Position – This tree tolerates heat well and does best in full sun. Although it is self-fertile, it’s best to plant it in multiples to ensure a better crop.
Size – At maturity, the Methley plum tree has a height and canopy spread of up to 6 metres.
Soil Type – The Methley plum grows in various soil types and has some tolerance for heavy and waterlogged soils. It prefers a well-drained, loamy, mildly acidic soil.
Watering – During their growing seasons (spring to autumn), the soil around the root zone must be kept moist. During the winter, when they go dormant, they require less watering.
Mulch – To retain the soil’s moisture and add to its nutrients, mulch well around your Methley plum tree. Use bark, wood chips, straw or old leaves as mulch, but remember to keep it about 20 centimetres away from the tree trunk to prevent the stem from rotting or getting infected.
Pruning – Plums require minimal pruning, which should be done after flowering when the tree still has no leaves. In the formative years, remove the interior branches, water sprouts, growing scaffold branches, and dead, damaged, or diseased wood. Once mature, remove any vigorous upright shoots because fruiting occurs on spurs on older wood. Japanese plums do best when trained to an open centre, so they need thinning for proper fruit development.
Harvesting – Fruiting begins when the tree is 2 to 4 years old. These trees produce heavy crops of juicy, fruit every year. You’ll need to pick them several times every season. They can be picked before they’re completely ripe, as they’ll ripen off the tree.