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Rivers' Early Prolific plum trees

Prunus domestica
Rivers' Early Prolific

An attractive English plum, sometimes known as Early Rivers, or, mistakenly, as a "river plum". Rivers' Early Prolific is, as the name suggests, an early and heavy-cropping plum. Rated by the Victorian fruit enthusiast Hogg as "a great bearer, and very hardy, rarely ever missing a crop".

It is dual-purpose, but arguably better for culinary purposes. (For dessert purposes, Opal is probably better).

Rivers' Early Prolific is easy to grow and crops reliably.

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Rivers' Early Prolific plum 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

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree VVA-1 rootstock £23.45
    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)
  • BR31-year bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £22.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
  • BR42-year bush-trained bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £33.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR52-year half-standard bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £37.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR61-year bare-root tree Brompton rootstock £23.45
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
    Out of stock

How to grow

Rivers' Early Prolific is unusual for a plum tree in that it grows with a slightly "pendulous" habit - somewhat reminscent of an upright weeping willow. The trunk will eventually reach the normal proportions but the branches and twigs always stay disproportionately thin.

Cropping potential is often greater than the branches can bear, so thinning of the fruit and/or branch supports may be necessary.

Like some of its offspring (e.g. Czar) Rivers' Early Prolific can also tolerate shade.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, whilst Rivers's Early Prolific crops heavily, it is not a vigorous tree, and tends to be small or average size.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Rivers' Early Prolific was raised by the famous Thomas Rivers nursery in Hertfordshire, UK, in the 1830s. It was developed from an early-season French plum variety called Precoce de Tours.

It was grown commercially in the UK for a period, and has also been used to breed a number of other popular plum varieties, including Czar.

Rivers' Early Prolific characteristics

Using

  • CroppingHeavy
  • Picking seasonEarly
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-3 days
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Flavour qualityGood
  • WildlifeRHS perfect for pollinators
  • Flavour style (apples)Sweet/Sharp
  • Food usesEating freshCulinary

Growing

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group2
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • VigourAverage vigour
  • Bearing regularityRegular

Problems

  • Disease resistanceAverage

Climate

  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

Identification

  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1800 - 1849
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourBlue - dark