Position – Your prune tree will flourish in a spot that gets full sun and is sheltered from strong wind. It is tolerant of some frost, but will suffer in extreme conditions.
Size – Prune trees can grow to a height of about 5 metres.
Soil Type – These trees prefer well-draining soil with a pH that ranges from 5.5 to 6.5. The average garden soil is around 6.5 to 7. Add a bag of acid compost to the hole to bring the pH down for optimal conditions. Dig a nice deep hole of 0.5 to 1 metre and place some bone meal at the bottom. Then, plant your prune tree and water it well.
Watering – After transplanting your tree, give it a good soak and check it every second day to ensure that the soil is wet. After about a week, reduce your watering to once a week in winter. Provide plenty of water during hot, dry summer weather.
Mulching – Place a thick layer of pine bark mulch around the tree to help with water retention and weed prevention. As it decomposes, it will maintain the soil acidity. Be careful not to let it touch the trunk, as this may cause the trunk to rot or become infected. Lay down mulch around your tree every 3 to 4 months.
Fertilising – Use well-aged manure as a great fertiliser for the first year or 2.
Pruning – Pruning creates a healthy tree and increases fruit yield. Prune any shoots that are sent up from the ground in the spring and summer and keep the centre of the tree open to provide air circulation and to allow sunlight in. Prune any non-fruiting, sagging, or deformed branches as needed.
Harvesting – Your fruit should be ready to pick in mid-summer, when the skin is purple and the greenish-yellow flesh is firm but offers some give under pressure.