We continue the theme of columnar varieties of fruit trees. Following apple trees, pears, and later, columnar varieties of plums appeared. This direction of selection was very successful, the varieties were prolific and not particularly demanding in care. Therefore, they quickly win the hearts of gardeners, but here there are secrets.
Column-shaped plum varieties have almost no lateral branches, therefore, as a rule, they do not require pruning. In addition to the central twig, there are so-called spear - shoots 2-15 cm, pointed shape and gloves - short (1-4 cm) with annual rings and a central kidney. These formations are the basis of the future harvest. With proper care, the columnar plum is abundantly hung with numerous large fruits by the fall.
Although seedlings of columnar plums are expensive, they quickly pay for themselves within 3 years. Such a seedling begins to bloom in the first year, and bears fruit in the next year, for 16-18 years. Then the yield decreases sharply and the tree needs replacing, although it can grow further in the garden, but already as a decorative one.
Landing and care
Before planting seedlings of columnar plums, the soil is fertilized with organic matter, but at the very moment of planting fertilizers (especially mineral ones) are better not to apply. The root system may not cope with abundant top dressing. Landing is usually carried out in rows at a distance of 30-50 cm and 1.2 - 1.5 m between the rows. Feeding is carried out 3 times a year, with urea, at the rate of 50 g per 10 l of water (2 l per 1 tree). The first feeding - after budding, the second - after 2 weeks, the third - after another two weeks.
As described above, pruning of colon-shaped plums is usually not carried out, however, if the apical bud of the central shoot is damaged, then leave one lateral and lead it as the central one. Although some gardeners prefer to leave 2 or 3 shoots (we talked about how to do this with respect to kolovidny apple trees). Also, there are lovers of creating bush-shaped forms (as shown in the photo).
Do not forget to treat plums with drugs against pests and diseases (then the harvest will be much higher), and for the winter, provide protection from rodents and frosts, because the bark of the colon-shaped plums is thin and relatively tender.
Varieties of Colon-shaped Plums
There are not many varieties of column-shaped plums, we will consider the most popular.
- Blue Sweet - average ripening period, up to 2 m high, crown diameter - 0.7-0.9 m. High-yielding, with large (up to 70 g) purple fruits. Frost resistant.
- Imperial - characterized by a more delicate taste than Blue Sweet. Medium growth, high productivity and frost resistance, but requires more watering. Fruits are juicy up to 60 g.
Well, for lovers of yellow plums, a variety of columnar plum is suitable Mirabel (or as it is sometimes called Mirabella). It is the fruits of this variety that serve as the basis for the preparation of the famous French pie Mirabelle - the symbol of Lorraine. It also makes great jam and famous plum brandy.