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Glad that there is hope for me. I got a two year old damson tree last year - and nothing happened. This year - nothing happened. Sure I got plenty of leaves but no blossom. Same with my golden gage and my standard dessert plum. (As you may gather I have a very new orchard). My apples and pears are fine and producing a few fruit. Even my cherries (one of them produced a (yes A) fruit (but it did drop off, lol). But your story has enforced one thing. If you are a gardener - don't be in a rush. Thanks for this blog.
Our damson tree has always had fruit, but we are always beaten to them just before they are ripe enough by the birds. This year we had a bumper crop and the birds didn't seem to be interested, unless they had pecked their way through so many they were full. We made delicious jam and did swaps for honey with our daughter as she keeps bees, so a fair exchange this year.
I too have had a bumper crop of plums this year even though my neighbour chopped half the tree mid summer! Last year lost the whole crop to a swarm of fruit flies or something! I got there first this time. Also managed to get some large storage jars from Asda for £1 each and had a go at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe (in his River Cottage Handbook No 2) for plum jam with a twist of orange, cinnamon and a bit of stem ginger ... absolutely gorgeous. Planning to make these jars gifts for family and friends. I find it so satisfying being able to grow and eat your own.
I was lucky enough to be given Damsons from a friend they also had a glut of the fruits. the jam that I have made I am entering into the local Horti show this Saturday wish me luck!!!!!


We have been picking damsons from my Mothers tree which must be 40 years old. The lower branches alone have yielded approx 35 lbs and we havnt used a ladder yet! Help!
We Have a very old damson orchard. My grandparents never pruned them, but last year they had leaned over so much that I pruned some trees in the winter. Those two trees have died this year. I have read somewhere that damson trees should be pruned whilst green but I don't know if this is true, but it seems to be true, judging by what I did last winter ?
I have today just made 12 jars of Strawberry jam,I am thrilled to see all the jams you are making.Can anybody advise what sort of shelf life there will be?Thank you very much.
We are thinking of buying a damson tree as we love the fruit. However, being pensioners, we wonder how long before we might have a crop to pick and if it is a practical idea. If we buy a two-year old when might we expect to see fruit?
Its been four years since we planted our damson tree and not one damson have we seen yet. The green guage produced four plums which fell of before they were ripe. The Bramley apple tree has reasonable number of apples, the coxs has only three, with only one growing to a reasonable size whereas the old apple tree (no idea what type) this year only has two apples, and the pear tree has nothing. Not a good year for us despite the promise of all the blossoms in spring. Ah, well there's always next year!
Good to hear all the recipe suggestions! Good luck Kay with your show, well by now I gues it should be 'hope it went well' ! Yes damsons and other stone fruit should really only be pruned whilst in very active growth, clasically June, July and August. And don't panic about the wait, we have had a copuple of pretty bad years for stone fruits recently which may well have explained some of the wait....and there was also a mjor ravaging by the resident deer!!
Funny how things happen. I was fishing 2 weeks ago in Old Woking where I live. There was a large tree behind me almost bent double with the amount of fruit on it. (It was the only one there after having a look around the place). I did not know what the fruit was, so picked a few and took them down the local where someone was able to tell me it was a damson fruit. They were so sweet and juicy to say the least. One punter told me he makes gin out of them! I am hoping to return again this weekend to get a few more, but am planning on keeping the stones and try and grow a few trees to give to friends. Now to do some research and find out the best soil to plant them in etc.
I entered my Damson jam into the Horticultrul show last Saturday and won first prize for stoned jam, won several catagories also in the same show, really glad I entered now also came away with 2 silver cups to display for the next year and 14 certificates.
It's been a mad year for fruit of all kinds, bumper crops. In our first year we have, despite poor germination, had a fantastic crop of supersized Butternuts and 50 pumpkins...(fuelled by some of Silchesters finest manure)


damson trees - a friend has a mature tree and wants to know how to prune it and when. also what to improve the soil, she lives ontop of an old railway line so its lots of gravel. last year the damson crop was wonderful, this year they are quite small. your comments would be greatly appreciated.
a friend has a mature damson, but she lives on top of a railway line and gets a stiff sea breeze. (i bbqd for her recently and my tumbler of wine had waves on it!). she had a good crop last year but this year they are small. so can you please let me know how and when to prune it and the receipe for your slow gin, im allergic to gin so it will have to be vodka. thanks katrina
Recently we moved into our vicarage, built on the grounds of the orchard for the old vicarage, hence have a garden full of old fruit trees including apples, quince, cherry and plums. The damason trees have been fantastic this year, but one of these tree had larger fruit than the rest, when making jam (a kind parishener did this) the jam from this one tree was lighter, tasted different and stones were different, someone else has suggested it's a 'dams eve' tree - I've never heard of it, is there such a thing?
we planted a greengage and a damson tree in November 2008. Both did well until about two weeks ago when the green buds of the damson failed to open. The rest of the tree seems healthy but the buds are drying out and turning brpwn. Meanwhile, the greengage is covered in blossom. Has anyone any idea what the problem might be? They are both in a fairly sheltered walled garden.
I am helping to maintain a plum tree which I am quite concerned about. It has been a bit negleted, so it is pretty tall 15ft?? ,the variety is Victoria. I began to prune old wood, crossing branches out etc in June but it still could do with more. But I am unsure what to do without damaging the current fruit or reducing the crop next year. Also alot of the fruit appears to have brownish gum oozing out of them and they are falling unripened. Please could you help me?