Ume- The Japanese Plum

Japanese-plum-treeMany of you may have heard of Ume (the japanese plum) or have had the pleasure of tasting it in some form in Japanese cuisine. For those of you that have not it is definitely a must try and good for you at that. A question that many people ask after trying it, especially those that are garden inclined is, “How do I grow my own plum tree?” Although the Japanese plum tree does fair better in certain climates, for those of you that live where it will thrive don’t be intimidated to try and grow and maintain your own.  With the help of a tree expert at Tempe Tree Care , we have not only the proper measures to take to ensure its abundant growth and maintenance, but also a little bit of history and info on the tree for all!

The Japanese Plum Tree Facts & Care

  • The Japanese plum tree originated in China and was first introduced to the United States in 1870
  • The general season for the plum tree is Spring through Fall
  • They need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day
  • Need nutrient rich soil as to make sure they absorb enough water and nutrients to thrive
  • They tend to grow to about 10-30 feet & planting another lum tree withing in close range as to allow growth of each will also help with pollination of the trees & an abundance of fruit
  • Major pruning of the tree should be done during dormant seasons and must be pruned lightly during growth seasons
  • Broken, dead or rotting  branches must be removed immediately
  • Tree should be checked for ragged or torn sites as to prevent diseaseume-tree-blossoms from inhibiting the tree
  • If the climate is too moist it will create fungus based infections in the tree
  • Should you try your hand at growing a plum tree make sure your maintenance and care routine for the tree is based around your climate to make sure you are providing the best and most proper growing conditions for the tree
  • The tree has beautiful blossoms and they are celebrated in japan each year upon blooming.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Japanese plum or Ume is in Umeboshi, which is basically a pickled version of the plum, but oh so tasty. You can find Umeboshi at most Asian stores, however if you are growing your one plums why not try your hand at making your own.  It does not require a lot of ingrediants but may take a little time and prep. The ingredients you will need are as follows:

  • Shochu- a distilled alcohol type drink used for the brine/pickling
  • Umeboshi-japanUme Plums whivh are best used in Spring
  • Red Shiso Leaves
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Pickling jars

If you do not live in the climate to grwo your own tree it is defintely advised that you purchae Ume and Umeboahi at any Asian store and give it a try.  Its great for you and so delicious!