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Rivers' Early Prolific

Rivers' Early Prolific
  • Picking season: Early
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Flowering group: 2

An attractive English plum, sometimes known as Early Rivers, or, mistakenly, as a "river plum". Rivers' Early Prolific is, as the name suggests, an early and heavy-cropping plum. Rated by the Victorian fruit enthusiast Hogg as "a great bearer, and very hardy, rarely ever missing a crop".

It is dual-purpose, but arguably better for culinary purposes. (For dessert purposes, Opal is probably better).

Rivers' Early Prolific is easy to grow and crops reliably.

Prunus domestica

Rivers' Early Prolific plum trees for sale

  • 11-year maiden bare-root tree 24.45
    St. Julien rootstock
    Large size (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • 21-year maiden bare-root tree 24.45
    Brompton rootstock
    Full size size (4.5m-6m after 10 years)
    Out of stock


How to grow

It is a unusual for a plum tree in that it grows with a slightly "pendulous" habit - somewhat reminscent of an upright weeping willow. The trunk will eventually reach the normal proportions but the branches and twigs always stay disproportionately thin. Cropping potential is often greater than the branches can bear,so thinning of the fruit and/or branch supports may be necessary. Like some of its offspring (e.g. Czar) Rivers' Early Prolific can also tolerate shade.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, whilst Rivers's Early Prolific crops heavily, it is not a vigorous tree, and tends to be small or average size.



History

Rivers' Early Prolific was raised by the famous Thomas Rivers nursery in Hertfordshire, UK, in the 1830s. It was developed from an early-season French plum variety called Precoce de Tours.

It was grown commercially in the UK for a period, and has also been used to breed a number of other popular plum varieties, including Czar.



Rivers' Early Prolific characteristics

  • Using

    • Picking period (southern UK):mid-July
    • Picking season:Early
    • Cropping:Heavy
    • Keeping (of fruit):1-3 days
    • Food uses:Eating fresh, Culinary
  • Growing

    • Gardening skill:Suitable for beginners
    • Self-fertility:Self-fertile
    • Flowering group:2
    • Pollinating others:Average
    • Ploidy:Diploid
    • Vigour:Average vigour
    • Bearing regularity:Regular
  • Problems

    • Disease resistance:Average
  • Climate

    • Climate suitability:Temperate climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures:Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F), Warm (25C - 30C / 76F - 85F)
  • Identification

    • Country of origin:United Kingdom
    • Period of origin:1800 - 1849
    • Fruit colour:Blue - dark