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Plum, Methley Prunus salicina

Methley Plum - Prunus salicina
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Produces a large reddish-purple fruit with red flesh. Heavy bearer. (Self-pollinating) (zones 5–9)

Pricing Information

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Zones 5 - 9 Zones 5 - 9
Hardiness Zones 5 - 9
The Methley Plum can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Fruit Tree Fruit Tree
Type of tree
Fruit Trees
10' - 20' High 10' - 20' High
Mature Height
The Methley Plum grows to be 10' - 20' feet in height.
10' - 20' Spread 10' - 20' Spread
Mature Spread
The Methley Plum has a spread of about 10' - 20' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This plum does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil

This tree grows in a wide variety of soil types and has some tolerance for heavy and waterlogged soils. It prefers a well drained, loamy, mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil.

Irregular Shape Irregular Shape
Shape
This plum has irregular shape.
Attributes

A handsome, vigorous plum tree that does well in most soils. Sweetly fragrant, delicate white flowers bloom in profusion in early spring. The juicy reddish purple fruit has a sweet distinctive flavor good for eating fresh or in preserves. While Methley doesn't require another tree to produce fruit, planting two trees is recommended for a better crop (it will still require insects to pollinate its own flowers). Our standard Methley Plum seedlings are budded to Nemaguard and Guardian peach rootstock, while our dwarf seedlings are grafted to Prunus besseyi (Sand Cherry).

Chill hours (CU) requirement: 150-250. (Chill hours are the average hours of air temperature between 32 and 45 degrees F in a typical winter season). For best fruit production, calculate the chill unit (CU) for your growing zone to be sure it aligns with the CU requirement of this tree.

Description

A cultivar of Japanese plum, Methley is a small, upright, spreading tree. Japanese plum trees have a rougher bark and more persistant spurs than European plums. They also are more vigorous, disease resistant, and produce more flowers. They tolerate heat and need only a short period of winter dormancy. The early bloom time makes them susceptible to late spring frosts. The foliage is bright green. The white flowers are borne mostly in umbel-like clusters of 2-3 on short spurs, and solitary or 2-3 in axils of 1-yr-old wood. Blooms appear as early as February covered in snow. Fruiting begins in 2-4 years. Methley plum produces heavy, annual crops of juicy, sweet, red purple fruit that ripens from late May to early July. One crop requires several pickings. Japanese plums can be picked before they are completely ripe, since they will finish ripening off the tree. Methley is self fertile and serves as a good pollinator for early bearing Japanese varieties. Japanese and European plums cannot cross-pollinate each other, because they have different numbers of chromosomes. The growth rate is 15-20 inches per year. Plums require minimal pruning which should be done after flowering when the tree is still leafless. In the formative years, pruning can be to remove interior branches, water sprouts, growing scaffold branches, and dead, damaged, or diseased wood. In maturity, vigorous upright shoots are removed as fruiting increasingly occurs on spurs on older wood. Japanese plums do best when trained to an open center and need thinning for proper fruit development. (zones 5-9)

Wildlife Value

Plum trees provide food and cover for butterfly larva, birds and mammals.

History/Lore/Use

Falsely called Japanese plums, this species originated in China where it was cultivated for thousands of years. It was brought to Japan 200-400 years ago and now has spread around the world. Japanese plum are the most common fresh eating plums in the United States. They are larger, rounder (or heart shaped), and firmer than European plums and are primarily grown for the fresh market

Height Variations

The standard grows to 20', and dwarf grows to 8' - 10' in height.

Spread Variations

Standard to 20' dwarf to.10'

Moisture

This tree requires moisture, but does well where rainfall and low humidity are minimal during the growing season. .

Leaves

Simple, ovate or elliptic with acute or obtuse tips, finely toothed at margins, broad, bright green.

Flower Color

White

Bloom Time

Early

Fruit Description

Medium to large, round to conical drupe, purple red skin, juicy red flesh with a sweet, mild flavor, clingstone. Ripens from late May to early July, depending on location.