Planting bareroot plum tree today! What are my chances?

meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevationMay 14, 2014

I ordered from the clearance Henry Field's sale, being so pleased last year with the little potted Carmine Jewel and the bareroot Goldcot apricot. The Goldcot did wonderfully bareroot, and the CJ did great, too.

So my French Petite plum arrived today, and I planted it right away. Our temps have been around 88, but we'll get cooler this week. Do I have a chance of having this tree do well planting this late? Any tips?

This spot doesn't get the same hours of sun as most of my other trees, so it probably won't completely fry in the open field (baking full sun all the time), but I'm still worried about it acclimating. The poor thing won't get much spring to get used to our hot summers!

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jimmy21

im curious about this as well. I have 2 trees that are in transplant shock with wilted leaves and no new growth. I also have a potted tree that i brought home and most of the dirt dumped out of the pot and i repotted it. It is also in shock

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:16AM
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alan haigh

If the trees are well stored they have been kept dormant by refrigeration and should come out of dormancy late but otherwise in normal health. There is plenty of season left for trees to grow and store energy. The hard part, I think, will be getting any crop from a Euro plum in North Carolina judging from posts I've read here.

As far as the tree with loose potting soil, that is like moving a tree that has been healed in and then moved well after the point the tree leafs out. I've done that many times and the tree should recover from the shock, I think, but won't grow much this season. It does depend on a lot of factors, though, such as how hot is is after transplanting and humidity. When I've done this, trees have only been leafed out 3-4 weeks.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 5:34AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Thank you, harvestman! Is it too hot here for them? I'd love to be able to make prunes :( Well, it's not far from my almond, which is a clear experiment, lol. It's not taking any room that another tree would need, so I'll just go with tips and best practices and see what happens.

If it needs less humidity, maybe I should put it farther out in the field (very dry because of wind and heat)? If it's the heat, then no to that, because that positively bakes. I plant in hardware cloth cages because of voles, so it would not disturb the roots to move it now.

(I do water these fine, btw, even though I call that area a 'field'. My BIG backyard has its own microclimates.)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:32AM
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alan haigh

It's not the heat, it's the humidity and pests that come with it. If you are up in the hills, I suppose your odds are better but I'm no expert on your growing conditions and pest complex. These things are very regionally specific, but if you don't find locally grown euro plums at farm markets in your area you can bet they are extremely difficult to grow there.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:24AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I'm also in the NC Piedmont (Lake Norman), and I received a late shipment of bare root bushes and trees from Burnt Ridge a couple of weeks ago. Like you, I was worried about how they'd cope with planting this late, but they've done very well so far -- much better, in fact, than I expected. I wish you luck with the plum, though. Like harvestman said, our climate makes it hard to grow them. I removed two Japanese plums this spring. Canker disease, plum curculio, oriental fruit moths, and brown rot made them a serious trial to grow, and I finally had enough. It's my understanding that European plums are even harder to grow here, so you might be in for a challenge.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:35AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

Just curious...which Japanese plums did you remove?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:39PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Thanks for the responses!

I'm literally in the foothills (Piedmont, really!). I'm at a higher altitude than most of the big cities in the Piedmont, but I'm not in the real mountains by a long stretch, so it's not colder here like it is in the mountains. They make great southern-French style wine here :)

I think I will move the European out to the drier-air spot. I read an old post by you, harvestman, that said they prefer full-full sun anyway for flavor.

The bugs and fungus are just a given, still, but that should help. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:43PM
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