Some things are just so perfect that they don’t ever need to change. The design of a paperclip. A classic white T-shirt. Lemonade at a Fourth-of-July picnic.
Add to that list – the Sugar Plum (Prunus domestica ‘Sugar’). This prune plum variety is one of the oldest in cultivation but still remains at the top of the ‘most-loved’ plum lists every year. Its great staying power is well-deserved, though. The medium-sized fruits maintain some of the highest sugar contents of any plum, new or old. That means that it truly lives up to its name!
You can trace this plums heritage from Asia, though England and into Germany before it came with German immigrants to America where they spread it far and wide in the new Colonies.
This self-pollinating tree stays relatively compact and works perfectly in today’s smaller urban gardens. It doesn’t need a partner to bear heavily for you, so if one is all you have room for, one is all you need – but trust us, if you have room for more than one, you’re going to want to get more than one!
The white spring flowers alone are worth the price and precious garden space. But, thankfully, the flowers turn to fruit that you can enjoy eating fresh, dried or to use for preserves, jellies and canning. (This is an old-fashioned biennial producer. It will give you a bumper crop every other year with a smaller yield in between those years. Don’t let that keep you from getting this oldie-but-goodie, though. Once you taste one you’ll understand why!)
The fruits are medium-sized, freestone with reddish-purple skin and greenish-yellow flesh. The tree tolerates just about any soil and often grows where other stone-fruits struggle. It just needs full sun and consistent water to help keep the fruit from cracking.
This is the proverbial oldie but a goodie. Order your Sugar Plum trees from us today!
* White spring flowers & super-sweet plums
* Very easy care, often thriving where other stone-fruits struggle
* Self-pollinating small tree, perfect for small gardens
* Cultivated for centuries, so you know it’s worth your time
Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.
Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!
Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.
|Young Plants to 18 Months|
|2"x2"x3"||Ranges from||.18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume|
|4.5" Container||Equal to||.65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume|
|Sprinter Pot||Equal to||.63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume|
|4" Container||Ranges from||.31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume|
|6" Container||Equal to||1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume|
|1 Quart||Equal to||1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume|
|5.5" Container||Equal to||1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x5"||Ranges from||.8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x6"||Ranges from||1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x9"||Ranges from||1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x10"||Ranges from||1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old|
|2 Quart||Equal to||2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume|
|#1 Container||Ranges from||2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume|
|5"x5"x12"||Equal to||3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 2 - 4 Years Old|
|#2 Container||Ranges from||1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume|
|#3 Container||Ranges from||2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 3 - 5 Years Old|
|#5 Container||Ranges from||2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume|
|#7 Container||Ranges from||5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume|
Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.
This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.
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At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.
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Luther Burbank is called the father of the modern-day plum. When he introduced his Sugar Prune in 1899, he said that it was 'close to the realization of my ideals'. He sought to produce a large, early, productive, handsome, easily cured, richly flavored prune with a high percentage of sugar and achieved it with the Sugar Plum.
In the late 1880's, Burbank made crosses using the Petite d' Agen prune (French prune). Burbank chose seedlings with large leaves, prominent buds and strong heavy wood with short nodes. The original selections were grafted on to Japanese plum rootstock, because that was all Burbank had available at the time.
Due to the incompatibility of the European plum with the Japanese plum, over one half of all the grafted seedling failed. A few that were grown on there own root survived. However, the one that produced the ideal variety, the Sugar Prune, was one of the few grafted varieties that survived to produce fruit.
The Sugar Prune fruited the second year, which was unusual for European plums of the time but was considered by Burbank another esteemed quality of the variety. The large size of the Sugar Prune was an immediate hit with the growers. It was reported that 57 pieces of fruit were required for one pound cured of the French Prune, while only 39 pieces of fruit were required for one pound cured of the Sugar Prune.
With these production increases for the same real estate, it's easy to see why commercial growers preferred the new Sugar Prune. Ironically, the French Prune remained the main variety for drying well into the 20th Century.
Sugar Prune was also favored for its early ripening quality. Most prune varieties ripened a month or so later. In the popular fruit growing region of Solano County, California, picking in early August exposed the fruit to higher temperatures, which dried them clean and bright.
Today, the Sugar and French Improved (another Burbank Seedling) remain popular due to their great flavor and wide range of adaptability.
|Botanical Name||Prunus domestica 'Sugar'|
|Mature Height||12 - 15 feet|
|Mature Spread||12 - 20 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Soil Type||Well Drained|
|Moisture||Water carefully to establish|