3 years to reach maturity
Fruit have the best flavour when left to ripen on the tree. You can tell when plums are ripe by applying gentle pressure with your fingers. If the skin of the fruit feels soft, then it is ready to be picked. Plums should come off the tree easily. Commercial farmers will test for sugar content and will only start to harvest if the plum have reached a high enough sugar level. They do not continue to ripen after harvesting. Winner plums are harvested in Summer (late December).
Winner plums are green-yellow with red skin outside. Plums are medium sized deciduous trees with beautiful blossoms and summer fruit. For best results always ask a local nursery for advice on choosing the best variety, rootstock combination and cross pollinator for your garden.
Slugs and snails can damage new growth. Weevil and snout beetles nibble little round holes in the leaves and damage young fruit. Fruit fly is a pest if fruit is left on the tree or in the orchard. All infected fruit should be removed and destroyed.
Remove ripe seed from hull and plant in Spring after cold stratification(winter or 6-10 weeks at 4-5'Celsius). Seeds do not breed true-to-type.
Commercially plum cultivars are budded or grafted on strong root stock, like Marianna.
Plums can be tree trained or espaliered into interesting shapes, including a neat hedge row.
Fruit is used fresh, juiced and preserved. Plums can also be used in cooking and baking. Plum blossom make an excellent tea.