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The Stanley Plum Tree

The Stanley Plum Tree, also known as the Stanley Prune Plum Tree, is a showstopping, late September plum that has become the standard for which all plums are measured by. Easy to grow, beautiful to look upon, and a consistent producer, the Stanley Plum Tree is a must-have addition to your home orchard or edible landscape.

Stanley Plums on the Tree

In the spring, the Stanley Plum Tree is a riot of fragrant white blossoms. In early fall, the tree produces copious amounts of blue fruit hanging in clusters; looking like you decorated the tree with pretty ornaments. The vase shaped tree works beautifully as a specimen tree due to its gorgeous ornamental presence and pleasant upward sweeping shape. 

This is the plum tree you have been waiting to plant. You will love their sweet, complex flavor; neat, upright habitat, and drying the into the perfect winter snack. 

Traits Of The Stanley Plum Tree

This classic dark blue to purple plum shows off a yellow/green flesh when cut open. The striking contrast between the dark skin and bright flesh is uniquely beautiful. The Stanley Plum is anxiously awaited by consumers each September and is one of the most popular European plums on the market. Homesteaders love growing, eating, and cooking with this delightful little fruit.

Good for humid climates found in the Northeast and coast regions, the Stanley Plum can be successfully grown in Zones 5 through 7. They required 800 chill hours, where temperatures go below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, for dormancy and reset requirements. Plant this fruit tree in well drained soil that is amended with good organic matter, and it will reward you with bushels of plum for very little work. As an added bonus, the Stanley Plum blooms on the later side, making it less susceptible to late frost damage almost guaranteeing a successful harvest year after year.

The Stanley Plum Tree is your prune plum growing standard, it is the best prune plum tree on the market. If you love to dry plums, then the Stanley Plum needs to be front and center in your kitchen garden. It has a heavy, annual fruit production when planted in full sun and given room to spread. A mature height of 15 to 20 feet is balanced by a spread of 8 to 12 feet, giving this fruit tree a graceful vase shape. With thoughtful pruning you can enhance the beautiful branching making your Stanley Plum Tree a garden centerpiece.

In March the Stanley Plum bursts forth in a glorious, fragrant bouquet of white flowers that completely cover the tree heralding the beginning of the gardening season. It shows off her pretty dark green leaves all summer long. As summer turns to fall, the fruit turn to their trademark dark blue signaling harvest time. In late autumn, the tree turns a pretty yellow adding more color to your landscape. It successfully adds year round color to your garden.

These little jewels have a tender mouth feel with a super high sugar content. They are on the low side for water content, but they are juicy, just not running down your chin juicy. With a rich and complex flavor you will love eating them fresh from the tree. Your friends and neighbors will be anxiously awaiting their arrival and will love getting baskets of these gorgeous plums delivered to their door. 


Baskets of Stanley Plums

Developed in Geneva in 1926 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, part of Cornell University, the Stanley Plum was a great success. Richard Wellington was responsible for developing this gorgeous plum which, today, is the standard for measuring all other plums. 

Pollination Partners

Like most European plums, the Stanley Plum Tree is self fertile. However, you will have a much better harvest if you provide your plum tree with a pollination partner. More flowers also bring more bees and butterflies to dance around the blossoms and happily pollinate your trees. 

Two compatible plum varieties are the Mount Royal Plum and the Brooks Plum. When you plant more than one plum variety, you not only increase your yield exponentially, you also add variety to your plum production.

Making Prunes From Your Stanley Plums

Stanley Plum Prunes

Fresh dried plums, or prunes, have a bad reputation brought on my overzealous marketers who decided the audience for their product was the over 60 crowd. Not true. These sweet little gems are nutritious, tasty, and can be used in a variety of ways. Pop them whole as a quick, good-for-you snack, chop them up to add some sweetness to your salads, or add them to your favorite baked good recipe. Prunes should be one of your beloved go-to snacks!

You can dry your plum prunes with the pit inside, but you should “break” the skin by boiling the whole fruits for 1 1/2 minutes, then plunge them into an ice bath. Dry thoroughly before transforming them into prunes.

A more tried and true method is to pit them. This is where the Stanley Plum shines, it has a freestone pit that doesn’t cling to the flesh. There is no wrestling with pitting this plum. You can halve your plums and quickly pop out the pit making the pitting process a breeze. Alternatively, you can cut a slit in the top and fish your pit out if you prefer whole prunes. 

To sun-dry your prunes, place them on a drying screen cut side up. After 24 hours or more, when the cut flesh is dry, turn them flesh side down. Halved plums can take around 3 to 4 days to completely dry. Whole plums could take 5 or more days to reach the prune stage. Store your dry prunes in airtight containers and enjoy them all winter long. 

Transferring your beautifully grown fruits into prunes is one of the best ways to utilize all your gardening harvest, keeping you in home-grown produce for several months. 

Cooking Your Plum Prunes

Stanley Plum Pie

The Stanley Plum is perfect for fresh eating, but also for baking, cooking, and fermenting. The prune plums have a somewhat longer shelf life than other plums due to having firmer flesh and a higher sugar content. You can keep your plums in the chiller for 1 to 2 weeks for fresh eating. If you can’t eat them all, then consider using some in tried and true plum recipes. Enjoy transforming your prune plums into preserves, savory sauces, gorgeous tarts, wine, and so much more.Check out our recipe ideas; 21 Plum Recipes That You Can Make At Home, 

When cooked, the amber flesh turns a striking bright red, making it a perfect plum for open-faced pies and tartlets. Your stunning baked goods will be the life of the harvest cookout.

What Are Prune Plums

Stanley Plums on a Branch

What are Prune Plums and how are they different from regular plums?

Prune plums are a European plum varietal that are characterized by their oval shape and smaller size. Unlike their plumply round cousin plums, prune plums have an oblong shape. They have a dark blue skin that morphs to a deep purple, almost black, appearance.

September is the prime month for harvesting prune plums. You will find them gracing grocery stores and farmers markets for a few short weeks. Then they are gone.

The yellow/greenish flesh turns a bright crimson when cooked, and they are excellent dried, in chutneys, preserves, and sauces that pair well with poultry and game. The high concentration of sugars in a prune plum make them perfect for drying and fermented into wine or brandy.When dried, they are a welcome nutritional and sweet addition to baked goods and smoothies. 

Order Your Stanley Plum Tree

Nature Hills is one of the few vendors that offers the select Stanley Plum Tree. It is best to purchase your fruit trees from reputable dealers with excellent customer service. You can rely on Nature Hill to send quality fruit trees at the perfect planting time for your time zone.

Don’t forget to pick up a pollination partner for your Stanley Plum, the Brooks Plum Tree is an excellent option.  

Let’s Stay in Touch

We hope you enjoyed this review of the Stanley Prune Plum Tree. We know it will be a showstopper in your home garden.

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