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Plumless Plum Tree


 
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BNaughton
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 18 Aug 2006
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Location: Galway City

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Plumless Plum Tree Reply with quote

I am looking for a solution to why my well-developed plum tree about 20 years old is failing to produce a crop of plums even though it is a self-pollinating Victoria and it is covered with a blanket of blossoms every Spring. This year I can only see two plums on it ! I apply some potassium sulphate from time to time as I understand this helps the fruiting process but the result was no different. I have sprayed it occasionally with an insecticide but this does not help either. I know plum trees are susceptible to silver leaf disease but I don't know what this looks like or what the symptoms are. All I know is that each year the leaves are riddled with tiny pin holes which suggests some bug or other is attacking it but I am at a loss to know how to deal with it. Otherwise the tree looks quite healthy. The tree is of course fully grown by this stage about 30 feet tall. I was always led to believe plum trees did not need much care or maintenance so I'm a bit mystified as to what's wrong. I would appreciate any information as to how the problem might be solved as I would dearly love to see a good crop on it sometime. Otherwise I will be out of a nice plum job !! Many thanks.
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:41 pm    Post subject: Plumless Plum Tree, possible causes and solutions in Ireland Reply with quote

All those years and no plums, BNaughton. Wink

I have a sneaking suspicion that your plum tree may not be self fertile as labelled.
It may be a traditional Victoria plum without the self pollination.
I may have a solution to this but first let me give you a few "plum" tips.

Your plum requires regular water, especially after flowering while fruit is forming.
The fruit of the plum tree contains a lot of water, this must come from somewhere.

Ensure the tree has a clean base, no grass or weeds for at least a metre from the stem.
Mulch the base of the tree each March with compost or well rotted farm yard manure.
This will keep the weeds down, conserve moisture and feed the tree.

Although plum trees like some potassium sulphate, they also like quite a bit of nitrogen.
So each April apply a balanced granular fruit tree fertiliser to beneath the plants dripline.




Looking for Fruit tree feed in Ireland, then you should be able to source some here...... Fruit feed

Looking for Fruit tree feed in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, or Australia, then you should be able to source some here......


On the disease front, you mentioned "silver leaf disease" in relation to plum trees.
Is the tree exibiting apparent silver leaves.
The pin holes you describe are probably "shot hole disease" of plums which is unsightly but of no major concern.
See this post on shot hole in laurels for more info http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23

Now back to the possibility that the tree may not actually be self-fertile.
There is one quick solution....
When your tree is about to flower next spring, go to your local garden centre and buy a plum tree which is also about to flower.
Plant this in the garden or grow in a large pot to ensure a plum pollination partner.

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Last edited by James Kilkelly on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BNaughton
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Plumless Plum Tree Reply with quote

Very many thanks, GPI, for taking the time and trouble to reply to my query. I will follow your advice to the letter. I do not believe silver leaf is the problem as there is no evidence of this. I have also had my suspicions for some time that the tree might not in fact be self-fertile. This does seem to be the only logical explanation. I will plant another tree next Spring and hopefully this will do the trick. I will also apply nitrogen and manure etc and surely after all this, the tree can't possibly let me down! I am already looking forward to a great crop next year and I am quite relieved that I may not, after all, be out of a plum job as I had feared Very Happy . Many thanks once again. Brendan.
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crosseyedsheep
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I planted some plum trees last spring and I did quite a bit of reading about pollination etc. One thing I did learn was that with plumbs, even though some are classed as self fertile they will do much better if cross polinated with another variety.

Here's a link to a pollination chart which is a useful guide. According to the chart any of the varieties on there are compatable, however it would be better to get one that blooms at exactly the same time. CPI tip:
Quote:
When your tree is about to flower next spring, go to your local garden centre and buy a plum tree which is also about to flower.


is very good. But make sure to get a different variety i.e. not another vicroria, there may be other varieties not listed on the chart I linked to aswell.


Last edited by crosseyedsheep on Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Plumless Plum Tree Reply with quote

Linky?
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crosseyedsheep
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Linky?


Question Question Question
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Plumless Plum Tree Reply with quote

Arrow Arrow "Here's a link to a pollination chart which is a useful guide"
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BNaughton
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:57 pm    Post subject: Plumless Plum Tree Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your very helpful and informative reply which I really appreciate and will put into operation in the Spring when the tree begins to flower.

Kind regards and best wishes,

Brendan.
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crosseyedsheep
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Here's a link to a pollination chart which is a useful guide"


Sorry CPI, I'm lost, doesn't the link work? Click on "Here's" in the above post?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: My bad. Reply with quote

crosseyedsheep wrote:
Quote:
"Here's a link to a pollination chart which is a useful guide"


Sorry CPI, I'm lost, doesn't the link work? Click on "Here's" in the above post?


Aha, I see it now...... http://www.raintreenursery.com/pollin_europlum.html

My apologies crosseyedsheep.
I guess I missed it due to the fact that I work from a laptop.
The laptop screen has a lower contrast setting than a standard CRT screen.
So the dark green link "Here's" looked like the normal black text to me.

But we learn from everthing, so I am going to work on getting the links changed from dark green to a different colour which will not be confused with the black text.
Thanks for that, crosseyedsheep

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crosseyedsheep
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, Gotcha, Great site by the way, hard to believe it's only been around less than 4 months. I was wondering though, could you add a web site development section for comments and suggestions for further development?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:59 pm    Post subject: site comments and suggestions Reply with quote

crosseyedsheep wrote:
Ok, Gotcha, Great site by the way, hard to believe it's only been around less than 4 months. I was wondering though, could you add a web site development section for comments and suggestions for further development?


Thanks, its the the members who will make the site in the end with their inforative content and great questions.

Yes a "site comments and suggestions" section is on my to-do list.
In the meantime, if you or any members have any site comments or suggestions then you can feel free to PM me or post them in "overall discussion".

_________________
Gardening books.

http://www.allotments.ie/ Ireland's allotments.
On Twitter... http://twitter.com/Allotments

Garden Consultation & Design.

Try my Garden Design home study course!
.
.
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