It is amazing that from such a little bud such good sized trees can be produced. In the palm of the hand is the bud, a Damson, and part of a stem known as a chip bud that will be attached to the side of a compatible rootstock, in this case plum rootstock St Julien A but there are others.

Budding in AugustThe bud is sealed over with tape to prevent drying out and ensure callousing. This is all done in August. It cannot be done much earlier and doing it later will result in failure, so no summer holidays for us!

Sweet Damson on Nursery

The results are amazing. A year later, given success which is usually high, tall trees will have grown from a single tiny bud! In this case the trees are Damsons, Sweet Damson in fact. (Damsons are not usually sweet but this one is!) Many trees are up to head height already and still growing.

Damsons are shrubby trees with lots of branching. To make a nice damson tree remove a lot of the lower side branching & reduce the main stem to about 1.2m / 4′ to encourage branching at a nice height above ground level. Shorten any retained branches. Do this after planting at the end of the winter.