Spring is right around the corner and with that comes the beautiful bloom of some of our favorite plants and trees here in the Valley. One noteworthy item that is expected to bloom quite early this season is the Purple Leaf Plum tree. This tree is known for its fragrant pink/purple flowers and its shrub-like shape that it takes on during bloom. It is also known as being one of the first trees to start blooming in the early Spring, with an estimated start date around the end of January for Arizona communities.
The Purple Leaf Plum tree is a great option for communities not only because of its ornamental nature and the beauty it supplies but also because it is relatively low maintenance and heat tolerant. This tree can withstand both heat and drought, common here in the Arizona desert, and thrives when there is ample sunlight. In fact, large amounts of sunlight are what makes this tree produce the beautiful pink, purple, and white flowers that it is known for.
Maintenance that can be expected for this tree species involves pruning on an annual basis and additional pruning when necessary, water and feeding practices as needed, and cleanup of fruit and leaf drop. Though this tree is beautiful with the leaves on it, this species is notorious for having quite a bit of leaf drop and should not be planted near busy walkways or sites where there is heavy foot traffic.
The Purple Leaf Plum tree is a small to mid-size tree that has a rounded growth pattern, similar to that of a shrub. Typically, its blossoms produce leaves that are 1-3 inches long and it can yield round fruit that ripens in late Summer. These trees do not always bear fruit and are typically chosen for their ornamental flowers rather than for their fruit, as fruit can attract unwanted mites and flies. These trees will need annual pruning to control flowering/fruit growth and achieve desired shape.
Keep an eye out for the bloom of the Purple Leaf Plum trees as they are sure to be the start to other bloom happening in plant species throughout your landscape!
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