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Plum, Gage & Damson Trees

Plums, gages and damsons are all part of the same family; Rosaceae. There are over 300 different types of plum, with European plum (Prunus domestica) and Japanese plum (Prunus salicina), being the highest selling varieties worldwide.

 

The difference between Damson, Gage and Plum trees

Plum, gage and damson all bear the same basic type of fruit but the taste differs between the three, ranging from sweet to tart, often with sweet plums being used for eating fresh and the more tart varieties used in jams or for other culinary purposes. Plums are the largest of the three and are usually soft-fleshed, whereas gages are smaller, often a yellow or green colour, and have a more rounded shape and sweet flavour. Damsons are a hardier fruit and have a spicy, tart flavour.

Plum trees flower in different parts of the world at different times, blossoming around January in Asia and April in the UK and USA. During a good year, at least half of the flowers will be pollinated and become plums.

 

History and Culture of Plum trees

  • The plum blossom, or meihua in Chinese, is considered a traditional floral emblem of China
  • Plums are thought to have been one of the first fruits cultivated by humans
  • Plum remains have been found on archaeological sites belonging to the Neolithic Age (New Stone Age)
  • China is the world's largest producer of plums
  • The juice from these fruits can be fermented into plum wine and Damson wine was once quite common in England

Plums, gages and damsons all thrive in sunny, sheltered, warm gardens with a well-drained, chalky or loamy soil. Nearly all of our plum trees are self-fertile, meaning that they do not require a pollination partner. We also offer Dual Cordon trees with two different varieties of plum growing on a single tree. For more information or advice when choosing a tree, visit our help page or take a look at our planting essentials to get you started.

Plum, Gage & Damson Trees
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