Plum question for Konrad

mrsg47(7)May 21, 2012

Hi Konrad! I was going through old threads on plums at you had a very long thread on plums with tons of photographs of them. All of the photos were beautiful! My question is, your trees are so productive and do not seem to have much protection. Do you spray them so you can reap so many? The branches were loaded with fruit. It did not look as if one bird took a bite! How do you do it? :) Mrs. G

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you Mrs. G
I think, overall your'e in a better position to grow plums.
The winters here are so unpredictable with such low temp. that flower buds get killed, especially on tender varieties, like Greengage and other European plums.
Then spring frost is another thing, when the stars all line up it might happen that one's in 3 to 5 years average to get a good mother load. Some of these picture with this many plums might only come one's in a lifetime. What happens also, branches die back and one has to graft constantly, not something I'll do forever, this plum thread shows, if you put your mind to it, it can be done.
I think what happens at fruit set,..after the tree rested for years, it has enough reserves that it can hold allot of fruits. The good thing here in the far north, we don't have to deal with the bugs and disease like most growers in warmer climates are facing, so I don't have to spry anything on fruit trees. Not much bird problems either.

With a milder winter then usual, all looks good again for another good year, plums are flowering now but we're still not out of the woods, the next 2 weeks are still crucial, frost can still knock these flowers off.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:27AM
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mrsg47(7)

Konrad that is amazing information to me and I thank you so much. The photographs of your plums are so beautiful, I naturally thought you had crops like that every year. I now have minimal fruit set on my Italian plums. I had over 100 blossoms and only 18 plums have really set. They are over a 1/4 of an inch long now. I'm just going to net the tree. I have waited so long, I really want them to hold and I don't want squirrels eating my plums! I now have an Italian Prune, two Mirabelle de Nancy, one Mirabelle de Metz and one Reine Claude de Bavay. Maybe once they all start blooming my pollination will be better. Thank you so much for your answer.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:41AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

That sounds nice! I wish I had a little more cold in my winters. Im barely squeaking by on chill hours for plums and peaches! My Italian will never fruit:-(

And konrad...Maybe with "global warming" you will start having monster sets with your plums from now on? But dont quote me and knock on wood for this years crop;-)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Sounds good,...good luck with your plums!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Mrs. G, those Euro plums just take a long time to fruit. Don't count on flowering to mean fruiting, I think the trees feel like they need a few "practice years" of flowering before they are ready to join the big leagues of the fruiting trees. My Purple Gage is on its 10th year, and it has yet to hold onto a single fruit. That is my most extreme tree, most of the others have at least a few fruits. Hardly any of my 10-year-old Euro plums have a large load. I pruned them too densely for several years so I am sure you will do better than I am doing, but patience is definitely needed!

Scott

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 8:54AM
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mrsg47(7)

I was so new to the sport of small orchards, I honestly had no idea, like many beginners in this sport, that TIME really is an issue. There is NO hurrying fruit. And you are so right blossoms do not mean fruit set. Weather plays the other most important role. Spraying, weeding and pruning become maintenance. My Harglow apricot has bloomed since year one (now 8 years later) has finally set 25 apricots that are currently the size of a quarter. This has never happened before. My Italian plums are growing daily as are my peaches and cherries. I really cannot complain, I have just read so much that my expectations were a bit too high. I am enjoying the process and the orchard journey enormously. When I asked for a pruning saw and expensive loppers for Christmas instead of a fancy brooch, my husband knew I was serious!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:00PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Hehe. Yeah when the Christmas list starts to look like a Home depot or OSH inventory list, something is wrong ;-) (So wrong but oh so right!)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 12:33AM
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