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Shropshire Prune damson trees

Prunus insititia
Shropshire Prune

Shropshire Prune is the definitive northern English damson, with a distinctive astringent richness which makes it a versatile fruit for culinary purposes.

The centre of commercial damson production in the UK is Lyth Valley in Cumbria. Shropshire Prune (or its close relations) is the most widely planted variety in this area. Unlke almost all other fruit trees, damsons, particularly Shropshire Prune, actually like a damp climate - so if you live in the north or west of the UK, Shropshire Prune is worth considering.

Shropshire Prune is a semi-clingstone fruit - the stone is not easily parted from the flesh.

Shropshire Prune damson trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree VVA-1 rootstock £43.50
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • PG22-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £42.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • PG3Premium half-standard 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £47.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • PG4Fan-trained 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £62.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Contact us

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree VVA-1 rootstock £23.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR22-year bush-trained bare-root tree VVA-1 rootstock £33.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR31-year bare-root tree Wavit rootstock £24.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR41-year bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £22.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR52-year bush-trained bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £32.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR62-year half-standard bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £37.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR71-year bare-root tree Brompton rootstock £22.95
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
    Out of stock

How to grow

Shropshire Prune produces a typical damson tree - fairly small but upright, with densely packed branches. While normally grown as a bush-tree, the dense branches mean it can also be trained as a productive hedge, although for the same reason it is not the best choice of damson if you wish to train as a fain.

The tree is self-fertile, although cropping will be improved if there is another tree nearby.

Like all damsons, Shropshire Prune is very easy to grow, but produces lighter crops than Merryweather. The main factor affecting the crop is the weather in April when the tree is in blossom. Rain, wind, or frost at this time can reduce yields - not necessarily through damaging the blossom, but by discouraging insects and preventing pollination. Apart from that there is nothing much to worry about. Pruning is unnecessary (except to remove damaged branches - if so, this should be done only in summer).

For more information about growing and caring for damson trees, particularly Shropshire Prune, see the Westmorland Damson Association website.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Shropshire Prune is an English variety, probably originating from the north-west, however its exact origins are not known.

Shropshire Prune characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group3
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesMild damp climates

Using

  • Picking seasonMid
  • CroppingLight
  • Keeping (of fruit)1 week
  • Food usesCulinary
  • Cling-stoneClingstone

Problems

  • Disease resistanceGood
  • SilverleafVery resistant

Climate

    Identification

    • Country of originUnited Kingdom
    • Period of origin1800 - 1849
    • Fruit colourBlue - dark
    • AwardsRHS Award of Garden MeritSlow Food - Ark of Taste