Spring 2024 - end of seasonWe have finished taking orders for this season.
Orange Pippin Trees USA logoSpecialist fruit trees for your orchard or back-yard

Methley plum tree

Prunus salicina 'Methley'

  • Picking season: Early
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 1

Methley is a popular early-season Japanese-style plum with a light purple skin and dark red flesh.

Methley japanese plums for sale

You can pre-order for spring 2025

  • Full-size 1-year bare-root tree $37.95
    Mature height: 16ft-24ft after 10 years
    Myrobalan rootstock
    Out of stock

How to grow

Methley is self-fertile and easy to grow provided you have a warm sheltered situation, and is a good introduction to growing Japanese-style plums.

Methley is potentially a heavy cropper. However, it flowers very early (well before European varieties) and this can put the blossom at risk from frosts or bad weather. For this reason it is best grown in a sheltered location with a warm south-facing aspect. The blossom is more abundant than with European varieties, and this adds some ornamental interest.

Methley is a low-chill variety, and can therefore be grown in climates where temperatures rarely get down to freezing in the winter.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Although generally considered a Japanese-style plum, Methley is actually a hybrid of Prunus salicina (the Japanese plum) and Prunus cerasifera (the cherry plum). It was introduced to the USA in the 1920s from South Africa.

Methley characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Pollination group1
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Picking seasonEarly
  • UsesEating fresh
  • Keeping (of fruit)1 week
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)Zone 5 (-29C)
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Chill requirementLow-chill
  • Country of originSouth Africa
  • Period of origin1900 - 1949
  • Flesh colourDark red
  • Fruit colorPurple - light