What's with my Italian Plum?

kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)June 12, 2012

I live in the Pacific NW, and have a beautiful, healthy-looking Italian Plum tree that I planted about 5 years ago. It puts out lots of blossoms each year, but it hardly ever produces any plums: last year I got 6 plums, this year it looks like there is one! I have 4 other fruit trees nearby that were planted about the same time -- combo and single species -- and they are all well-loaded with fruit. Can anyone suggest what might be going on?

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Is it getting too much fertilizer? It looks like it has 2 feet of new growth or more already and it is only June.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 2:23AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

An inspired guess...but I actually don't fertilize any of my fruit trees. The odd thing is that there are three other plum trees within a ten foot radius of this one that are putting out fruit, and all are planted in similar soil and have similar sun exposures.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 3:00AM
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alan haigh

You didn't mention what nearby loaded fruit trees are. Are any of them European plums providing cross pollination? Self-fertility is relative and even varieties that are heralded is such are often marginally so.

I actually find Italian plums to be unreliable croppers here in southeastern NY, even when surrounded by compatible pollinators. Some sites get moderate production but on my own property I've one that has never given me a decent crop. I just keep it to help pollinate a Valor that I originally planted in the same hole.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 5:53AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

My Italian plum tree took six years for a decent crop. I've found the Italian plum takes the longest to mature.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Hi Kudzu! I've had my Italian plum for four years now and only this year has it set about 30 plums. I have my fingers crossed they won't drop. Love the plum though. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:21PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

The other plum tree varieties in my yard that are loaded with fruit are European: Stanley, Yellow Egg, Seneca, Victoria, and Early Laxton.

theaceofspades and MrsG47- I'll try to be optimistic that the Italian plum is just starting to mature and next year will be different!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:35PM
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I've learned, slowly but surely that all of my fruit trees take TIME, and spray. It will all work out!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:19PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Ive read that Italian plums take many years to set fruit. Plus they need like 800 chill hours.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:13AM
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Same here. Italian plum was transplanted three years ago, and I only have a few plums despite prolific blooming, meanwhile the Japanese plums planted at the same time are doing much better. All look healthy though with strong growth.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:40PM
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