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Why The Superior Plum Tree Is… Superior

The Superior Plum Tree is superior because of its wide range of hardiness; drop dead, gorgeous crimson color; and juicy sweet fruit. Easy to grow and perfect for a beginning orchardist, the Superior Plum Tree is at the top of the plum tree chart. Whether you add one to your existing orchard or plant one as an ornamental tree, you will soon find it is one of the easiest fruit trees in your home garden.

Superior Plum Tree
Immature fruits of the Superior plum tree ripen on the tree in a home orchard

Superior Plum Tree

The Superior Plum Tree is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, allowing almost every home orchard grower in the US the opportunity to plant this picture-perfect plum. It has even been known to grow in elevations as high as 8,000 feet, giving places like Denver a good sturdy plum tree option. It is exceptionally cold hardy and bears copious amounts of fruit. What more could you ask for in an all-around plum tree? Well, how about a sweet juicy fruit, gorgeous white blossoms, and a stunning figure.

The delicate white flowers that perfume the air in spring give way to a beautiful tree. The dark red fruits are stunning against the gorgeous green leafy backdrop, making this plum tree a true showstopper. It makes a beautiful landscape plant while offering large, sweet, juicy fruits that are perfect for fresh eating from the branch. 

The Superior Plum is a Japanese and American hybrid the produces a late mid-season crop of firm, sweet plums. Their bold red skin gives way to a sweet yellow flesh that is rich and flavorful. This beautiful variety is a must-have in your home garden. 

The Best Soil For Your Plum Tree

Handful of Soil

For best plum tree performance, plant your Superior Plum in well drained soil that is moderately moist. Plum trees in general do not like their feet consistently wet. By adding Organic Planting Soil with nutrients to your soil, you will help get your baby fruit trees off to a running start. 

Select a site that offers full sun, a good 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. This is key to the success and logevity of your plum tree.

When planting bare root trees, set the tree roots atop a small mound of soil and spread the roots away from the trunk ensuring you don’t bend the roots. Tamp the soil around the roots to ensure good soil contact. Water thoroughly. Tip: Soak the roots in water for an hour before planting in the ground to get them revitalized and ready for planting. 

When you receive container plants, remove the container and gently tease the tree roots from the root ball to aid in good root growth. Plant the entire container shaped ball in the ground and tamp in the soil for good contact. Water thoroughly.

The Superior Plum Tree is extremely hardy, and it is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

Pruning And Thinning Your Plum Trees

In late winter, prune away dead branches. Also prune any cross branches to open up the center of the tree for sunlight. Also prune for structure. Over time prune to create a strong canopy of branches that are a 45-degree angle from the trunk. Visit our primer on How To Prune A Plum Tree for all the best information about pruning your plum tree.

The Superior Plum is a vigorous producer of copious amounts of fruit. The fruit grows fairly large, so thinning the early fruits will encourage a healthy crop. Thin out heavy sets of fruit to one fruit every six inches allowing space for air circulation and growing room.

Your plum tree will reward you with consistent, high yield crops every year when you prune and thin annually.


Red Superior Plums
red plums isolated

The Superior Plum tree requires a cross pollination partner to set fruit. A Japanese Plum that blooms at the same time of year is a good pollination partner. Some varieties that work will are Alderman, Bubblegum, Toka Plum, and other Japanese Plums.

Harvesting Your Plum Tree

Plums warmed by the summer sun and plucked ripe from the tree have a warm, succulent flavor that is a remarkable taste sensation. Plums are ripe when the give way to gentle pressure from your figure tips. If the fruit is slightly soft, it is ready to be picked and eaten. 

Another harvest method that works with a Japanese plum varietal is to pick them a few days before they are completely ripe. Once picked, they should be allowed to ripen in a cool, dry space. If you have problems with the birds getting more of your harvest than you do, then plucking the plums a little early will give you an advantage.

To harvest your plums, do not pull them from the branch. This may cause other ripe fruit to drop, and you can also damage the branch. Instead, twist the plum slightly, and it should give way and come off the branch easily. 

Plums do not store well for long periods of time unless they are preserved. Fresh eating when they are coming off the tree in copious amounts is wonderfully gluttonous. Once you have had your fill, it is time to turn your plums into preserves, dry them into prunes, freeze them, or gift them to your very best friends and family.

Check out our post on freezing plums for great tips on freezing your plums. We have techniques for dry freezing, freezing whole plums, or freezing plums in a sweet syrup. If you have a particularly large bumper crop and want to preserve all that wonderful plummy goodness, you should consider freezing as one of your storage options.

Gardenscaping with Superior Plum Trees

For home orchard growers who have lots of space and several rows of fruit trees, the Superior Plum Tree will make a wonderful addition to your fruit varieties.

If you are limited in space, or only want to plant two plum trees, consider planting the Superior Plum and a pollination partner as part of an edible landscape. These gorgeous trees make stunning accent trees on a wide lawn or on the edge of a kitchen garden. This plum tree has an attractive, spreading form that makes it a perfect candidate for a specimen tree. It is a good one to highlight and show off.

The Superior Plum tree is a prolific produce and needs to be harvested when the fruit is ripe. They can be messy if the fruit is allowed to drop on lawns or walkways. Additionally, it is always good practice to remove spent plant debris from under your trees each fall; it helps prevent insect and disease damage.

Whether you order a bare root tree or a container tree, make sure you plant them upon arrival. The best way to get a tree off to a great start is to allow it to establish itself in the ground surrounded by beautiful, nutrient rich soil. Avoid planting your plum tree in a low area that is susceptible to frost settling. Select a sheltered location out of the wind to keep your fruit tree healthy and protected.  

The Superior Plum requires 6 to 8 hours of sun for optimum growth. Good air circulation is needed to keep the tree healthy, therefore it does not make a good foundation plant. Mulch the roots up to 3 inches deep, but keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk. 

The mature height and spread of the Superior Plum Tree is a manageable 12 to 15 feet. Easy to harvest and easy to prune, it is just the right height for an ornamental specimen.  

Where To Order Your Superior Plum

American Plum Tree in Front of Apartment Building

Consider adding a pair of plum trees to your home orchard or edible landscape. They not only provide a fragrant, showy spring flower, but produce beautiful, healthy fruits for your family. The Superior Plum Tree and its pollination partner the Toka Plum Tree will give your landscape a breath of spring blooms and a fabulous crop of delicious plums. 

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

Wishing you all the best as you plan, plant, tend, and harvest your fruit orchards.