Plum blossom
Plum blossom, photo by HeungSoon on Pixabay

Plum and greengage trees have the same pollination necessities as described for apple tree pollination, though things are made slightly easier by the fact that there are more self-fertile varieties. If you plant a self-fertile plum, it will produce fruit without a pollination partner. If you plant a partially self-fertile plum, it will produce some fruit most years, but it will be more successful with a pollinator. If it is self-sterile, it definitely needs a pollinator to set a crop.

Plums, greengages and damsons are all Prunus domestica trees, and therefore they can all cross-fertilize, as long as they are compatible in terms of flowering time. You can use the table below to determine pollination compatibility.

Plum, greengage and damson varieties are subdivided into five groups, A, B, C, D, E, according to their flowering time. A tree will cross-pollinate with trees in its own group, and the groups on either side. For example, for a tree in group C, a pollinator can be in groups B, C or D. Things are made easier by the fact that most plums, greengages and damsons are in groups B and C.

Plum, gage & damson pollination chart

Avalon Plum Dual-purpose Partially self-fertile B
Belle de Louvain Plum Dessert Partially self-fertile C
Cambridge Gage  Greengage Dessert Self-sterile C
Coe’s Golden Drop  Greengage Dessert Self-sterile B
Czar Plum Cooking Self-fertile C
Denniston’s Superb Plum Dessert Self-fertile B
Early Laxton Plum Dessert Partially self-fertile C
Early Transparent Gage Greengage Dessert Self-fertile C
Excalibur Plum Dessert Self-sterile B
Farleigh Damson Damson Cooking Self-fertile D
Giant Prune Plum Cooking Self-fertile C
Herman Plum Dessert Self-fertile B
Jubilee Plum Dessert Self-fertile C
Kirkes Blue Plum Dessert Self-sterile C
Marjorie’s Seedling Plum Dual-purpose Partially self-fertile E
Merryweather Damson Damson Cooking Self-fertile C
Mirabelle de Nancy Plum Dual-purpose Self-fertile C
Old Green Gage Greengage Dessert Self-sterile D
Opal Plum Dessert Partially self-fertile C
Oullins Golden Gage Greengage Dual-purpose Self-fertile D
President Plum Dessert Self-sterile C
Purple Pershore Plum Cooking Self-fertile C
Rivers Early Prolific Plum Cooking Self-fertile B
Shropshire Prune Damson Cooking Self-fertile C
Swan Plum Dual-purpose Self-sterile C
Victoria Plum Dual-purpose Self-fertile C

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