I wouldn't pick them until they are ripe. I don't know about plums, but
peaches receive 90 percent of their sweetness and flavor in the last five
days of their ripening process.
Maybe you could hang some sugar water in the trees in plastic jugs cut to
allow the bugs access. They will try to get into the jugs and drown. You
will have to change the water regularly.
The longer you leave them on the tree, the sweeter they become. Timing is
critical, so if you leave them too long, they get spongy. You can pick them
a little early, if bugs are a problem. Leaving them at room temperature will
improve their flavor (mostly by eliminating the unripe taste, but not
the sweetness). Don't refrigerate them until after they have rippened.
Not sure what variety of plum you have, but I would wait at least until they
red all over. They may still be partially unripe. Check that they are not
but pick before they turn spongy. Of course, tasting a few is always a good
Depending on the variety, there are no fixed criterias, but you will develop
own criterea from experience. You should also address the bug problem.
the bug and take preventative measures. Are these bugs wasps? If so, wasp
I will say one thing. Prunus species do not tolerate improper pruning.
Small mistakes make big problems for the trees. Improper pruning greatly
reduces living parenchyma cells which store carbohydrates in the form of
starch. This starch is converted to glucose for defense and many other
features. This is greatly reduced by flush cuts and stems left long.
For more on pruning:
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
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