Damson trees are a close relative of both the sloe and the cultivated Plum. However the Damson tree has a unique character all itís own. Damson trees are ideal trees for the garden and very hardy. Most varieties of Damson tree are self fertile and easily grown. Dwarf Damson trees are also available for the patio pot or smaller garden. These Damson trees are grafted onto Pixy stock, Damsons that grow on average only 8í in height. But you can also grow traditionally sized Damson trees, on the St Julian A stock. These will make around 12í in height.
It is worth remembering that Damson trees are closer jointed and more compact than Plums. A Damson tree is highly unlikely to outgrow itís welcome. Damson trees require less pruning than other members of the Plum family. A Damson tree is highly coveted by those in the know. Once you have tasted the fruits from a Damson tree you would never want to have a garden without at least one of its own Damson trees.
Damsons have a very tart, strong flavour. A Damson tree will provide a lot of fruit that is just perfect for pies, jams and jellies. Damson Trees ripen late, often from late August through September. Damsons also freeze very well. One of the simplest ways to ensure the fruits from your Damson tree is to simply lightly simmer the Damsons in water & sugar and serve with custard!
Varieties of Damson tree
There are two main varieties of Damson tree. Shropshire Damson tree [also known as Prune Damson] has lots of smaller fruits and is very intensely flavoured. The Merryweather Damson produces larger, fewer fruits and the flavour is a little milder. Both these varieties are self fertile. Johns Market Garden Damson trees also come in other varieties too which you might like to consider. Blue Violet is a newer Damson tree introduction that is well worth a look.