Plum (includes Prune)
Plum and prune
Deciduous, Edible fruit, Trees
Like their cherry, peach, and apricot relatives, these are stone fruits belonging to the genus Prunus, which is the name you’ll find their flowering cousins listed under. For crosses involving plums, apricots, and peaches, see Plum Hybrids.
Three categories of edible plums and prunes are grown in the West: European, Japanese, and hardy hybrids. All bloom in late winter or early spring; fruit ripens at some point from May into September, depending on the variety and climate.
The two most widely grown groups are European (Prunus x domestica) and Japanese (P. salicina). ‘Damson’ plum, which is sometimes considered a separate species, is probably a type of European plum (P. x domestica insititia); ‘Damson’ interbreeds freely with other European plums.
Prunes are European plum varieties with a high sugar content that makes it possible to sun-dry the fruit without it fermenting.
In the dry-summer West, plums are subject to far fewer problems than peaches or apples.
Dormant-season sprays combining horticultural oil with lime sulfur or fixed copper will control the fungal disease brown rot and various insect pests, including scale.
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