Being a highly reliable fruit for gardeners, it provides positively delicious and plump fruit. You can either eat them immediately off the tree or make crumbles, pies and jams from it.  

Growing Damsons

  • Use fleece to cover the flowering plants during frost.
  • Use canes to keep the fleece away from flowers.
  • Thin out the plants once the fruit has set in early summer.
  • Prop up the branches in mid and late summer.
  • Water and feed the plants at the right time to ensure better yields.
  • Feed the established trees with mulch in mid-spring.
  • Supplement the plants with a top dressing of dried poultry pellets or nitrogen fertiliser.
  • Scatter two handfuls of high potassium general fertiliser in each square metre/yard of bare soil. Increase this amount to 2.5 handfuls for plants growing in the grass.

Pruning Damsons

  • Summer and spring is the perfect time to prune the plants.
  • Don’t prune the plants in the late autumn or in the dormant season.

You can prune the plants using three different methods, such as fan, pyramid and bush.

Planting Damsons

The best time to plant the damson trees is the dormant season in the early spring or late winter before the onset of growth.

Trees that are cultivated bare-root do better than those that are grown in containers. You can train the trees with stakes based on the tree form that you want to grow.  

The best conditions to plant damsons are loamy soils or good clay. Moreover, the planting soil for the damsons should be well-drained.

  • Feed the plant with organic matter before you plant the damsons.
  • Use large containers while growing the plants in containers to avoid compost drying out in pots.
  • Ensure the planting sites for the damsons are sheltered from wind and frost. Otherwise, your plants may succumb to the cold weather and die.  
  • Ensure the planting of at least one tree with restrictive and rootstocks techniques

You will find hundreds of cultivars for cooking and making desserts. You can also use a dual-purpose cultivar if you have limited space. Moreover, make sure which variety you’re buying, i.e., a self-fertile or self-infertile.

Harvesting Damsons

Damsons taste best when they are allowed to ripen on the tree. You can squeeze the fruits gently to know if they are ready to pick or not. If they feel soft, it means they are ripe and ready to harvest.

You can pick the damsons several times. While harvesting the fruits make sure it doesn’t get damaged. After harvesting, you can eat the fruits immediately, freeze them or preserve them. 


Common problems

Silver leaf

This disease turns the leaves silver. Besides, it makes the plant breaches appear red when they are cut.


Prune the plants in early spring

Plum maggots

The larvae of plum sawfly tunnel and plum moth enter the fruits, rendering them untasteful. In addition, the plum moth deforms the fruits, causing them to fall in summer.


  • Identify the damaged fruitlets in May.
  • Remove the damaged fruitlets before the larvae enter the soil
  • Capture the male moths with Pheromone

Brown rot

It is a fungal disease. It appears as brown rot in fruits or pustules on the fruit surface. The condition gets worse during the wet summers.


Remove and destroy the rotten fruits. Otherwise, the disease will spread throughout the plant.


Wasp can damage any tree fruit. The higher sugar content attracts the wasps to the plant, damaging the fruits and posing a threat to gardeners.


  • Trap the wasps using hang wasps. You can hang these hang wasps in the trees.
  • Make sure the overripe fruits don’t fall on the ground due to winds.

Looking for recipes for damsons? Try the Delicious website

For more information or assistance with this article, or if you want to add something that you feel is relevant, we would love to hear from you via the Contact Us page.

08/06/2021 | Fruit | 0 Comments

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