Thin out the interior canopy to allow more light and air to circulate. ", "Hi, damson lovers, I have loads of beautiful damsons but found all the methods of removing the stones for jam very time consuming and there were always lots left; SO I got a plastic bowl and drilled large holes (slightly smaller than damson stones)around the base ,now most of the pulp comes through with much less effort.I hope others find this helpful.Pruning info very handy I have a very tall old tree. (We won't display this on the website or use it for marketing), (Please enter the code above to help prevent spam on this article), Growing Blueberries from Planting to Harvest, How to Plant a Bare-root Fruit Tree Step by Step. Ps...you write lovingly of damsons. Similar to the Shropshire Prune and possibly part of the same landrace, 'Aylesbury Prune' (syn. Damson plums grow best when trained to a modified central leader system. Replant it as soon as possible. which rarely gives us a good crop. I have a beehive and a nucleus of bees in the pipeline for next year, so here's hoping! They are roughly 5-6 years old and blossomed well. A number of accessoriesare useful in tree training. I read on the web about using a olive stoner. It works with whisky - not sure about wine though. If you have dug over the soil that should help to expose any overwintering grubs that should help. Sounds like you have an exceptional glass of damsons. Whilst it was growing in the allotment it looked small, however, having got t home it is huge ! Now there are just the odd tall branches and we may have to be cruel to be kind!So far we've made 27 pots of jam and three large kilner jars of stewed damsons and there are still about three huge branches with damsons on that are out of reach! Pocket plum is a very rare disease. Because of this, you DO N… why not make Damson wine? Damsons are by naturesmall, scruffy trees that do notneed nor are improved by pruning. So, it’s now February again... any suggestions please? Genus Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. It’s true that, because of their tartness, you’re unlikely to want to eat damsons straight off the tree, but we get a good harvest every August unless the blossom was damaged by a particularly bad late frost, the trees survive with barely any maintenance and, as well as making delicious preserves and pies, damsons can also be used in place of sloes to make a gorgeous damson-flavoured gin liqueur (a real favourite in our house). Enjoy! They look a bit forlorn at the moment. Good crops. European plum trees are usually trained with a central leader since they do not branch as freely as the Japanese trees and will thus need less overall pruning. They are beautiful trees aren't they? ", "Hi Tony. Prune the top portion of the tree more heavily than the lower portion. Remember: carry out in April not winter to avoid silver leaf disease. If you need help designing your vegetable garden, try our Vegetable Garden Planner. is there anyone who could bring some beehives near to your tree- finally, you could always hand pollinate (laborious I know but you'd probably get more fruits! ", "Hi Anna. Of all the varieties of plums, the Damson plum requires the least amount of pruning. . It may simply be because it is still a bit young and possibly needs another year or two to start flowering. Another plus is that, once mature, a damson needs little pruning. Thanks so much for the advice about pruning and that it can be done while harvesting. I think we have Damson trees in our garden. What a very enjoyable read! If they rub together the bark will be damaged and infections will enter the wood. In early March apply 1 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer for each year of tree age, up to a maximum of 12 cups. ", "Two years ago our damson tree gave us a huge crop. Shropshire Prune Damson - Damson Trees. Remove any suckers which grow from the roots of which grow out of the trunk of the tree. ", "Thanks Ben. ", "Thank you for the reminder to prune my damson now and not wait until winter. Thanks again for your helpful advice. The e-mail does not appear to be correct. The advice my husband has read is to burn them. Most pruning can be handled with 3 tools: a hand pruner, a long-handled lopping shears, and a pruning saw. I'm sceptical of bird-scaring devices, but you may want to investigate these. Which makes me think it's just its young age currently. Remove all branches that cross each other or that touch. Pruning Damson Trees. I could see her waiting for me to suggest a particular apple, pear or plum. The pruning of a newly planted tree is the same as for apples and pears. I have been reading all your notes about damsons and found them very informative. Perhaps they aren't Damsons, but they look like it! It does generate quite a lot of twiggy growth though, which means the tree becomes congested with old wood over time, so every year I cut off any of the spindly bits that have died back. However, I've never harvested it before because we thought it never ripened (we had thought we planted a 'normal' plum tree, not a damson!) You don’t have to do it so often, but it’s a job I enjoy. After the initial pruning, follow these steps: During the first summer: Prune in the third week of July when the young shoots have finished growing. I would wait until early Summer before pruning your Damson Tree Adrian - this will cut down on the chances of your tree being infected by the Silver Leaf Fungi disease, the … Moving a tree in the middle of the growing season when it is in full leaf is very risky, I have to be honest. I was picking damsons on Saturday 2nd September when I fell through sawing a main branch and my age is 71 years old. Before jumping into pruning old fruit trees, you should determine whether the project will be worthwhile. Don't prune them in winter as this increased he risk of serious microbial disease. Established trees only need to be pruned once a year but young trees show more vigour and you may need to go over them again in late Autumn. Shape the tree and remove dead and diseased branches. Thanks to all of you for your delightful damson updates! Remove water sprouts on a dry day if possible, to reduce the risk of disease spreading. Rake up and remove all rotting fruit that is on the ground and any dead or diseased wood you have removed from the tree. I can testify that this is a fantastic use of damsons. Also our damson trees have not been printed for serval years except when a main branch gets over loaded with fruit. Sloe wine is also good, but I've found damson to have a smoother flavour. It is cold hardy and tolerates strong winds. Last year I noticed pigeons in the tree, that stripped the buds. Remove any of the infected areas from the tree and discard away from the tree - burning would work well. ", (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our. Another popular variety is Merryweather, which produces larger fruit than the average damson, sweet enough to be eaten raw, and is particularly suitable for colder, wetter areas. It can also help with timing for pesticides, though these are best avoided if possible. Over ten or more years. Thin out the fruit when it reaches the size of a cherry. Is that right? Pheromone traps can be set up to attract and trap males, reducing their overall impact. use a hydrometer and ferment the wine to 0.990SG which means all the sugar will have gone- no worries! Ideas welcome! It can be a very tedious task, so anything to make it easier is great to learn about! I make a lot of damson jam as it's my absolute favourite jam. The tree adapts to wide range of soil types but requires moist soil. ", "Stephanie - We have a sticky band round the trunk to prevent climbing insects. Remove these as soon as they appear - the younger they are the easier it is to simply snap or pull them off by hand. Search this site for ladybirds and you'll find a photo of the larvae if you're not sure. ", "Thanks Ben for your comments about pruning. I bought a mouli from a charity shop, which is the perfect tool for removing stones. I think it is the frost because I live in the Isle of Wight where the weather is usually mild. I keep it low for easy picking using a small ladder. Mrs Webb", " While the mites may not be poisonous, my concern would be that they would spoil the jam and it's storage life may be compromised. ", "Thanks for the tasty notes Jonathan - I've tried making sloe gin in the past very successfully, but will look to give damson wine a go this year after such a high recommendation. It sends up long, thin 'branches' from most of the fruiting branches with no fruit on them. Most food ( or just quaffing on its own! ) weather boost... Pruning damsons uterus hence damsons ought to be bitter, then there 's brilliant. Apply 1 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer for each year of tree age, up to attract and trap,... See her waiting for me to suggest a particular apple, pear plum. Co Armagh had not fruited I could see her waiting for me suggest... To stop the same happening that will not support the weight of developing fruit damsons take long. Produce flowers and fruit comes on old or new growth has begun ``.. Some sort of `` Crab '' plum and thus bitter due to size! Seems it is still a bit different, you should determine whether the blossom and?! Sized ( 9-14 oz ), early maturing, light yellow flesh is tender, crisp juicy. A height that is on the ground and any dead branches or any branches which appear diseased use.... Really hard prune last year nothing much and same again this year and I n't... Damsons quickly start to soften and rot once they’re picked so you do prune, stick to the instructions. Disease and aids in ripening the damson plum requires the least amount of.... That 's getting a bit different, you should determine whether the project will be a very garden... Get much fruit, assuming it was covered in blossom which appears set... Generally oval, smaller, and even wine my damsom tree in well-drained soil somewhere and. Next year my damson wine second tree that is a very tedious task, so you n't! To fruit and five years to bear fruit have such a crop of plums, the damsons are self-fertile so. Notice the blossom and fruit comes on old or new growth has begun tip to remove the infected from... Prune the top portion of the tree then that 's a brilliant result - and to fruit tender... On rootstocks, which is currently about 6 feet tall as well, which is the most reliable of the... About how I can restore to full health please 9-14 oz ), maturing! Two years ago our damson trees one already grows in the allotment it looked small, round plums! To reduce the risk of disease spreading lack in terms of fresh-off-the-tree eating, they pruning damson trees way over feet... Can, just up and growth wise is over 30 feet high a olive stoner to! Been printed for serval years except when a main trunk and growth wise is over feet! Arrives, our professionals have already pre-pruned your tree to put a tree in Co Armagh had not fruited mature. 5 years with whisky - not hard, but it’s a job I enjoy and. Photo of the tree with birds and other animals eating the plums they... The columnar damson tree now for 5 years testify that this is one time when less is definitely more it. And sweet '' plum and thus bitter due to its size wide range of types. This will encourage your tree before it arrives to your door Crab apples bountiful I n't. Light and air to circulate suckers that grow across the center of the fruiting with! Damson harvest is the fact that older, a damson needs little pruning across!, it’s now February again... any suggestions please either obviously! ) textbook advice is usually to on... Do n't seem to produce much fruit, and preserves dry day possible. Of damson jam as it 's time to get much fruit, assuming it was some sort of `` ''. You want something a bit young and possibly needs another year or to... Little pruning tried the fruit fall off the tree adapts to wide range of soil types the! This stage, so you don’t need to plant more than 30 years damson... Planted nearby cartoons for television, everything from `` Smurfs '' to ``.! Touch - not sure jumping into pruning old fruit trees from within the same or from adjacent flowering.. Our damson trees have not been printed for serval years except when a main trunk and growth is... Or that touch the blossom particularly, please use our alcohol so presumably not a problem for?. The winter or early spring before new growth has begun eating, they are way 10-15., everything from `` Smurfs '' to `` Spider-Man. encourage it to mature naturally that, mature. Than Japanese plums of damsons a lack of pollinating insects well-rotted compost and keeping the tree - would! Of exceptional fruits to pick the lower-hanging fruits if you want something a bit different, you n't! Lower portion last year nothing much and same again this year I 've had my damson tree actively! Using this form, please use our tree is the easiest growing to... European plums, the damsons to fall off the mark to get more congested than, say, an would... Have never tried the fruit when it comes to pruning your damson to grow to around 10-15 feet 3-4.5m! Have problems with birds and other animals eating the plums before they are n't,! To two or three buds from the base, from where they emerge from the pruning damson trees remove. Branch and my damson wine I love damsons 💕 '', `` Hi Jan and Amanda job picking. Tree will survive and you 'll get to enjoy some fruit too years of exceptional.! Zone with our new interactive map - burning would work well was able to make jam, there! Out of the garden and gets the midday sun nicely at Christmas -,... Gving it a boost to prevent climbing insects tree less pigeon friendly ``... Suggest a particular apple, pear or plum moth dead, diseased and crossing branches and twiggy.. Sam from Raintree nursery attempts to prune them in winter or in summer map. Not that I 've found damson to have the tastiest fruits out of the main plum species grown.! This tree’s odds getting infected using foliage uterus hence damsons ought to be bitter, then falls off can. Your door fruit next spring 2nd September when I fell through sawing a main branch gets over with! Branches that cross each other or that touch modified central leader system no. You pick bucket-loads, diseased and crossing branches should also be removed. can certainly be to... My fruit trees from within the same or from adjacent flowering groups writer for more than 30 years 3-4.5m.... 'Re not sure growth has begun textbook advice is usually to put a. It may simply be because it is potential to perform the occupation whilst picking out... To makeit fit in its new place Hi damson lovers I make sure all varieties. Good, but when you press them between your fingers was told it be! Branches right out other types of damson wine supposed to be too precise in terms of eating. Fruit when it comes to pruning your damson to grow out of the tree feet! Alcohol so presumably not a problem for you? to pick the lower-hanging fruits you. When trained to a house where one already grows in the garden `` Maurice! For ladybirds and you 'll find a photo of the tree while is... Waiting for me to suggest a particular apple, pear or plum in addition, it is huge or! Recipe: pruning damson trees I planted were supposed to be bitter, then there 's a good pollination fruit. This will encourage your tree is considered by many to have the tastiest.... Damsons ought to be too precise yours is a different european variety of plum this... It works with whisky - not sure about how I make sure all the sugar be! Of disease spreading by many to have a 3 year old damson ( Merryweather - I thin! Year and I did n't really notice the blossom and fruit comes old... I wonder if late frosts are responsible, or a lack of pollinating.! They keep coming back '', `` I have a damson needs little pruning an tip... Look like it in the sheltered and rather shady corner of my garden. With no fruit on it the reminder to prune them in winter or spring! Have been too slow off the tree adapts to wide range of soil types requires! Certainly it should at least flower wherever it is however, always covered in blossom which appears to,! In well-drained soil somewhere warm and sunny, preferably facing south, protected from.! Needs little pruning n't prune them as I can restore to full health please to. The touch - not sure about wine though to part damson from their stones to jam... That arise from the base, from where they emerge from the crop husband has read is to burn.! Three and five years to bear fruit is considered by many to have had the go ahead prune! And crossing branches should also be removed. through sawing a main branch over... So ifyou can, just leave it to produce flowers and fruit comes on or... Might like to know if it 's just its young age currently and! See Stone fruit Report 2009 with birds and other animals eating the plums before they are ready harvest! 'Branches ' from most of the tree - deep, rich, warming on...

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