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The Brooks Plum Tree

The Brooks Plum Tree is a popular prune plum variety favored among home orchard growers. It produces large, sweet fruit with a stunning bluish/purple skin and golden amber flesh. Delicious eaten fresh from the branch, these plums dry into the most flavorful prunes you have ever tasted.

Brooks Plum Tree

All The Facts About The Brooks Plum Tree

In early spring, the delicate white flowers grace the Brooks Plum Tree with their soft, floaty petals. Once the tree sets fruit, and there will be lots and lots of tiny plums, you should thin the fruit to encourage a larger plum and take unnecessary added weight of the plum tree branches. As the fruit matures, it turns an unusual shade of vibrant blue blushed with purple. The fruit is so blue, it is sometimes called the Blue Plum. The beautiful plummy fruit is sweet and juicy, with a soft golden colored flesh. You will enjoy these stunning blue gems straight from the tree, handful after handful.

A favorite plum in the northwest, the Brooks Plum Tree is hardy in USDA Zones 5 through 9. It does require a climate where there are at least 800 chill hours, (when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit). This late mid-season producer has a mature height and spread of only10 to15 feet. Its smaller stature makes it a good candidate for home gardeners who have limited space. It is also a fantastic candidate for high density planting, more on this below.

Like all plum trees, the key to success is planting them in a spot that gets full sun. A minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight every day is required to keep this tree vigorous and productive. It also likes to have its roots planted in well drained, composted soil. Air circulation is another consideration when deciding where to plant your plum tree. Avoid planting your plum trees in low-lying plots that may be affected by late and lingering frosts. Finally, mulch your plum tree with 3 to 4 inches of a good organic mulch. Keep the mulch about 3 inches away from the trunk of the plum tree and extend the spread out about 3 to 4 feet. Water your plum tree when it is young and working to establish a good root system. Also, water during dry seasons the cut down on the stressing the tree. 

The Brooks Plum Tree was discovered in Lafayette, Oregon. It presented as a seedling of the Italian Plum, and it tends to ripen a week or two earlier than its parent. The Brooks Plum Tree was commercially introduced to the market in 1946. A favorite in the northwestern US, the Brooks Plum Tree is suitable for many northern US states and Canada.

Pollination For Your Brooks Plum Tree

White Flowers of a Plum Tree

The Brooks Plum Tree is self fruitful, which makes it a good specimen tree, a good choice if you have a small gardening space. On its own, the Brooks Plum is a reliable annual producer that will yield bushels of delicious fruit. However, for the best crop harvest, plant it with the Italian plum for a better yield. Two plum trees that produce complimentary fruit will extend your harvest and diversify your crop. It’s a win/win for everyone.

High Density Planting And Pruning Your Plum Tree

High density planting is a good option for the home orchardist who wants to grow multiple fruit trees in a small area. When you prune your fruit trees to keep them small, they are much easier to manage. The harvest tends to be smaller, but if you are growing for just family and friend consumption, you are not overwhelmed by the higher yields. Smaller trees allow for more trees to be grown in a confined area affording you the opportunity to plant more varieties. A big advantage of high density planting and aggressive pruning is you can harvest smaller trees without the need of a ladder.

How To Use High Density Planting In Your Garden Space

Fruit trees can be planted in a hedgerow and placed very close together, as close as 3 feet trunk-to-trunk if pruned to be kept small. Trees can be trellised or trained as espalier trees to grow against a wall or fence. You can even plant multiple trees in the same hole where they grow together and happily intertwine to create a multi-fruiting, pollination friendly tree grouping.

Pruning is key to keeping your high density plantings from getting out of control. The book, Grow A Little Fruit Tree by Ann Ralph, is a wonderful source for high density planting introduction. With her simple pruning techniques you can grow multiple varieties of prunes, apples, figs, and more in a tight, controlled garden space. The option to grow more food in a small space and increase the yield of your land is the gardening plan of the future. 

What fruit trees do you want to plant together in your high density planting bed? Good options would be the Brooks Plum, the French Plum, the Italian Plum, and any other plum that strikes your fancy and suits your growing zone. Take a spin through our list of plum tree reviews to research what will work best for your personal plum orchard.

Four plum trees in the space typically used for one tree will quadruple your food growing potential!

Pruning Your Fruit Trees

The Brooks Plum Tree is a prolific fruit producer. When the crop is heavy, it’s important to thin the fruit out to increase the size of mature plum. Spacing should be about one fruit per every 6 inches. While it is painful to discard the immature fruit, to achieve a bountiful harvest of 1.5 inch diameter sweet plums, the thinning process is necessary. Additionally, since the limbs of the Brooks Plum Tree are long and the tree is sparsely branched, the branches frequently break under a heavy fruit load. Making fruit thinning an even more important task for the health and well-being of your tree.

In late winter, shape your plum tree by pruning crossing branches that shade out the center of the tree. Work to develop a few main scaffold limbs to carry the weight of the harvest and keep your tree sturdy and healthy. A good rule of thumb is to prune the new seasons’ growth by one third. This will encourage the strong growth for the next fruiting season.

Country Kitchen Garden


Perfect for beginning orchardists, the Brooks Plum Tree is a vigorous grower and reliable fruit producer. These pretty blue prune plums are a sweet and tasty homegrown snack. Picked them ripe off the tree and enjoy that sweet sun-kissed warmth. As an added bonus, they store well after harvest giving you time to enjoy them fresh or prepare them for drying.

While they are delicious for fresh eating, the Brooks Plums make the sweetest prunes. Dry them whole after extracting the pit or halve them. Either way, they will be your go-to winter snack. 

Drying Prunes

Prunes from Brooks Plums

The Brooks Plum’s classic attributes make it a perfect prune plum. Its large size and sweet flavor makes it an excellent plum for drying. Since it is on the large side, you will need to extend your traditional drying time a bit, but the reward is a beautiful prune that makes a satisfying snack. Plus, it extends your harvest well into the winter!

Order Your Brooks Plum Tree

Nature Hills Nursery is the premier fruit orchard nursery. You can order your Brooks Plum Tree now, and they will ship it to you as soon as it is time to plant in your region. You should always consider purchasing your fruit trees from a large and reputable nursery. 

Join Us On Your Plum Adventure

We love exploring the world of plums. They are easy to grow, come in a wide array of varieties, and make nutritious and tasty treats. We are delighted to share our plum tree reviews with you as you explore the world of plums too. Be sure to bookmark our site and sign up for our newsletter, so you can stay up-to-date on everything PLUM! We look forward to hearing about all your plum success! Tag us at #minnetonkaorchards in you social media posts.

If you discover a new plum that we haven’t reviewed, please be sure to let us know. Our goal is to set out and discover everything there is to know about each and every plum variety.

Excited for more plum content? Then check out our plum trees page for the latest growing tips, care guides, recipes, and more!