How much sun for "Krauter's Vesuvius" plum?

dwpc(8a - N Arizona)March 25, 2013

We're at 4500 ft elev. and have a lot of native pinon pine and juniper in the 20-30 ft range. I'd like to plant a few Krauter's Vesuvius flowering plums for color and spring bloom, but I don't have any places with more than 4 hours of full sun because of the larger conifers. Is this enough sunlight? Does elevation affect sunlight requirements?

The garden books say KV grows to 18-20 ft. Some websites say 10 ft. I'd like to know if keeping the KV to about 12 ft would be practical.

This post was edited by dwpc on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 0:41

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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you have any Prunus diseases there the shading might make one of these worse. 12' tall is too short for a purple-leaved cherry plum cultivar such as this, on suitable sites these grow much taller.

Unless you want to manage yours as pollards or shear them into formal shapes.

Possibly your climate is too cold for this, it was selected in California and during the 1990 winter here various purple-leaved cherry plums developed large areas of dead branches that still show to this day (damage to these and other trees was seen that year it got to below 10F in much of the metropolitan area; outlying sites would have been colder).

'Newport' is more spreading and picturesque, was selected in Minnesota, Nevertheless, a 12' cutoff is a bit low for this also. One common here that also has a nice habit, would tend to be more in keeping with the 12' objective is 'Spencer Hollywood'. Nurseries pretty much always call this 'Hollywood', even though that was a different, taller introduction.

Don't know how 'Spencer' would grow there, it was selected in western Oregon but I've seen it listed elsewhere. It does fruit in the manner of an orchard cultivar, breakage is possible without thinning and if you have bears there perhaps those would take an interest and climb into the trees - I don't know how these react to plums.

If you have deer there new tree plantings may have to be protected.

Another, shorter one you might want to check out is Prunus x cistena 'Big Cis'.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 1:16PM
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dwpc(8a - N Arizona)

The nursery says KV is OK for this climate; its one of their staples. We rarely get colder than the low 20's. We have limited choices here; not many nurseries. Mostly fruiting trees. Deer aren't a problem; there are plenty around but they stay away from the populated areas. Lots of javelinas but they don't seem to bother trees. My big concern is adequacy of direct sunlight.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 1:55PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you rarely get below the 20's then you probably are not in USDA 7, which AVERAGES 0-10F. At any rate, when planting trees and other specimens you want to last you have to plan for your lowest temperatures, otherwise you may lose them at some point. The 1990 winter here was the coldest one in 30 years. In 7 years it will have been 30 years since it happened, yet affected trees still show obvious damage.

If you can't find anything interesting at local outlets then you will have to buy in from outside the area. This has been the case for a long time, especially for people living in rural areas. Perhaps the biggest selection of outdoor plants in the country is offered by forestfarm, Williams, OR. A helpful thing about their web site is that it often shows photos of the actual stock at the nursery.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 5:26PM
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