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Plum won't set fruit

Posted by tlwahl CO, 4-5 (My Page) on
Mon, May 7, 12 at 0:46

Several years ago I had an Italian plum (probably Stanley, but don't know for sure) that was self-fertile and produced good plum crops about 2 years in 5. Before moving I saved some seeds and managed to start a new tree from seed. Growing on its own root, this new tree is now about 10 years old and 6-7 ft tall. This year it bloomed profusely for the first time and appeared to set fruit. Small plums about 1 mm diameter were all over the tree. I watched these closely and after about a week (plums approaching 2 mm diam.) plums started dropping off. I think they are all gone now. I don't think they froze, but we did have one morning when we reached 32 for about an hour.

I'm wondering if my experiment in growing this tree from seed is a failure. Was the seed I planted able to produce a tree, but not one that can itself produce fruit? I'll give this tree another chance next year, but if it keeps doing this I'll eventually give up on it. I am going to plant a gage plum nearby this spring to serve as an additional pollinator.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Plum won't set fruit

This would be interesting on what you might have.
I wouldn't give up, light frost could do it, most likely a pollination issue.

RE: Plum won't set fruit

I wouldn't give up on it. E. plums are very mysterious about fruit set and some years flowers don't lead to fruit. I think it would be unlikely you've bred the fruitfulness out of the variety from a self fertilized seed.

However, a second variety might help. Self fruitfulness of plums is less reliable than cross pollinization with a compatible variety.

RE: Plum won't set fruit

Hi, I too have an Italian Plum, not a Stanley. This is the first year it has blossomed and I cannot find a picture on the internet of shuck-split Italian Plums. How long did it take your plums to get to 1mm in diameter. I can already tell, after petal drop that some of the stems are weaker and will fall off. I hope they all do not. I did read an article from a major university, stating that when European plum trees blossom for the first time, the chances of it dropping all fruit is very good. Sad but true. I feel your pain. Mrs. G

RE: Plum won't set fruit

I have a Purple Gage that is ten years old and still no fruit. I did mis-prune it for several years, but the tree is very late to bear genetically.


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