Do you get many plums?

keepitlow(6)July 13, 2013

My Santa Rosa and Shiro plum are loaded. But between the birds and squirrels I get little or no plums to eat. The Santa Rosa never even gets near picking size.

I only have 2 trees. Maybe about 9 feet each. If I had a dozen plum trees things my be different. How do you do with your plums?

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Net your trees.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:03PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Bag the fruit? Shoot the squirrels... trap the squirrels...birds are a pain. Think about putting water out for them...they may just be looking for h20...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:18PM
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alan haigh

I get tons of plums, but there are battles you must win to get to the harvest line.

Squirrels are easier to protect than peaches and pears from squirrels because they don't like unripe plums and you are right, if you have lots and lots they may not eat them all.

But then there are the raccoons who have an amazing appetite for ripe plums.

Netting is one possible solution, as suggested- guaranteed to work for birds, but squirrels will sometimes chew through nets, and I've had coons tear up nets to get to trapped fruit at bottom.

I train trees with at least 4' of straight trunk before first branches and staples 3' of roofing coil starting at least a foot from the ground around the trunk making the staples scarce enough not to create a kind of ladder for squirrels. Vent pipe also works.

Only netting can stop determined birds but they seem less attracted to yellow and green fruit if it is far enough away from red. At one site with a bid bird problem I got away with only netting a red plum that was standing next to the yellow fleshed Shiro. They'd taken all the Shiros for two straight years along with the reds but just netting the red worked last year to protect both trees.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 7:15AM
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Yes coons are an issue around here too. I forgot about them. And deer pull down the low lying branches that they can reach on their hind legs. The animals around here eat pretty well at my house.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:29AM
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alan haigh

I meant to write, plums are easier to protect from squirrels.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:42AM
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My Beauty plums are just starting to ripen. There was one on a low hanging branch yesterday that I wanted to give another day. I suspected something would get it first, but there are plenty more. Went out this morn, surprised to find it still there and ripe to pick. With a plum curculio starting to feed on it!

Last year, in the drought, the birds pecked all the plums to death, red and yellow both. I got none.

As for the squirrels, which bred huge litters this spring, none have been around for over a week, since the fledgling hawks starting their training flights. Go hawks!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:41AM
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