Interesting facts about plum trees

Updated April 17, 2017

The plum tree, Prunus cerasifera, is a deciduous tree and the bark of the tree is a reddish brown. One common name for the purple plum tree is the thundercloud plum tree, according to the University of Florida. Plum trees are extremely popular because of their fruit and beautiful colour.


Purple plum trees are native to Asia. They grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 through 8A, according to the University of Florida.


Plum trees have a moderate-to-rapid growth rate, according to North Carolina State University. Plums attract birds and other mammals such as squirrels. These trees have an upright spreading habit and the flowers of plums trees range from white to pink.


Plum trees grow to a height between 15 and 25 feet, while the width of the tree can reach the same dimensions. The plums can grow up to 1 inch in diameter. The leaves of the purple plum tree can grow to a length between 1.5 and 2 inches. The leaves have a pointed tip and a bright green colour.


Purple plum trees grow best in full sunlight. Soil should be well-drained and slightly acidic. These trees have moderate drought tolerance and moderate tolerance for aerosol salt, according to the University of Florida.

Time Frame

Plum trees typically bloom in early spring. Plum trees can live about 20 years, but the decline of the tree starts between the 10th and 15th year.


Some of the diseases that purple plum trees can experience include canker, root rot, wood rot, black knot, winter injury, bacterial spot, twig blight, leaf curl and verticulum wilt. Some of the common insects that affect the purple plum tree include the peach tree borer, aphids and the eastern tent caterpillar, according to the University of Illinois. This tree typically does poorly against borers in poor compacted soil. These trees have little to any invasive potential, meaning they will never grow out of control.

Quick Fact

This tree is popular because of its unusual leaf colour, according to the University of Florida. These trees have a vibrant purple colour.

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About the Author

Laurence Girard has been writing professionally since 2006. Girard is currently a pre-med student at the Harvard University Extension School.