Plum Tree loosing baby plums (picture of tree)

mrscoffieldApril 21, 2013

I've got a Santa Rosa plum that I've been hoping to get a few plums off of someday. We planted it 4 years ago. This year we had tons of blooms and finally lots of tiny babies. A lot of the babies on the bottom are turning yellow and appear to be dying. I've been searching the web for the cause or problem but cannot find anything.
I did find some black aphid looking bugs on them a month or so ago and sprayed them off with water.

Near the top of the tree there are some green ones that are developing nicely, just not sure what's happening to the bottom area.

Thanks so much for any help!

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ltilton

They weren't pollinated.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:53PM
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mrscoffield

Okay, is that normal to loose that many? Is because they bloom so early in the season?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Mrsc,

Do you have other plum trees that bloom the same time for pollinatiion? If not then you need to plan another variety that blooms the same time as the Santa Rosa.

Tony

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:45PM
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melikeeatplants

I think Santa Rosa is self fertile. Blessing in disguise for you as you won't have to thin as much...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 11:04PM
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ltilton

It's not so much that there are that many aborts but that there aren't any green ones visible. Even a self-fertile tree will do better with a pollinator.

Do you have bees?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Santa Rosa loves to drop in my climate. I didn't get any fruits until year 5, they all dropped like that. I had bees and pollinators galore. Now it fruits well but its 10 years old. In California and other more plum-friendly climates it usually fruits earlier and more reliably. So depending on where you live this could be a factor.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:59PM
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mrscoffield

Thanks so much for all the info. We do have a red flowering plum in the front yard, about 40 feet away and there are some bee attracting flowers growing below the plum. I am located in southern california so I'm hoping a few years out we will have less of this. I'm so eager for fruit, we had a santa rosa growing up and they were wonderful fresh and my mom would can them too in light syrup, yum!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:51PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

In California Santa Rosa sets so heavily that hand thinning was a royal pain. I restored to shaking the tree to knock off most of the fruit. After that it was hand thinning to open up the clusters. This was with plenty of other plums nearby and good bee activity.

Since she's zone 9 she must be in CA.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:51PM
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rayrose(8)

I also agree that you need a pollinator very close to it.
I have an AU Rubrum right next to mine. They both bloom at the same time, and I get tons of plums on both of them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:32PM
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