Tiny plums falling off treesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have three plum trees in the orchard. The small oval kind of plums. Every year I loose 2/3 or more that fall to the ground when they are tiny and green. Now, the trees are so laden that it hasn't mattered much in the past, but last year I dried some, and had such a great response that I want to do a bunch more this year. Any ideas? it is really windy here, would they just be blowing off? They couldn't be very heavy as they are hardly an inch long. The ground is blanketed with them, make me sad to think of all that waste.
-- Marci B (email@example.com), June 17, 2000
Have never raised plums - have done peaches. We thin the fruit before it gets too big, so the branches aren't damaged by the weight of the mature fruit. Can it be that your plums are thinning themselves? Do you prune the trees at all, during the winter/early spring? Do you do any spaying? I'll see what I can find here at home for info, then post again.
-- Judi in CT (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 17, 2000.
Yep, thinning themselves! If you were to go out before the drop and thin them so you have plums spaced out, so as mature fruit they won't touch, even on a windy day, your tree would stop self thinning. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh (email@example.com), June 17, 2000.
In researching the answer, I found that there could be several factors causing the fruit drop. One possibility might be frost injury to the young fruit. Or plum curculio (insect), or perhaps a virus disease. Are the fruit wormy? Weather - here in CT, we've had spring weather in January, November weather in May, 90 degrees one day and 38 the next, rain, rain and MORE RAIN... Perhaps some investigation on your part will yield some clues, and a call the local AG/Ext service will help as well, since they have experience in your particular locale.
Good Luck, and let us know how it turns out. Judi
-- Judi (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 19, 2000.
I have the exact same problem on my plum trees. A significant amount is falling off. I bought this place in June 1999 and came in at the tail end of the plums. The peaches and apples are OK, but I am concerned that this isn't normal and was wondering the same thing. I'm located in Maryland (zone 7).
-- Derrick Comfort (email@example.com), June 20, 2000.
They are thinning themselves. The ones that are left, will be bigger and better than if they all remained on the tree. Our plum tree does this every year, and we get LOTS of big delicious plums from the ones that stay on the tree. If the tree didn't self thin, you'd have to go to the extreme labor of thinning them all yourself, if you wanted to get decent fruit!
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 22, 2000.