Caring for Flowering Plum

Feed Flowering Plum Trees in the spring with a granular all-purpose fertilizer. Sprinkle it on the soil under each tree out as far as the branches reach (the drip-line). Young Flowering Plum tree shoots that grow 16 to 24 inches indicate that the tree is receiving adequate nutrition. Shoots of healthy older trees will grow about 10 inches over a season. For more information see the files on Fertilizing Trees and Choosing Fertilizers

A 2 to 3 inch layer of some attractive organic material spread on the soil over the plum tree’s roots protects it in several ways. For more information see the file on Using Mulch

Flowering Plum trees are branched, even when young, and tend to spread wide. While they do not require routine pruning, judicious clipping in the late spring after bloom period will promote vigorous vegetative growth and thick foliage. With intense pruning from when the tree is first planted some homeowners achieve a very formal, dense shape for their trees. In addition to pruning the occasional damaged or diseased branch, it is important to thin interior branches once and awhile to promote good light and air circulation inside the body of the tree’s branches. To avoid heart rot in plum trees, cut all pruned limbs as short as possible. Stubs which are too long to heal properly invite the entry of bacteria to the heartwood and heart rot results. For more information see the files on Pruning Shade and Flowering Trees and Choosing Pruning Tools

Flowering Plum Trees do not require supplemental watering once they are well established. However, when they are first planted they will need water every couple of days from rain or from you. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment

No tasks during these months.

Flowering plum trees can be protected from fluctuating winter temperatures by a heavier mulch over the roots. Also, some times on milder winter days, heat from the sun may become quite intense on the tree’s dark bark, causing the sap to rise. If nighttime temperatures drop below freezing, the sap may freeze, causing the bark to split. To prevent trunk damage from the sunscald use tree wraps sold to be wrapped around trunks of trees. Remove the tree wrap in the spring.

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