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
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
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.)
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
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.
Dave Adams wrote:
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. :(
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, email@example.com (Rez) wrote:
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 ;-) )
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.
Ad Meijer wrote:
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