Have posted in the past about two :"classic" variety fruit trees r+- 3-4 years old, planted same time. Blenheim Apricot doing well, Santa Rosa plum not. Lots of suckers which I remove -- Apricot has none --little and tired foliage.
NOTE that in the past I had same two trees, same two varieties; yielded for years like gang busters till they had to be "retired".
Even factoring in global warming; even gnashing teeth over TWO recent heat waves never before experienced at this season in my [censored] years in So.Calif coastal...
...with all this, I'm still thunderstruck to behold the "ailing" plum BLOSSOMING, when it's supposed to be shedding leaves (like its companion apricot), in prep. for "winter"!
Now I don't know whether to fertilize it or not!
Will post pic later today.
Do not fertilize the trees now. All stone fruits require a winter rest.
Feeding now will encourage new growth and interfere with that rest
period. It's bad enough that the 2013-2014 winter was exceptionally
warm, which prevented sufficient rest even for stone fruits specially
hybridized for mild-winter climates. If this winter is equally warm, a
number of deciduous trees across southern California might start dying.
The plum might be blossoming in response to stress. Many woody plants
and herbacious perennials will bloom out of season to propagate their
species when stressed. In your case, the plum might even die without
I am very concerned about my 'Santa Barbara' peach tree. It requires
about 300 hours of winter chill (hours of temperatures at or below 45F
from the beginning of November to the end of March). Living somewhat
inland with the Santa Monica Mountains between me and Malibu, the
average winter chill in my garden was been over 350 hours over the 12
years from the winter of 2001-2002 through the winter of 2012-2013. The
winter of 2013-2014, however, provided less than 130 hours. I got only
three peaches this year, and the tree was quite late in leafing out.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
Many years ago, I heard of someone who was trying to grow somethign in
an area where it supposedly wouldn't grow because it didn't get enough
winter chilling. The solution for that gardener was to fill large
plastic ice cream tubs with water once frozen to turn the ice outonto
I can't for the life of me now remember who the story involved, where
they lived or what they were trying to grow but the memory of the
routine has stuck with me. Sounds labour intensive to me and I have no
idea if it would work of not. I'd have thought the chill would have
been needed around the foliage area, but who knows. Anyone?
I wanted to grow peonies after seeing them at Longwood Garden
(Pennsylvania) and Winterthur (Delaware). A local nursery told me that
the necessary chill has to be applied to the branches and growth buds.
He suggested a wire mesh cylinder about 2 feet wider and taller than the
shrub. I should place the cylinder over the shrub at the end of October
and keep it filled with ice cubes until I remove it in March. n
Apparently, winter chill has to be felt by the entire plant, not merely
So I have citrus, rosemary, eugenia, camellias, bearded iris, and other
plants that tolerate my mild-winter climate. No, I cannot grow Dutch
tulips; but lady tulips (Tulipa clausiana) have naturalized in my
garden. I also have various narcissus, freesias, lilies of the Nile,
and grape hyacinths (Muscari).
I have not seen snow in my area in over 15 years. In the 41 years I
have lived in my current house, I saw snow here only three times. When
we did get it, it all melted after only an hour or two. I do get more
winter chill than Hypatia Nachshon or Higgs Boson although they are
within 40 miles of where I live, but killing frosts are extremely rare
even in my area.
Born, raised, and married in the city of Los Angeles and now living a
5-minute walk outside of Los Angeles County, I did not see snow fall out
of the sky until I was 34 years old, on a business trip to Philadelphia.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
On Friday, October 10, 2014 8:00:47 AM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:
David, that sounds like a whole ****load of ice cubes! Did't it make you a big electricity bill? Straight question.
I had the "advantage" of growing up in NE Pennsylvania where we most certainly had snow! As kids, we bellyflopped on our sleds on the street right in front of the house.
Then at university in Chicago, let me tell you about winter!!! I worked part time at the Faculty Club. I'd wash my hair in the morning, walk to work, and arrive with a head full of icicles. Thought nothing of it at the time...
Ah, Memory Lane!
On Thursday, October 9, 2014 10:06:03 PM UTC-7, Fran Farmer wrote:
I've heard that one too. Now you've got me wondering whether it IS for the
roots or the foliage. Sigh! One more thing to look up...
Speaking of winter chill, after many decades of yearning to plant blueberri
es, I learned some years ago that theew have beee developed several varieti
es that can manage with the winter "chill" available here. I rushed to bu
y several varieties, but after a season or two, they resigned. Could be my
mismanagement (never!!); could be many factors. I just don't have the tim
e to try again, so will have to buy them in season at farmers mkts or co-op
All those efforts of growers to develop blueberries requiring less winter
chill may be moot now, with the effects of global warming crashing down on
On Thursday, October 9, 2014 5:45:40 PM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:
Right; I was thinking along the same lines about "stress". Like all living
things, the tree's first imperative is to procreate. Analogy: Soldiers
going off to war, not sure if they will return, impregnating their partner
to ensure passing on their genes.
It's AWFUL how rapidly GC is altering our gardening AND our lives.
I am truly sorry about the peach tree & can only hope it will pull through.
One can measure change by small things over last few years. Creeps up on o
ne almost imperceptibly. Never did bring out certain "winter" clothes. Ne
ver did use bath pillow for rare hot baths in the depths of "winter". Etc.
Did you read that leader of [very small country] ? which is about to be eng
ulfed by rising ocean, has already bought space in [higher country] to move
population. Anybody remember which?
I've not heard of that but Kiribati (pronounced Kiribus) would be a very
likely candidate. If it's not Kiribati, then it could be the Maldives
which is very low or any number number of Pacific nations.
On Thu, 9 Oct 2014 13:14:19 -0700 (PDT), Hypatia Nachshon
years old, planted same time. Blenheim Apricot doing well, Santa Rosa
plum not. Lots of suckers which I remove -- Apricot has none --little
and tired foliage.
for years like gang busters till they had to be "retired".
heat waves never before experienced at this season in my [censored] years
in So.Calif coastal...
BLOSSOMING, when it's supposed to be shedding leaves (like its companion
apricot), in prep. for "winter"!
All of the pitt fruit trees that i know of require some number of hours
under 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) to set fruit properly. different
varieties have different requirements, some as little as 200 hours to as
much as 750 hours that i have seen. I suspect this may be (at least part
of) what is bothering your trees.
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