Damsons

Damsons were first cultivated in Damascus and were brought to Britain by the Romans.

Damsons are oval in shape and have smooth yellow-green flesh with dark blue to purple skins. The fruit is acidic making it ideal for use in jams or jellies. Another good use for the damson is for making damson gin, where, because of the sweetness of the fruit less sugar is needed compared to making sloe gin. Damson 'Merryweather' is a nice dual-purpose variety which can be cooked or eaten straight from the tree.

Damsons are early flowering so they require protection from frost. Damsons are quite happy grown in a hedge although they are best grown in a sunny position with some protection from morning sun to prevent fruits from splitting. Grow in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to slightly acidic soils.


Rootstocks

Rootstocks in order of their vigour are outlined below: -

Pixy - Dwarf. An ideal rootstock for the smaller garden. It needs to be grown in fertile and weed-free soil. It will reach a height of 2.4-3m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within 3 years. Use for dwarf bushes, dwarf pyramids, and small fans.

St. Julian A - Semi-Vigorous. A good rootstock for most soils. Trees grown on this rootstock will reach a height of 3-3.5m. Trees grown on this rootstock will bear fruit within 4-5 years. Use for bushes, half-standards, and fans.


Varieties

Damsons are available as bare-root one-year-maidens from November to March. Trained forms of Damsons are available in 12 litre pots all-year-round.


Damson 'Blue Violet'

Dessert/Cooker. Dark blue-black fruits which have an attractive bloom. The flesh is sweet making an ideal dessert damson of plum quality. Its season of use is mid-August. (Kendal 1932) Flowering Group 3. Self Fertile

Bare Root Trees

One Year Maiden VVA-1 £27.00 each


Damson 'Farleigh'

Cooker. Small, roundish oval fruits which have very dark, almost black skin with a light blue bloom. The greenish yellow flesh which has some streaks of red when ripe is rich with a good flavour. An immense bearer. Its season of use is mid-September. (Kent 1820) Flowering Group 3. Self Fertile

Bare Root Trees

Two Year 1/2 Standard SJA £31.25 each


Damson 'King of the Damsons'

Cooker. Large fruit which has black-blue bloom. A reliable cropper. Its season of use is mid-September. (Nottinghamshire 1880) Flowering Group 2. Self Fertile

Bare Root Trees

One Year Maiden SJA £22.75 each - Available to order for collection within 10 days


Damson 'Langley Bullace'

Cooker. Small oval fruit which has bluish black skin with a good bloom. Its season of use is mid-October. (Veitch 1902) Flowering Group 3. Self Fertile


Damson 'Merryweather'

Dessert/Cooker. Very large round fruits which have a hyacinth blue skin with a heavy bloom of lighter blue. The greenish yellow flesh is rather firm with a definite damson flavour. Reliable heavy crops. Its season of use is late September. (Nottingham 1907) Flowering Group 3. Self Fertile

Containerised Trees

Two Year Bush SJA £38.50 each

Three Year 1/2 Standard SJA £40.75 each

Bare Root Trees

One Year Maiden WAVIT £27.00 each - Available to order for collection within 10 days

One Year Maiden SJA £22.75 each - Available to order for collection within 10 days

One Year Maiden Brompton £22.75 each - Available to order for collection within 10 days


Damson 'Shropshire Prune'

Damson 'Shropshire Prune'

Cooker. The 'Greengage of Damsons'. Oval to oblong fruits which have a very deep purple skin carrying a dense bloom which easily rubs off. The flesh is firm, sugary, astringent, and the choicest flavour of all damsons. Too astringent to eat fresh from the tree but excellent for cooking, preserving, and bottling. Its season of use is mid-September. (Shropshire 17th Century) Flowering Group 3. Self Fertile

Containerised Trees

Two Year Bush Pixy £40.75 each

Two Year Bush VVA-1 £40.75 each

Two Year Bush SJA £38.50 each

Three Year 1/2 Standard SJA £40.75 each

Bare Root Trees

One Year Maiden VVA-1 £27.00 each

One Year Maiden WAVIT £27.00 each - Available to order for collection within 10 days

One Year Maiden SJA £22.75 each

One Year Maiden Brompton £22.75 each - Available to order for collection within 10 days

Two Year Bush SJA £27.75 each