Ozark Premier Plum TreePrunus hybrid 'Ozark Premier'
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Prunus hybrid 'Ozark Premier'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Ozark Premier Plum Tree brings you something different – a dark red to purple skin with attractive pale yellow flesh that is sweet and juicy, with just a touch of tang. This mid-season variety ripens in the first weeks of July with a big crop of very large plums, and it is self-fertile, so you don’t need a second tree – ideal for smaller gardens. Attractive fragrant white blossoms smother the bare branches in March, as pretty as a picture – and picture that big crop coming in just a few years with this fast-growing variety. Plant it on a lawn as a small shade tree, or near your kitchen door for easy harvesting.
The Ozark Premier Plum Tree should be grown in full sun for the maximum growth and the heaviest crop. Plant it in any well-drained soil – it isn’t fussy and it will grow in alkaline, or sandy soils without trouble. Resistant to most serious diseases of plum trees, pests are rarely a problem and this vigorous tree needs just a little trimming in late winter – no complex pruning needed.
Plums come in many different types and colors, and when growing your own fruit you want plenty of variety and harvest times. If you love plums then the Ozark Premier Plum Tree gives you something delicious and different. It has light yellow flesh, rather than the usual red flesh of most plums, with a dark red to purple skin. The flavor is deliciously sweet with just enough tang to keep it interesting. Best of all for home growers it ripens later than many, giving you a harvest in the first half of July in most areas. With good resistance to many diseases it is easy to grow too and to top it off it is self-fertile, so if you just want one plum tree, or it’s all you have room for, this is the tree you want. Growing well across all cool and warm states, you can extend the harvest by picking some while not fully ripe, and ripening them indoors.
The Ozark Premier Plum Tree sure grows fast, and within a few years it becomes a small tree reaching up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide within a decade. It begins to crop within a year or two of planting, and it has attractive fragrant white flowers all along the bare branches in spring, blooming in late March in most areas. This variety is self-fertile, so it doesn’t need a second variety to give a good crop. This is great for smaller gardens, as you only need one plum tree to enjoy fresh fruit right outside the kitchen door. A second variety will possibly give a higher yield, but alone it still carries a heavy crop each year.
A mature tree will carry up to 100 pounds of plum when it is mature, and these are large plums, well over 2 inches long, with a beautiful red to red-purple skin. Bite into the tempting fruit and sweet juice will flow from the pale yellow flesh inside. This is a semi-freestone variety, so it is easy to remove the stone, making preparation for baking and jam making much easier.
Perfect for a lawn tree in a small garden, there is no reason why attractive fruit trees like this shouldn’t be part of our ornamental gardens. Grow it near the kitchen door, or at the back of shrub beds. It can be trained as an espalier on a tall fence, or planted in a screen of mixed shrubs and trees.
The Ozark Premier Plum Tree needs a minimum of 800 chilling hours a year, when temperatures are below 45 degrees. So only the coolest parts of zone 8 in the south and central parts of the country are suitable, or of course cooler zones. Zone 8 in the northwest has more chilling hours each winter, so it is completely suitable for this plum. It thrives everywhere in zones 5, 6 and 7.
Full sun is needed for good crops from the Ozark Premier Plum Tree. It grows well in any well-drained soil, and that includes alkaline and sandy soils, but not in places that are very dry for long periods. Add organic material when planting, and use it as a mulch to conserve water, control weed growth and feed your tree all at the same time.
This tree is resistant to several of the major diseases of plum trees, and pests are normally not serious problems. Some simple pruning in late winter or after harvesting your crop will maximize production. Trim back side branches longer than 12 inches to 6 inches long, and remove any over-crowded limbs. If you want the largest plums for eating, reduce the number in the largest clusters when they are still small and green. Water regularly between flowering and harvest, especially during dry spells.
In 1922 a plum variety called ‘Methley’ arrived in America from South Africa. It was a popular variety there, and it became popular in Texas too, but it wasn’t perfect. The fruit became soft quickly, and didn’t store well. It was also disease-prone, but for the times it was a good choice. ‘Methley’ is a cross between the myrobalan plum, Prunus cerasifera, from Europe, and the Japanese plum, Prunus salicina. The Japanese plum was already being grown in America, after being brought over by Luther Burbank, the famous fruit collector and breeder. One of the first plants he brought over was outstanding, and it became known as ‘Burbank’.
Last century breeding of plum trees was done by many different state institutions across the southern part of America, and in the 1930s and 1940s the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station was very active. They crossed together ‘Burbank’ and ‘Methley’, and created an improved variety they called ‘Ozark Premier’. It was released in 1946.
If you like a different plum, you will love the Ozark Premier Plum Tree. Its delicious yellow flesh is so sweet and yet tangy, and it gives such great crops without needing a pollinator it’s ideal for smaller gardens all through the cool and warmer parts of the country. Order now, because our stock of popular varieties like this one sells out so fast.