- Position: full sun
- Soil: will tolerate most soils, except very chalky or badly drained
- Rate of growth: average
- Ultimate size on Pixie rootstock: 3 x 3m
- Ultimate size on St. Julien A rootstock: 4 x 4m
- Flowering period: April to May
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Damsons are a great fruit to grow if you are a novice gardener as they are hardier than its closest relative, the plum, and will cope with a wide range of soils. Merryweather is an excellent all-rounder. It is a self-fertile variety that produces larger than average fruits, which have a blue-black skin and juicy, acidic, yellow flesh. These will be ready to harvest from late August.
- Garden care: When planting incorporate lots of well-rotted garden compost in the planting hole and stake firmly. Prune in summer to reduce the risk of silver leaf and bacterial canker.
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Displaying questions 1-3
Q:what do I do about damson leaf curlAsked on 4/21/2013 by JR from East Berkshire
I suspect your damson is being attacked by a leaf-curling aphid, as this will cause the leaves to become very distorted as they grow. You can take action by applying a winter tar oil in winter and then spray with an insecticide containing
thiacloprid just after the buds have opened (Provado Ultimate Bug Killer is a good one). It is important though that you don't spray during the flowering period to help protect the bees and do not pick or eat the fruit for at least 14 days after application.Answered on 4/22/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:Various fruit trees
Dear Crocus, I bought lots of plants, including a Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' from you last year, and ALL are doing well. We only have a smallish SUNNY strip for what we are, rather tongue in cheek, going to call our Orchard! However, this is 50 yards from the weeping pear. My question is ,- if I were to plant a Conference (or indeed any fruit bearing pear) in this sunny strip, would it be sufficiently close to the weeping pear to fertilise it? Or do you have a pear which is self fertilising perhaps? Also, I am after one damson tree, so it needs to be self fertile. Can you recommend one please? I am longing to have an apricot tree, I keep reading about one called Flavorcot which fruits in August. But is this self fertile and if not, might you be able to suggest one which is? I look forward to hearing from you.Asked on 4/15/2010 by Carolyn Melville Smith
A:Hello There, The weeping pear is only an ornamental tree, so is not going to cross pollinate with a fruiting pear. Therefore if you only want 1 pear, then perhaps you should consider a 'family' tree which has several different types grafted onto one plant. Just click on the following link to go straight to them. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_fruit/bush/orchard-fruit/pear/kitchengarden/fruit/fruit-trees/pear-doyenn%C3%A9-du-comic%C3%A9--conference-williams-bon-chr%C3%A9tien/classid.2000012813/ http:/www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_fruit/bush/orchard-fruit/pear/kitchengarden/fruit/fruit-trees/pear-bet-conference-concorde/claaid.2000018021 As for the damson, we have a couple that are self fertile, although (as with all self-fertile damsons) you will always get a better crop if you have a pollinating partner. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_fruit/bush/orchard-fruit/plum/kitchengarden/fruit/fruit-trees/damson-shropshire-damson/classid.2000012815/ http:/www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_fruit/bush/orchard-fruit/plum/kitchengarden/fruit/fruit-trees/damson-merryweather/classid.2000015643/ Finally, we do not sell apricot trees, but nearly all of them are self fertile. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/15/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:What is wrong with my Damson tree?
We have a Damson tree. Over the last two years it has budded nicely and then in Spring it has become covered in a green mould or mildew (like moss), then looked very sick indeed for the rest of the year. It has just happened again this week. Is there anything that can be done?Asked on 3/31/2005 by Angela Mulheron
A:There are two major diseases that affect damson trees (bacterial canker and silver leaf) and neither of them seem to fit the symptoms you have described I'm afraid, but they are worth looking out for. Branches that have been attacked by canker produce few leaves and often die, and gum oozes from the bark. The only thing to do is cut out any diseased branches, paint the cuts with a wound paint and spray the trees in August, September and October with a copper based spray. Symptoms for silver leaf are silvering of the leaves. It is the most serious disease of damson trees and again all infected branches should be cut back and painted with a wound paint. Only prune branches in summer as this helps reduce the risk of either disease. I'm afraid I am not sure what this 'moss' is on yours, however the tree may be happier if the growing conditions are improved.Answered on 4/4/2005 by Crocus
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