What You Need to Know About Caring for Your Victoria Plum Tree

Have you ever thought about planting Victoria plum? Plums demand less and are an excellent selection for beginner gardeners. Victoria plums are the most popular plums grown for home and commercial use. Victoria plum trees are mostly disease-free and produce attractive and delicious golden yellow to red plump fruits. The trees are easy to grow, and their fruits can be eaten raw or cooked in cakes. How do you plant Victoria plum trees?

Selecting a planting site

  • Plum trees grow best in loamy, well-drained soils.
  • Select a planting site with access to sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours a day.
  • Avoid areas that receive frost since it may affect the trees.
  • Find a well-sheltered location that is out of the wind to ensure proper pollination.

Planting the Victoria plum trees

  • When planting plums, ensure the trees are 10 to 20 feet apart.
  • Form a small mound in the center of the planting hole and spread the roots for bare-root trees.
  • For contained seedlings, remove them from the container and use a shear to trim off circling roots.
  • Keep the grafted trees 1 to 2 inches above the soil line.
  • Dig a hole that is few inches deep and wide than the roots.
  • Water the tree regularly to help the soil settle around the roots.
  • Some trees may require staking for around a year to make the tree stable enough.

How to prune Victoria plum trees

Victoria plums need pruning at least once a year. This will enable the fruit to produce more fruit and maintain a good shape. It is good to prune at the right time since doing it at the wrong time might expose your plant to diseases or reduce your yield.

Pruning young Victoria plum plants

  1. Pruning at the right time
  2. The best time to prune plum trees is in winter or summer. Pruning when the tree is dormant will encourage growth during spring. Prune in late winter before new growths and save some for summer. This is because too much pruning in winter will reduce fruit production and lead to vegetable overgrowth.

  3. Cutting the tree size after planting
  4. To encourage growth and beautiful shape, prune during the dormant season of the young Victoria plum. Cut the tree soon after planting leaving it 30 inches high. New growth will take place immediately after the cut. Use anvil loppers when cutting the plum tree since jagged edges and gouges make the tree vulnerable to pests and diseases. Finally, paint the tree with latex paint to protect it against sunburns and pests.

  5. Create a scaffold whorl
  6. Select four evenly distributed branches to serve as “scaffold whorl.” The branches will keep the tree’s shape and provide structure. Make sure the branches have a few buds. Cut the branches to 10 inches during every pruning cycle.

    After the third year, create more scaffold whorls and ensure even distribution around the tree. The whorl to the top of the tree should remain with one bud, and those close to the bottom have two buds. Ensure the tree takes a Christmas tree shape allowing sunlight throughout the plant leading to healthy growth.

  7. Keep pruning the trunk
  8. Cutting the trunk by one to two foots each year will control the tree’s height. This will encourage bushy growth towards the ground leading to easy harvesting. Continue pruning for the first three to five years. Keep creating new scaffold whorls and cut back the trunk during the tree’s dormant periods. Once you get satisfied with the tree’s height, move to prune for older Victoria plums.

Maintaining older Victoria plum trees

  1. Prune dead and diseased branches
  2. Cut down dead and diseased branches each year. This will help the tree channel useful nutrients to healthy parts. Use a lopper or flora guard 12 inch folding pruning saw to make clean cuts of the branches. For large branches, cut the outer collar and few inches of the trunk. Don’t restrict yourself to pruning dead and diseased branches to a specific cycle. Prune immediately you notice them since the more they stay on the tree, the more they will negatively affect the trees.

  3. Prune unproductive fruits
  4. Some branches don’t bear fruits, as a gardener, you need fruits, not unfruitful branches. Cut those branches that don’t bear fruits. Cut back to the buds since they might not produce fruits, this will create a chance for other productive branches.

  5. Cut the suckers
  6. Suckers are recent shoots out of the root system at the base of the tree. Cut them off so that you can direct the tree’s energy to the main trunk. Cut the suckers down by the loppers.

  7. Cutting branches that go over other branches
  8. The tree is most likely to produce new branches from time to time. New branches might cross over other branches. It is essential to carefully prune crossover branches since they crowd the tree, thus preventing direct sunlight. Crossover branches also limit airflow, which makes the plum tree vulnerable to pests and diseases.

  9. Prune during summer to discourage the growth
  10. If the tree is getting bigger than you expect, prune it during summer. Pruning will slow down its growth. Take care not to cut away much of the tree. Prune in early summer since pruning too late in summer will leave the plum tree exposed to cold winter.

Common Victoria plum diseases

Victoria plum trees are highly resistant to diseases, but diseases can still arise more so when the tree is not well-taken care. It is crucial to identify the diseases and deal with them immediately.

Bacterial canker: Lead to dead barks that are identified on branches and small holes in leaves. Cut the affected areas as soon as possible. You can also paint the wounds to protect them against reinfection.

Honey fungus: it’s one of the common root diseases for plums. Roots will start decaying and form white fungus between barks at the base. Cut down the tree so that it doesn’t affect other trees. Alternatively, you can carefully cut all affected roots and avoid planting health plums around it.

Blossom wilt and brown rot: these are fungal diseases that cause wilt in fruits and flowers, creating a brown rot that can quickly spread. The infection happens concurrently with other diseases. Remove all affected parts a soon as possible to control further spread.

Silver leaf: Leaves turn silver and branches die back, causes wounds. Its leading cause is improper pruning. Follow the right pruning procedures, remove and dispose-off affected branches.

Plum rust: The disease reduces vigor and lowers yields. It causes reddish spots on shoots and leaves. You can control its spread by removing affected leaves and parts.

Pocket plum: the leading disease cause is airborne fungal infections and can be realized when the plant gets distorted, and fruits lack stones making fruits worthless. Remove affected fruits and shoots to halt the spread of the disease.


Victoria plums are susceptible to several harsh conditions and diseases. Proper care for the tree from planting to harvest is essential for optimal results. Their fruits are also sweet; thus, it’s necessary to prevent them from contracting diseases that will affect the output.

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