Manor Cherry-Plum - Zone 2
Characteristics of the tree
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Manor cherry-plum produces a small fruit, about 2.5-3cm in diameter; that is very distinctive both in appearance and taste. It is perfectly round with dark purple skin, almost black when completely ripe, and dark, red-purple flesh. It is often rated as among the best of the cherry plums, along with Opata and Kappa. The skin is thin and tender with a mild taste, and the flesh is almost freestone; tender and juicy with a very nice sweet flavour, and only a slight astringency. Some people prefer to pick and eat it a little earlier, when it is firmer and more astringent, but most prefer it when it is completely ripe and almost black in colour. It serves well for a variety of purposes, being very agreeable for fresh eating, but also very good for jam and for canning.
The Manor cherry-plum grows as a rather low bush with a spreading and somewhat weeping growth habit, reaching about 1.5 metres in height and spreading to a similar width. It is hardy to zone 2, very productive and quick to fruit – you should generally have fruit within the first two years. Its flowers in spring are truly a thing of beauty! It is self-sterile, and will require either a Canada plum (Prunus nigra) or another cherry-plum such as ‘Opata’ in order to set fruit (preferably the latter). If you have a western sandcherry at home, this may also work as a pollinator. Note that American plum trees or their hybrids will not pollinate a cherry-plum.
‘Manor’ is an interspecies cross between western sandcherry, (Prunus besseyi) and the Japanese plum (Prunus salicina). It was introduced by the Mordern Research Station in Manitoba, in 1945.