Purple Leaf Plum Trees (Prunus cerasifera) are small to medium-sized trees that do well in and around the southwest. The most interesting thing about these trees is the brilliant showy bright pink flowers they produce during the early spring. It is one of the first trees to bloom in early spring. Here is more information on Early Blooming Trees and Plants.
They are also called the Cherry plum tree and they grow to about a medium-sized deciduous tree. About 15 ft. tall and about 20-25 ft. wide. This makes them a good tree to use for a smaller landscape area.
Where to place this tree?
It is slow to a moderate growing tree. It loves full sun but can tolerate some shade especially the morning sun. Plant 2-3 in the front of your home for a fantastic show of color in early spring. The blooms last about 2 weeks sometimes longer. The blooms will disappear and new shiny dark purple foliage will appear.
Problems with this tree. It does attract the Borer’s mainly the Emerald Ash Borer. The female will lay its eggs in the bark this larvae will turn into an adult female borer. The larvae will first turn into a worm and it will chew into the bark and into the tree. Eventually exiting out and leaving a small “D” shaped hole. You can read more about this borer over at Wikipedia.
Smaller younger trees produce leaves that are thin and delicate. Harsh strong winds during the windy season will damage the foliage however once the tree is mature this not noticeable.
The purple leaf plum is a non-bearing plum tree. However, if there are fruiting plum trees nearby it will get pollinated and start to bear fruit. This fruit is not really edible but some folks do use these plums to make jam.
It is not a drought-tolerant tree so watering often during its first 2-3 years of initial planting is advised. Almost daily during the hot mid-summer seasons. Make sure you have well-composted soil when planting. Learn how to “Plant a tree properly“.
Other varieties of this tree
The Krauter Vesuvius Purple Leaf Plum is another variety of this tree. With dark purple foliage and spectacular bloom and less likely to produce fruit. You can view pictures and more information over at Monrovia.com
Planting Zones. USDA 4-9
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