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A picture of a Prunus

Prunus

Prunus spp.

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

6a-13b

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

12m

Max

10m

1m

Min

1m

5 years to reach maturity

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Fruit have the best flavor when left to ripen on the tree. You can tell when Prunus fruit are ripe by applying gentle pressure with your fingers. If the skin of the fruit feels soft, then it is ready to be picked. The fruit should come off the tree easily. Commercial farmers will test for sugar content and will only start to harvest if the fruit have reached a high enough sugar level. They do not continue to ripen after been picked!

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A photo of Prunus
A photo of Prunus
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Prunus Overview

The Prunus genus contains around 254 species and is a diverse group. Prunus includes Plums, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots and Almonds. Widely grown for fruit and ornamental purposes, they are beautiful trees. Prunus are frequently used in park landscaping as in spring they are covered with the most beautiful, often scented blossoms. Prunus trees can be trained against sunny walls to improve fruit production or left to grow as trees, with interior limbs removed to improve airflow. The process of grafting decorative or a desired types of fruiting tree onto dwarfing rootstock, along with the introduction of new dwarf cultivars means those with smaller gardens can include them in our spaces. Growing in containers is possible with regular water and feed provided. Most Prunus species will also respond well to Bonsai training. However, stone fruit producing trees are best pruned in summer to avoid the possibility of them contracting Silver Leaf disease, for which there is no known cure. A member of the Rosaceae family, these trees are native to temperate regions in the Northern hemisphere. In botanical descriptions, their fruit is called a drupe, meaning it has a fleshy fruit surrounding a single hard seed. They are generally of medium size, between 2.5-7.5cm in diameter, globose to oval in shape, and with a firm and juicy flesh.

Common problems with Prunus

How to propagate Prunus

Seed

Crack the hard outer shell and remove. Seeds need cold stratification(give them a cold winter or in the fridge for about 8-10 weeks)and plant in the Spring.

Layering

Rootstock is propagated by laying down a branch and removing all the new shoots with roots after they are strong enough.

Cuttings

The commercial way of propagating prunus is grafting or budding unto a rootstock.

Special features of Prunus

Attracts useful insects

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Attractive fruits

Other uses of Prunus

Edible

Trees

Learn how to promote tree health, and the critical role trees play in securing the future of our planet.

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