Vanier Plum Tree
The Vanier plum tree is a vigorous clingstone Japanese plum tree which produces medium-large round plums with a deep red flush. In fact this tree is very productive and bears sweet/tart, juicy, tangy fruit. Moreover, they are excellent for making jams and jellies. However since this tree tends to overcrop, you will need to thin the branches in order to get good-sized fruit. The Vanier plum tree is a great choice for both home and commercial growers because it is a hardy (zone 5) and reliable tree that is easy to maintain. It has a strong upright growth habit and is moderately resistant to black knot. However it is susceptible to mites and bacterial spot. Moreover, with proper pruning, it can reach heights of up to 20 feet and has a spread of 12 to 15 feet (this also depends on the rootstock). It is also fairly drought tolerant, making it an ideal choice for regions that experience dry summers.
- Hardiness Zones: 5-8
- Pollination: This tree is not self-fertile so will need other Japanese plum tree nearby in or to bear fruit. However it is a great pollinator for almost all the Japanese plum trees except for Early Golden or Shiro.
- Harvest Period: 10 days before Stanley, in August
History of Vanier Plum Tree
The Vanier plum tree is a cross between Wickson and Burbank plum trees. Moreover, the Vineland Research Station in Ontario, Canada developed the Vanier plum tree in the 1980’s. In fact it is the only Japanese plum tree developed in this breeding program.
How to Water a Vanier Plum Tree
- Water your tree with a garden hose or a watering can.
- Water the tree deeply when you see the soil has dried out.
- Additionally, water the tree slowly and evenly all around the root zone.
- In fact, avoid splashing the leaves with water, as this can cause fungal diseases.
- Let the soil dry out between waterings.
- Mulch around the base of the tree in order to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Lastly, provide supplemental water during periods of drought or dry weather.
- Follow this link for more detailed instructions on how to water a fruit tree.
Planting and Caring for a Vanier Plum Tree
- 1. Choose a sunny spot in your yard that is sheltered from the wind. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
- 2. Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your tree.
- 3. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
- 4. Backfill the hole with the soil you removed earlier and pat it down firmly.
- 5. Water the tree deeply and mulch the area around the trunk in a 3-4 inch layer.
- 6. Prune the branches to the desired shape and size.
- 7. Feed the tree with a fertilizer designed for fruit trees.
- 8. Watch your Vanier plum tree thrive in its happy home.
- For more detailed instruction on how to plant fruit trees, follow this article.
What is a Rootstock?
A rootstock controls the tree’s size, precocity, cold hardiness, and partly its disease resistance (such as fireblight). In order to grow a reliable and high quality fruit tree, growers graft the scion, which is above the ground and responsible for the fruit’s characteristics and disease resistance, onto the rootstock, which is underground.
How to Choose a Rootstock?
A rootstock that grows well in one location, may not grow well in another. Therefore you must consider your specific site considerations before choosing a rootstock. When choosing a rootstock, some considerations for growers are
- what size tree is optimal for your site
- how well the rootstock adapts to your soil
- the disease pressure on your site
- how well the rootstock anchors
- precocity (bearing fruit at a younger age)
If you are new to rootstock, don’t worry! We aim to grow our trees on reliable and virus free rootstocks.
How to Prune a Vanier Plum Tree?
- First, prune the Vanier plum tree in late winter or early spring, before it begins to flower.
- Cut off any dead, diseased, or damaged branches (you can do this anytime during the year).
- Remove any crossing branches or branches growing inwards, upwards, or downwards.
- In fact, you are aiming to create an open vase shape with no central leader but supporting branches growing outwards.
- Cut back branches that have grown too close to the ground (lower than 2′).
- Then cut back any water sprouts, which are fast–growing shoots that will not bear fruit.
- Next, thin out the branches to allow more air and light to penetrate the center of the tree.
- Remove any suckers (new shoots growing from the base of the tree)
- Lastly, prune with a smile on your face and enjoy the beauty of your tree!
- For more detailed instruction on how to prune fruit trees and the training system for each fruit tree follow this article.
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