Plum Pollination Groups

By David Marks
The majority of plum trees sold today are self-fertile however a few are not and the table below lists details of the most popular plum tree varieties.

Even self-fertile plum trees will produce more fruit if a different variety which flowers at the same time is nearby.

Plum trees are pollinated by insects, bees being the most common. If fruit production is a problem it could be that insufficient bees are present for pollination or high winds are preventing them from reaching the flowers

Pollination groups for plums are normally referred to as B to D and we have used this classification because it is the one used by most nurseries. Occasionally numerical groups are used although this is rarer. We have included damsons, bullace and greengages as well as plums for completeness because they can all fertilise each other if in the correct group.

There are four pollination groups as far as plum trees are concerned, B, C, D and E. Because plum trees flower at very similar times irrespective of their variety, a plum tree in a group can be successfully pollinated by another variety in its own group or in a group above or below it. So for example, a plum tree in group D can be pollinated by a plum tree variety in C, D or E.

Variety Pollination
Avalon 2 Partially
Belle de Louvain 3 Yes
Blue Tit 4 Yes
Cambridge Gage 3 Partially
Coe’s Golden Drop * 2 No
Czar 3 Yes
Denniston’s Superb 2 Yes
Excalibur 2 No
Farleigh Damson 3 Yes
Herman 2 Yes
Jefferson * 2 No
King Damson 2 Yes
Langley Bullace 3 Yes
Marjorie’s Seedling 3 Partially
Merryweather 3 Yes
Mirabelle Golden Sphere 1 Partially
Mirabelle Ruby 1 Partially
Old Greengage 3 No
Opal 3 Yes
Oullins Golden Gage 4 Partially
Reine Claude de Bavay 3 Yes
Rivers Early Prolific 2 Partially
Sanctus Hubertus 2 No
Shropshire Prune 3 Yes
Victoria 3 Yes
Warwickshire Drooper 2 Yes
Yellow Pershore 2 Yes

* Not suitable with Jefferson and vice versa