Plums with Horizontal Growth Habit

What plums have horizontal growth habit like my Shiro shown here?

My Shiro sends a lot of upright growth, but I prune it off. I think most plums send a lot of upright growth, but they can be trained to be horizontal.

That is interesting. Shiro was my first plum. All of the branches start angled up but u-turn into a long sweeping horizontal. For some reason I thought this was typical for plums. Plums I’ve gotten since then tend have upright growth. I was hoping there were more plums with growth like my shiro because it makes a nice low-maintenance ornamental in addition to having edible fruit.

This information is about the Satsuma on the Grow Organic website:Facts of note: Low chill hours, good choice for milder climates. A long time favorite in California. An excellent choice for fresh eating and jam. Heavy bearing tree with a horizontal spreading growth habit.
It looked like it’s the only description that they give about that kind of growth habit for their Plums. Brady

I have been tying my Satsuma up because it keeps wanting to grow horizontal. The same with my Santa Rosa. I want them to get tall enough that the deer don’t eat the trees. My Satsuma grew a sucker straight up about five foot last year. I hope it keeps on going.

:confused: I have Satsuma, but it doesn’t want to grow horizontal on its own. The branches tend to grow at 45° angles. I have to tie them down.

I think alderman tends to the horizontal.

I think most plums start off naturally growing straight up, but once you prune them, they branch out into a more horizontal pattern. The more pruning you do, the more horizontally they’ll grow.

I use a lot of branch spreaders to train my nursery plums. Eventually they will assume a more horizontal growth habit when they are in full production mode. They also tend to produce thick, vigorous shoots that are vertical and weaker ones that are closer to horizontal- especially when young. Pruning out the vertical ones is a slower, lower input way to get a horizontally growing tree.

The most upright J plum I grow is Fortune- the rest are fairly similar although Ozark Premier may be more spreading than most.

The harder challenge is to find horizontal oriented E plums like Castleton and Italian. Most I grow have a pretty upright habit.

Order some Tree-form spreaders and you can easily get the shape you want. You only need 3 or 4 scaffolds.

So, forcing a horizontal shape induces early production, which settles the tree into a more horizontal habit?

What should be done with a tree that is already mature with upright shape?

Stonefruit trees aren’t as cooperative for reformation projects as pomes. Often older, stiff branches can be brought to more horizontal position by pulling them down with string. I like to use concrete blocks but stakes work also. when branches are too stiff for that you can make a hinge by cutting onto the side you are bending the branch (under) near where it’s attached to the trunk. 3-6 cuts a third the way through makes the branch bendable usually.

Actually, I did tie some of them down last year, but the sisal twine didn’t last through the winter. What type of line do you use?

[quote=“alan, post:11, topic:1260”]
when branches are too stiff for that you can make a hinge
[/quote]When is the best time of year to do this?

Now is the best time to make a hinge. I use double strand sisal twine and make a big loop. With the hinge it shouldn’t take all that much force and branch will be rigid in new position by summer. Ace Hardware stores carry it, Home Depot doesn’t. I order mine form AMLEO.COM.

Here are photos of two j-plums, Superior and Ozark Premier, that are more horizontal than vertical. They also don’t have any fruit developing on them thanks to a 28 degree night on April 24. I’m supposed to be in a zone 6a area but the topography, altitude and surprise late frosts put me in a zone 5 state of mind.

Applefan, how do you like the Ozark Premier plum? I’ve long considered it an underappreciated J. plum. Its’ meaty texture and huge size make it a stand out.

I definitely prefer it to the misnamed Superior. I just wish it blossomed late enough for me to get some fruit from it.