Purple Plum Tree

A Quick Guide to Growing the Purple Plum Tree

Everyone loves the purple plum tree for two reasons. It is the first tree to blossom, indicating that spring has arrived, and it has purple foliage, which makes it an unbelievably beautiful tree that is sure to set it apart from all the other trees in your yard. The real name for the purple plum tree is the purple leaf plum tree, which is actually a more accurate description of the tree itself.




The scientific name for the purple plum tree is Prunus Cerasifera. It is mainly used as an ornamental, landscaping tree, and not grown for its fruit, although the fruit is edible. The fruits are small, only about the size of a cherry, but they are said to be sweet and to make excellent jellies and jams. A lot of people grow the tree simply for the purple foliage and don’t care about the little fruits. However, if you leave the fruit on the tree, be aware that birds love it too and will most likely make a mess of your yard under the tree, dropping as many fruits as they eat.

The purple plum tree does not grow very tall for a tree, topping out at around twenty-five feet high. Many remain down around fifteen feet tall. It maintains a width roughly the same measurement as its height. The tree runs through its entire sequence between February and September. If you live in a colder climate, the tree most likely will not begin its season until it well into the month of April. Based on that scenario, you will have flowers in April, leaves in May, fruits in June, ripe fruits in July and it will end its season in September.

One of the things that does need to be done to the purple leaf plum tee is pruning. That’s because for many people this tree is the central focus of their landscaping. You should remove all diseased and dead branches every year. Pruning it back will also cause it to grow out bushier and produce more flowers. One of the things that many people hate about the purple leaf plumb tree is its tendency to bend low when the branches are wet. In fact, if you have a very rainy spell or extra rainy summer, the tree could droop permanently. When this happens, pruning the tree can restore it to its former look.

Another one of the faults of this tree is its tendency to attract lots of bees and other insects that sting when it flowers in the spring. If you are allergic to bee stings, this is probably not the tree you want to grow in your front yard. A purple plum tree attracts other pests, such as aphids, tent caterpillars and mealy bugs. In some locations it can also suffer from such diseases as leaf spots, cankers and various types of mold. Before planting the tree, you might want to find out if your location is unusually susceptible to any of these pests or diseases. Your local county agricultural extension agent should be able to give advice.

If longevity is what you want, then another tree would be better suited for you than the purple leaf plum tree. It has an average lifespan of twenty years, which is pretty short for a tree, especially if you look at many of the 200-year-old maples and oak trees which grace the yards of people in many cities and towns. The advantages of this tree are its beautiful looks, particularly when it flowers in the spring and the fact that it is a rapidly growing tree. If you need shade or don’t mind its short lifespan, it is still a terrific choice to brighten up any yard.