No Plums This Year....

We have a Santa Rosa plum tree in our backyard that has always given a bumper crop of fat, juicy plums. This year, there's only like 3 on the whole tree. I've done nothing different than usual regarding pruning, fertilizing, etc.
Anybody have similar problems, or even heard of it? What could cause this?
I'm in Marin county, CA
Thanks
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Dave Adams wrote:

Did the tree have a full load of flowers this spring? I'm wondering if the problem was a lack of flower buds or a problem that prevented fruit set after a normal flowering. My plum trees have few flowers this year (mine are in bloom right now). I live where it almost always goes to 30 below zero or colder in the winter. Obviously I have to choose varieties carefully if I even expect the trees to live. After a harder that normal winter I often get no crop at all. I don't know how much cold a Santa Rosa plum can take but we know it's a lot more tender than what I grow. Can we rule out a colder than normal winter in Marin county damaging the flower buds? (I'm guessing that we can.)
Steve
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I live in Zone 5 in the Midwest and my European Plum has an abundance of fruit. My sources say that Santa Rosa needs 300 hours of chilling, is partially self-fertile, and is normally very productive. I have had a few seasons when my plum tree did not do very much, and it was hard to determine the exact causes. The Santa Rosa does do better with another one nearby, for pollination. Did you notice enough bees around to pollinate the blossoms. I sometimes do hand pollination with a Q-tip if I don't see any bees around. Hope your tree does better next year.
Sherwin D.
Dave Adams wrote:

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Same with my apricot tree (SoCal here). It had a zillion blooms, and had planned to have a zillion fruits, same as always -- but there was a hard freeze right after it had set all the tiny baby fruits, and they all died and fell off.
Normally this tree is any-weather-tolerant, but going from 90F to 20F in one day was just too much.
Same thing happened with my mini peach tree this year. So no fruit from either of them. :(
~REZ~
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Some more info.... The tree had LOTS of blooms on it, as usual. I figured it would be a nice crop. The winter here wasn't particularly harsh. A bit more rain than usual, and maybe a bit warmer than usual as a result. We did have some late rains, which I suppose could have knocked the blossoms off.
I just never would have thought I could go from hundreds of plums to only 3 in one year. :-(
On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 22:08:33 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Rez) wrote:

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Plum trees tend to give fruits in waves. one year a bumper crop, than a lean year. has been that way for years. Yoy cant do anything about that. Its called nature. Better luck next year or the tree next door. ( they seem to do always better ;-) )

bumper
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I disagree with some of Ad's comments. Plum trees do not naturally give fruit in waves. What happens to all fruit trees is that they have a tendency to go biennial in production. This can be the result of allowing the tree to overproduce fruit in any given year. The tree then takes the next year off, and the year following that will give another bumper crop. Allowing this cycle to continue will eventually condition the tree to that behavior. My European Stanley Plum has been a consistent producer, except for one year when it's production was negligible. The tree seemed to be having other problems at that time, but it recovered the following year. I would not be too concerned unless your tree gives you the same problem, next year.
In Dave's case, weather may have been a factor. An extremely cold night during blossoming time could have killed them. In any case, I would not be too concerned, for the reasons given above.
Sherwin D.
Ad Meijer wrote:

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