's afruit treewhich can be grown throughout Italy. European varieties are best suited tocultivationin the North of Italy, while the Sino-Japanese (Asian) varieties are more suitable forcultivationin the South.
The species ofplumthe most cultivated are two:Prunus domestica (it is to this species that all European varieties belong) ePrunus salicina(from which the Asian varieties derive). It is not easy to talk aboutplum variety, not only because it refers to two different species but above all because more than 2,000 are widely spread around the worldvariety!
Worldwide production amounts to 9 million tons a year, of which 2 million are grown in Europe. In Italy the production ofplumsamounts to 200,000 tons, produced mainly in Emilia Romagna, Campania and Lazio.
The cultivation of plum trees in Italy has given way to a new grouping ofvariety. We talk aboutlocal varietiesyou belong to the so-called "Ramassin" group. These plum varieties are typically Italian. Whatever thevarietychoice we must consider that theplumbenefits a lot frompollinationcrossed despite the presence of pollinating varieties.
To distinguish the plum varieties, just look at the leaf, but to enable you to choose the best variety we will talk about the fruits.
- ThevarietyEuropeans have the typical purple fruit with the pulp that detaches from the stone very easily (dark purple plums)
- The Sino-Japanese varieties have fruit with a light purple-burgundy color, the pulp is always adherent to the stone and does not come off easily (light purple plums).
- The Italian varieties or Susini Ramassin, have yellow flesh and skin. The pulp does not detach from the stone and when fully ripe they tend to fall spontaneously from the plant (yellow plums).
How and when to plant the plum tree?
The first plant must be done in autumn. In case ofplum tree in pot, in this period you can also repot or renew the soil. If autumn sees the arrival of early frosts, then the plum tree can be planted in late winter, between February and March.
The soil for planting must be very loose. The hole must be 50 × 50 cm wide and as deep as the root system of the plant. Before planting it is recommended to add well-ripened compost or manure.
For guaranteed rooting, it is better if you cover the roots with fine sand up to the height of the collar, that is, the point where the roots intersect with the stem.
As soon as you have filled the hole with the mix of soil and fine sand, moisten the soil.
There pruning, in the first years of planting, it must limit itself to eliminating dead parts and damaged branches.
It is not recommended to plant in the groundpotted plum plantsdated (i.e. plum trees kept in pots for more than 6 - 7 years). The reason? The plant would begin to develop the stem and branches a lot, giving little space to the production of flowers and fruits.
Plum tree: diseases
The plum tree is sensitive to rose rust which manifests itself with the formation of small brown-orange notches which, in the long run, take on a powdery appearance on the underside ofplum trees.
Rust is not the only disease that can attack the plum tree. The corineum of the cherry tree attacks all plants of the genus prunus (including plum trees). The chorineum manifests itself with symptoms affecting the leaves: first necrotic black spots appear and then the tissue wears out.
Jewelryosis or sclerotinia is another fungal disease which, like chorineum and rust, can be treated with treatments based on DIY Bordeaux mixture. The sclerotinia or jewelryosis attacks the plum tree especially when the medlar is also grown in the same garden.
If the symptoms are borne by the fruit, the organism Taphrina pruni (this diseaseespecially attacks theplum), unfortunately the symptoms are noticed when thediseaseit is at an advanced stage. How to recognize it? Theplumsthey grow deformed assuming an atypical or curved shape. Not only the shape, but also the color of the fruit alters, the fight should be carried out in advance with the use of Bordeaux mixture or the use of copper-based fungicides.
When to perform treatments to prevent plum tree diseases? From the fall from the leaves until the vegetative restart, treatments with Bordeaux mixture or other copper-based antifungals can be performed. This way only fungal diseases can be prevented.
Plum tree: pruning
Therepruningit is essential to prevent disease. Each variety sees advice on its own, however, annually it is essential to eliminate all the damaged vegetation so as to allow the plant to "breathe" (air the branches) by eliminating the dead branches that are no longer useful to the plant.