How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Site selection

Long summer days, cool nights, and a mostly dry season are ideal conditions for growing fruit trees. Fruit trees require freezing or close to freezing temperatures during the winter, but generally need at least 150 days between the last spring frost and the first fall frost so that blossoms are not damaged in spring and so that the fruit will mature in the fall.

Plums and prunes do best in areas with full sun and well-drained soils at least 4 feet deep. The best soils are fertile, slightly acidic sandy loam soils. Avoid sandy, high-clay, or shallow soils. Plums and prunes are best adapted to areas with adequate chilling hours. There are low-chill varieties including the interspecific hybrids (crosses between apricots and plums) that will tolerate warmer conditions. Japanese plums require from 500 to 900 chilling hours and European plums require 700 to 1,000 chilling hours to satisfy the chilling requirement.

Do not plant in low spots or areas that flood frequently. If you are planting on a site where the soil is shallow because of a hardpan, break through the hardpan when preparing for planting. Do not plant trees too close together, as this may cause poor growth.

Site selection
Plums and prunes need good drainage


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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