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Plums







Almost any soil will grow this useful fruit. Young trees maybe planted at any time, when the ground is friable, from November to March, but the earlier it is done the better. The situation should be somewhat sheltered. In exposed positions protection may be afforded by a row of damson trees. Many varieties are suitable for growing on walls or sheds, where they are trained into fans, as cordons, and other decorative designs; but it must not be overlooked that until the trees are well established a great deal of fruit is necessarily lost by the severe pruning and disbudding which is required to bring the tree into shape. A pyramid-shaped tree is useful, and is easily grown by training one straight, central shoot, which must be stopped occasionally so that fresh side branches may be thrown out, which of course must be kept at the desired length. A bush tree about 7 ft. in height is undoubtedly the best form of growth, and needs but a minimum amount of attention. In pruning wall trees the main object is to get the side-shoots equally balanced, and to prevent the growth advancing in the centre. The bush form merely require the removal of any dead wood and of cross-growing branches. This should be done late in the summer or in the autumn. The trees are frequently attacked by a small moth, known as the Plum Fortrix, which eats its way into the fruit and causes it to fall. In this case the fallen unripe fruit should be gathered up and burned, and the trees washed in winter with caustic potash and soda. For growing on walls the following kinds may be recommended: Diamond, White Magnum Bonum, Pond's Seedling, and Belle de Louvain for cooking; and Kirke, Coe's Golden Drop, and Jefferson for dessert. For pyramids and bushes, Victoria, Early Prolific, Prince Engelbert, Sultan, and Belgian Purple are good sorts. In orchards Plums should stand 20 ft. apart.





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