Bruce Plum Tree (Prunus domestica ‘Bruce’)

Bruce Plum Tree

  • Early Season
  • Freestone Fruit
  • 500 Chill Hours
  • Rich Red Fruit Great for Fresh Eating or Jams
  • Pretty Spring Flowers
  • Disease Resistance
  • Compact Size Great for Urban Agriculture
  • Heavy Producer
  • Handles Heat and Low Frost Areas Like A Boss
  • Methley Plum¬†Pollination Partner

If you have hot, dry summers and occasional frost in low lying areas where you live, try the tasty Bruce Plum Tree (Prunus salicina x angustifolia ‘Bruce’). Introduced by A.L Bruce of Donley, Texas in 1921 this American hybrid has become one of the tastiest, hardiest and easy-to-grow plums available to the home grower today.

Bruce is a hybrid cross of the Abundance plum, a Japanese type cultivar (which was a Luther Burbank introduction in 1888), and the common American Chickasaw plum varieties of North America. The Bruce Plum tree gives you the best of both its parents.

Bruce Plum performs like a champ in the dry heat of the West, and higher humidity heat of the South. It can handle occasional frost in low lying areas without any problem.

First noted in Texas for its disease resistance, the Bruce gained in popularity throughout the country. It has really been a star in the home garden market.

One of its most prized qualities is its early ripening, especially in milder climates. This variety also is a heavy setting selection. It’s very rare you’ll have a year without a crop.

As you can imagine, Bruce is easy to grow and easy to love.

Particularly well suited for the Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Northern New Mexico regions, where hot dry summer climates favor early harvesting varieties.

Please note, Bruce is generally not self-fruitful. For the best fruit set, be sure to plant a Japanese type cultivar for cross-pollination. Methley Plum ripens a bit later than Bruce and is a good partner.

How to Grow Bruce Plum Fruit Trees

Bruce starts blooming in early spring with an abundance of beautiful, paper-white flowers. Around the start of June, the fruit has grown and is ready to pick and eat!

Bruce will give you especially large plums that feature rich red skin. Deep yellow/orange flesh has a sweet, mellow flavor. Together with the sweet-tart zip of the skin, the flavor is nicely balanced.

You can eat this delicious fruit straight from the tree. Or, use it in your favorite plum recipes. Jams, preserves, cobblers, you name it.

Bruce stays small, so it is great in urban orchards or even in big pots on a patio or balcony. In general, you can expect two or three bushels of plums from every Bruce Plum tree every summer fruiting season! Your neighbors will be wondering where you’re getting all of the fruit, since you’ll have an abundance to share.

Tell them you got them from your friend, Bruce.

Tips for Care

Give your Bruce Plum tree a spot in full sun. It prefers well-drained soil that has been amended with compost.

If poor drainage is suspected, elevate your planting 12 to 18 inches above the soil line by planting in a mound or raised bed. Mulch your tree to 3 to 4 inches deep to 3 feet outside of the canopy.

While young, give the tree an even amount of moderate water. Once it’s established in your soil, it is largely drought tolerant.

Keep Bruce pruned in a vase shape. Pick three main scaffold limbs to encourage a full, upright shape.

Thin out heavy crops by at least 50%. This will help increase the size of mature fruit.

Bruce is an easy care plum that is productive and disease resistant. Let it color your world with spring blossoms and flavor your world with an abundance of sweet fruit.

Bruce Plum Tree (Prunus domestica ‘Bruce’) Details

Common name Bruce Plum Tree
Botanical name Prunus domestica 'Bruce'
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time Early Season
Height 10 - 20 ft.
Width 12 - 15 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Deciduous