Thinning Plums and Pluots?

Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CAMarch 27, 2013

Hello Everyone -

Emerald Drop and Burgundy Plum.....Crazy little little little fruits and hundreds of them. At what point do I start to thin? Do I wait until they are the size of a pea to insure fruit set or just start flicking off random spent flowers?

Trees are in their 3rd year.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I have very little drop after pea size or even somewhat before. So that's a good time to start. I try to get going before the leaves get too thick but on Emerald drop in particular that's difficult. To me it and Flavor Grenade are about the worst to thin.

I thin at least three times and still end up with too much fruit. As the fruit gets bigger more seems to show up.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

As the fruit gets bigger more seems to show up.

I think you have the same orchard gremlins that I do, sticking those fruits I pulled off back on the tree :-)

With the trees that way overset it is difficult to get them thinned enough.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:31PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The problem thinning plums and pluot is there is very little visual contrast between leaves and fruit. And I'm lousy at thinning by feel. So sometimes I'm down laying on the ground looking up in the canopy.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

Tedious work...these fruit trees ;).....but so worth it. Hey I think those orchard gremlins are nation wide. lol

Just can't believe the amount of flowers on Emerald drop wow. I put in a flavor grenade this January so now I will have twice the fun.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:05PM
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alan haigh

My brother lives in Norco. I've been trying to convince him to plant fruit trees for years but now you make me realize that he'd never put up with the tedium of thinning. Too bad, if he had an orchard I'd have a lot more incentive to visit him. I'm not that crazy about horses.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:12AM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

Shame your brother doesn't have the bug ....the fruit bug that is :). Norco is a great place to grow fruit trees (Well so far anyways....knock on wood).

On a side note....How could you not love this face. :P

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:48PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Puggylover,

What's your chill like in Norco? I get sparse bloom on my emerald drop in mission viejo, 9 linear miles from the coast.

Then again, it is only a 4th year tree. When did your's start producing big time?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 2:35AM
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john_in_sc

On thinning early....

Remember that the smaller the fruit is - the fewer buckets of thinned fruit you will have to deal with, and the less work it is to get the tree to let go....

I understand why the commercial orchards do chemical thinning... It's way easier to do than manually pulling off 3,000 little fruit per tree...

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:49AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"I understand why the commercial orchards do chemical thinning... It's way easier to do than manually pulling off 3,000 little fruit per tree... "

John,

It's common for apple orchardists to chemical thin, but as far as I know there is no proven chemical agent to thin stone fruits.

I'm with you though, manually thinning is a heck of a chore.

As a side note, if done early there isn't really a need to thin in a bucket or pick up the thinned fruit. As long as it's small, the fruitlets decompose pretty fast. Fruit extension specialists don't recommend picking up thinned fruit until after the pit hardening stage, so if you thin before then you can just let it fall.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

ahajmano-

Tree is in it's 3rd season. Last year it maybe set a dozen fruits. This year it just exploded and is setting more than it is dropping. Crazy amount of thinning...ugh! It slowly kept blooming the whole month of March, it was not all at once. So the fruit varies in size. Haven't been growing fruit trees that long to know if this is the norm or not.

Chill for me was 325 (193 Utah) according to the link that was given by a fellow gardenweber. It seemed that chilling started later around end of December/January. I remember thinking that if this "summer" weather doesn't stop I'm not gonna have any fruit gosh darn it! Good news is everything is setting wonderfully with the exception of my Katy apricot. Only 2 flowers - no fruit (2nd year). I did have to strip this tree of it's leaves because it just would not drop them. Could the later chill hours be the culprit?

Jennifer

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

Here is the second pic. Sure wish I could load the at once :/

Jennifer

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Nice pics Jennifer.They can be loaded all at once,by exporting to something like Photobucket and then right clicking on the html code part of the photo's description and pasting directly below your text here at Gardenweb.It helps to open two browsers up,to go back and forth quicker for multiple pictures. Brady

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:36PM
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