Greengage as a bush

I’m just curious if anyone has had any luck or know if it’s possible to grow greengage as a bush type fruit tree?

So starting off with a low open centre frame work, then re-pruning every summer to maintain as a bush.

(Essentially lacking defined structure, and forcing new growth regularly by pruning. But maybe clearing up the centre a bit for airflow.)

If that makes sense?

I’m mainly asking as I have limited space.


It is doable but would require pruning skill. You should first need to force low branching and then get a good spread of the scaffolds. I have one green gage that if you removed five feet of trunk would be a bush.

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Depending on the nature of your space constraints, you might consider fan training, which would allow you to train your plum tree to grow more or less flat against a wall, fence, or trellis. Here’s a pretty detailed guide from the Royal Horticultural Society:

It does involve some set-up and pruning skill, but it’s an option that’s out there.

Might be easier to do an espalier. I have green gage and it’s a super aggressive grower. It’s put up 3-5 foot water spouts with no problem.

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Thanks for the feedback all.

Fans and espaliers - have enough stress* training my apple fans and espaliers atm, haha. Not in the mood to train anymore espaliers/fans for a while.

(*New growth/limbs not being where I want, snapping the occasional new growth when trying to tie it down, etc…the horror/frustration! Or maybe it’s just me, lol.)

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The difference technically speaking between a tree and a bush is a bush is multi stemmed while a tree is 1 stem. Many bushes can still get massive unpruned. Hazelnut can often get 15 feet which is the size of many fruit trees as a bush for example. You are looking at training methods and green gage is an aggressive grower. Even in my 40 gallon pots my green gage and Bavays Green Gage started to rise over me the first year and are now sending out side branches on those branches the second year.

You will need to do a lot of summer pruning and thinning to get it in line. It took me years to figure out how to keep plums under control. I don’t summer prune any more but the trees always produce many long sprouts and I completely remove them in the winter. Some have been 15’ of growth in one year.

Re hazels, 15’ is optimistic… mine I don’t prune but I may need to as they are 25’ and growing, and starting to crowd out other things. Since the squirrels usually steal all the nuts I may remove them.


Just shows the difference of nursery size to true size. The nursery I have around me have the size at between 12-15 feet. Makes it hard to plan things out in terms of planting space. Something I have noticed is nursery can’t agree on size of tree on Lovell or Krymsk 1 plums either. Some nursery claim plums of krymsk 1 to be 8-10 feet while others like Raintree claim them to be 15 feet. It will be interesting to see how big these trees finally get once in ground. Like I mentioned some of these trees are getting massive even in containers. Like I mention my green gage types rise above me in 40 gallon containers and I have Anne raspberries in those containers too. Even that is not really dwarfing them too much. To edit for reference my green gage is likely of citation since it is from One Green World and My Bavays Green Gage is likely on Marianna since it is from Trees Of Antiquity.


I moved my GG to be over against the fence this winter and converted it from an open center to a fan. This seemed my best hope to keep its growth under conntol. GG and Shiro are my most vigorous plums and they require a lot of pruning to keep them under control…