Satsuma Plum tree

Mister_DetailJuly 28, 2014

I really want to plant a Japanese "Satsuma Plum" tree but was told recently by a nursery in California that I would be wasting my time as the tree would not survive the winter. Is this true?

I live in what I believe to be hardiness Zone 6
(S.E. Pennsylvania)

On another side bar note, I was told that I will need to plant another pollinator tree nearby, like a "Beauty" or "Santa Rosa" plum tree.
I then heard about grafting some branches from another tree like one of those pollinators I just mentioned. Is this possible?

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nyRockFarmer(5A Southern Tier, NY)

Well, at least they didn't try to sell you something that is totally inappropriate for your zone. That is more typical of retailers.

Satsuma is cold hardy enough for your location and yes you need a second variety of Japanese plum for pollination. You probably want to checkout Adams County Nursery since they are near you.

I bought a 3-n-1 Japanese-American from local farm supply store about 8 years ago. It came from a NY nursery, but I can't remember which one. One graft died in the following winter due to damage from an inch of ice buildup during a rare ice storm. Now I have just Satsuma and Shiro on one tree and they have been thriving in zone 5A with no problems. No signs of damage after the -18F temps earlier this year.

This post was edited by nyRockFarmer on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 14:35

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Mister_Detail

Thank you so much, "nyRockFarmer", you made my day.
At least you have told me that it can thrive in my zone 6.

I wonder if it would be a good idea at all to somehow wrap a young tree with burlap or somehting else in preparation for winter?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:02PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Mister,

I have had a Satsuma in my zone 5 orchard for at least 5 years. It has survived -20 at the very least. I don't have exact weather details but I am pretty sure we got to -24 since I planted the tree. It is certainly winter hardy enough.

Thats said, it is an early bloomer and I have only had a couple of plums. My new strategy will be to cover to protect from frost. I brought the tree down quite a bit this spring so covering it should be easier.

No need for you to winter protect, but spring protection would be in order.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:24PM
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alan haigh

I grow Satsuma here in southeastern NY in a relatively cold spot and it is at least as hardy as Santa Rosa, probably hardier. The nursery doesn't really know what it's talking about. Yes, Adam's County Nursery carries it but they've closed down their website until later in the season. Van Well nursery also carries it on the west coast.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Mister_Detail

Milehighgirl,

When you stated "My new strategy will be to cover to protect from frost", what exactly will you be doing?

Are you throwing some gigantic blanket or tarp over the whole tree? if the tree is say 12 feet high, that might be hard to cover easily. Just trying to learn and not being funny.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:29AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Satsuma survived 45+ days below 0F and 3 nites around -22F to -24F...it even flowered (although didn't set fruit)...

it will survive.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:53AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I'm actually going to cover several rows of trees. I was fortunate to have found a greenhouse that was replacing it's plastic and I got quite a bit. From what Fruitnut says, I may also need a heat source.

My rows are only 7 feet apart so the tallest I should have my trees is 6 feet. It's a challenge to keep peaches that short but plums grow more slowly.

Make no mistake, I'm still learning. My goal is to have trellised trees that can easily be covered. I have very little pruning experience.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:15AM
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fireduck(10a)

mile makes some good points here. Early bloomers like Satsuma makes things dicey in cold weather areas. That being said...I planted a Satsuma in honor of my father. That should tell you how much I like this plum.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:16AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I'm actually going to cover several rows of trees. I was fortunate to have found a greenhouse that was replacing it's plastic and I got quite a bit. From what Fruitnut says, I may also need a heat source.

My rows are only 7 feet apart so the tallest I should have my trees is 6 feet. It's a challenge to keep peaches that short but plums grow more slowly.

Make no mistake, I'm still learning. My goal is to have trellised trees that can easily be covered. I have very little pruning experience.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:16AM
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Mister_Detail

fireduck,
Agreed! I only get to buy some of these plums in the next few weeks in August. They are sooo sweet and juicy. Immade freezer jam out of several punds I bought last summer to get me thru the winter months.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:15AM
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Mister_Detail

So does anyone have a pollinator tree suggestion for the Satsuma? (i.e. Beauty, Santa Rosa)

or maybe I can buy a Satsuma with grafting already on the tree.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:20AM
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campv

Mister can't say enough good things about the Satsuma. Planted one @ every house we ever owned. N. Idaho, S. Cal to Arizona etc. We now have a small Santa Rosa just for the pollination.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:01PM
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alan haigh

Plant a variety that bears at a different time- Methely, Shiro and Ruby Queen are all potential varieties for the purpose that are carried by Adams.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:40PM
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Mister_Detail

One last question. When you plant your polinator tree, does it have to be a certain distance away from the Satsuma?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:11AM
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