damson 'Prune Damson'
damson (syn. Shropshire Prune)
- Position: full sun
- Soil: will tolerate most soils, except very chalky or badly drained
- Rate of growth: average
- Ultimate size on St Julian 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. Native to the West Midlands, this small, compact tree was originally found in the local hedgerows. It is a self-fertile variety with medium sized fruits that can be cooked or baked and used in a variety of tasty recipes.
These damsons have been grown in an open field and then dug up as bare root plants when the weather conditions are right in Autumn. They have then been potted up as this helps to keep the roots protected, hydrated and in good condition. As they are dormant throughout the winter, they will not produce any new roots until spring, so don't be surprised if the compost falls away from the roots when you take them out of their pots. The trees can be kept in their pots throughout the winter provided they are kept well fed and watered, however ideally they should planted out as soon as possible when weather conditions allow.
- 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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