Recommended Pollinator for Satsuma Plum

nc_orchard(7a)March 19, 2011

I will be planting a Satsuma Plum based on the good reviews I've read on this forum for this variety in the Mid Atlantic region. However, I know I need a pollinator and can't decide on a variety. Most nurseries are recommending Santa Rosa. Would this be a good plum and a good Satsuma pollinator for the North Carolina area, or are there other recommendations.


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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Santa Rosa or Beauty here in California. Beauty may be more adaptable and do better for you in your area. You could check with Dave Wilson Nursery and ask for your area.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Wilson Nursery - Plums

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Most Japanese plums will be good pollinators. Santa Rosa is a good pollinator but it is stingy with fruiting in my climate so I would not recommend it in NC. Shiro is another reliable plum which is a good pollinator, or Superior.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:18PM
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I read somewhere that Methley would also work, Anyone know if that is true?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:35PM
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I am buying a Santa Rosa this week & a black fig.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:00AM
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Are all plum trees need pollinator. Yours does How come mine don't. The Nursery bearded guy told me it is self pollinating. Did he lie to me and why?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:50AM
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alan haigh

To the posted question, I've never had trouble with any J.plum pollinating another at many sites here in southeastern NY. Scott has had difficulty with Santa Rosa and I also used to believe it to be a shy bearer but I've found that on certain sites up here it does quite well. I don't know if Scott is speaking only of his experience or of other growers in his area as well. I would follow his advice if you don't have another local grower with contrasting experience.

Methely is an extremely reliable plum that should also work, but if you want good fruit from it, expect to spend a great deal of time thinning fruit. It won't have any overlap with Satsuma although I think SR might. Methely's much earlier than either plum and SR is earlier than Satsuma. I can't remember if SR is done when Sat comes in. Before planting Methely, find out if black knot is a big problem in your area- Methely is the ultimate black-knot sponge and becomes a typhoid Mary over time at many sites I manage.

Shiro is also extremely reliable, but I find it rather bland although others really like it a lot. In it's season Earli Majic is far superior to Shiro to me but I can't find a source for it besides Hilltop which requires a 100 tree purchase.

To F.P, never trust a guy from an all purpose nursery for your information- even if he has a beard. Some J. plums are partially self fertile but all are reputedly more reliable and heavier bearing with a suitable pollinator.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 7:30AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Plums are easily grafted and you can always graft a pollinizer or two into your tree. In my Satsuma I have both Santa Rosa and Elephant heart which gives me a good overlap of blooming. Al

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 9:00AM
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alan haigh

Here I find E. plums pretty challenging to do splice grafts. I get a very low percentage of takes and even when they grow they don't always seem to make strong unions.

I'm thinking J plums might be easier as I think aphids and leaf hoppers may be part of the problem with the Euros in that once grafts start growing other growth has hardened off on the tree so the suckers go right to the tiny tender leaves. Those sap suckers don't like J. plums much.

This is undoubtedly partially a regional issue. I've read here that grafts are more successful with stone fruit when performed before a stretch of warm weather which might be the norm back west. Your insect pressure is much less as well.

On the other hand, I might just suck at grafting. Apples and pears are easy.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:59AM
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The book "Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory" says:
"Upright tree is partially self-fruitful. Pollinate for improved production with such Japanese varieties such as Beauty, Shiro, Santa Rosa and Wickson."

I have Satsuma, Santa Rosa and Elephant Heart. Satsuma is far and away the most productive of the three for me. The other two are shy bearers at best.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 12:52PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

I agree with hoosierquilt Santa Rosa is light bearing. Beauty is also a favorite of mine on the east coast. It should be noted Satsuma is a mid season ripening plum and Beauty is early. Both very good plums.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 3:12PM
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