Santa Rosa Plum Tree
The Santa Rosa plum tree is the most popular in California. The fruit has reddish-purple skin color and yellow color flesh. The flavor is sweet and juicy with a bit of tartness under the skin. A very delicious and enjoyable plum. A relative small to moderate size tree. Enjoy beautiful white blossoms in the Spring time. A low chill requirement of fewer than 300 hours. Self-pollinating. Summer harvest. Cold tolerant to USDA Zone 5.
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General Plant Information
Santa Rosa Plum Tree Information and Care
The Santa Rosa plum tree is small to moderate size. Although a plum tree can grow up to 2o feet tall, many homeowners prune to keep them between 8-12 feet tall and wide. Plant in the full sun and in soil that drains well. Use high-quality planting mix. Space trees 10-20 feet apart in depending on how large trees are intended to be grown. Santa Rosa plum trees have simple tiny green leaves that are smooth.
Water and Fertilizer
As a winter deciduous plant, the plum tree becomes dormant in the winter and do not need supplemental watering. Discontinue irrigation during the winter. Begin to water once the plum tree leafs out in the Spring. Usually once per week of deep water is good until it becomes warmer. Increase the frequency to 2-3 times per week when it’s hot.
Fertilize with organic fruit tree fertilizer during the Spring to Summer growing seasons. Use flower, bloom, and fruit fertilizers with more phosphorus and potassium but little nitrogen in the winter to promote Spring blossoms. There many types of fertilizer. Popular Organic fertilizers high in phosphorus and potassium can be humus based or bone meal. Manure and blood meal fertilizers are high in nitrogen.
Harvest and Pest Management
Fruits are ripe in the Summer. Cover your tree with birds and animal netting to protect fruits from animals. Using repellents and covering fruits or the whole tree are very effective measures. Also, keep the area clean, remove fallen and ripe fruit, and possibly harvest early and store fruit indoors.
Use organic dormant sprays known as horticultural oils such as Neem oil in the Winter. These prevent soft-bodied insects from becoming a problem in the Spring.
Pruning and Thinning
Plum trees should be pruned in the Winter while dormant to maintain height and form. Remove any suckers, dry twigs, or crossing branches. Top the tips of long branches to promote lateral growth from that branch. Remove growth towards the center of the tree or in the center where little light will reach.
Thin your tree in the Simmer to direct growth and remove any growth that would waste the tree’s energy. Remove excessive fruit to prevent broken limbs and small fruit. Use white water-based paint on the tree’s trunk to prevent sunburn.
In the home orchard, plant trees about 10 feet apart, and trim them to stay between 8 – 15 feet tall. In a commercial farm, trees are spaced 15 feet apart with 20 feet rows are machinery. These trees are grow to 25 feet tall. Trees can become almost 40 feet tall in nature.
Standard and Semi-Dwarf Form: Our trees are grown in Standard and Semi-Dwarf forms. A Standard tree grows tall because the tip continues to grow. The tip of a Semi-Dwarf tree has been cut about 2 feet from the ground, therefore the tree has a shorter branching structure for easy picking.
Additional InformationUSDA Hardiness Zones : 5-10
Chill Hours: Less than 300
Pollination: Self-Fruitful / Self Pollinating
Plant Type: Deciduous
Bloom Color : White
Bloom Time : Spring
Harvest Time : Summer
Watering : Regular
Sun Exposure : Full Sun
Soil and Planting: Plant in soil that drains well. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree’s roots and at least twice as wide.
Place the tree in the hole and backfill around the plant’s roots with a mixture of the native soil and high-quality planting mix that has washed sand and organic fertilizer.
Create a basin around the roots drip zone so that water collects. Water deeply until the roots and nearby soil is saturated and reaches field capacity.
Plant Care Information
How To Water - Frequency and Duration to Irrigate
Newly planted trees should be watered regularly to establish well. The frequency of irrigation and quantity of water mainly depends on the season of the year, soil type, and size/age of the tree.
Frequency to water
Discontinue watering in the Winter while the tree is dormant.
Begin to water weekly as the tree breaks bud and leafs out in the Spring.
Increase the frequency of water to twice per week in the Spring.
Water 2-3 times per week during the hot Summer months.
Reduce irrigation frequency to 1-2 times per week in the Fall.
Stop watering your tree in the Winter while it is dormant.
You may need to water sandy soils more frequently but less quantity because of sand’s lower water holding capacity.
Water Duration – Quantity of water
Drip System – 30- 60 minutes
Sprinkler – 15 – 25 minutes
PVC Bubbler – 5 – 7 minutes
Hose – Flood the trees watering well until the soil surrounding the tree’s roots reaches field capacity.
Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition
Fruit trees and edible plants need nutrients to grow. This is called fertilizer and it comes in different forms. Use organic manure, bone meal, blood meal, and humus based fertilizers. Apply fertilizers like manure along with a bone meal, humus based phosphorus fertilizer (1-2-2) NPK ratio in the late Winter, right before spring growth. Reapply with organic high nitrogen (2-1-1) or fertilizers with a 1-1-1 NPK as directed by the label during the Spring and Summer growing season. Do not fertilize in the Fall, new growth at this time will be thin, lanky, and weak.
Winter Pruning and Summer Thinning
Prune fruit trees in the Winter to maintain size and shape to prepare for Spring growth. Thin the tree in the Summer, and remove excess fruits. Remove any dry twigs and branches. Cut off any new growth below the graft or very low in the tree, this will direct the plant’s energy to its main branches. Thin your trees during the Spring and Summer seasons to ensure the plant’s energy is directed as desired. If the plant provides an overly large quantity of fruits for that branch, reduce the quantity of fruit so that what remains grows larger. This will also prevent broken limbs. Harvest ripe fruit to prevent undesired pests.
Harvesting and Pest Management
The basics of integrated pest management is cleanliness and the use of a combination of methods. This means we use an organic pesticide when the pest population reaches a threshold that requires action. Horticultural oils such as Neem oil is an organic pesticide that controls tiny, soft bodied insects. Use organic Bordeaux and Liqui-cop to manage fungus causing diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and leaf-curls.
Keep a clean environment, free of weeds and dropped fruit that host insects or attract animals. Harvest when fruit reaches size and store indoors. Use repellants and bird netting to protect your harvest from other animals.
Limited Guarantee and Returns
The two factors that determine if a deciduous fruit trees will grow well and produce fruit in a certain area are the Chill Hour Requirement and the Cold Hardiness. “Chill hours” are the amount of cold a deciduous fruit tree need to produce fruit. This is measured in the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit a plant must experience during its winter dormancy. Paradise Nursery only grows Low Chill fruit trees that meet the chill requirements of all areas of the United States.
The second factor is Cold Hardiness. Cold Hardiness refers to the minimum temperature a plant can tolerate. The USDA’s Cold Hardiness Zones indicate the average minimum winter temperatures of areas. Based on the shipping zipcode, our website will only allow you to add plants to your cart that grow within your USDA Hardiness Zone, and tolerate your climate.
Pollination & Propagation
(Grafting/Cutting) Most of Paradise Nursery’s edible plants are self-fruitful. Self-pollinating trees do not require an additional tree to produce fruit. For your convenience, we have indicated which trees require a pollinator, and their associated pollinators. Only the sweet cherries, avocados, and some plums require a pollinator. All of our other propagated edible plants do not require a pollinator. All of our edible plants are either grown from cuttings, budded, or grafted. This way, we can ensure that our plants are high quality and fruit immediately. Plants will generally begin fruiting within a year of planting.