How To Encourage Plums To Grow
Edward R. Forte
October 19, 2021
Do not fertilize young fruit trees until they have set a crop.Once established, fruit production requires regular fertilizing all year long.You can also mulch around the trees in the spring to help control weeds, but be sure to remove the mulch in the late fall so that no pests use it over the winter.To prevent winter injury: Consider a tree wrap or guard around the lower trunk, especially for a young plum tree.When to Prune.Prune in early spring or mid-summer to avoid infection.The best time for pruning is usually spring for young trees and mid-summer for established ones.Thinning is usually done about a month after blooming ends in the spring.In the early summer of the second year, cut back the branches in the middle of the tree to short stubs and prune any shoots developing below the three main branches.After the third year, remove any shoots in the center of the tree to keep its shape. .
How to Get a Plum Tree to Grow Plums
Take away about 20 percent of the last year's growth, leaving vigorous, upright branches with plenty of space between them for light penetration and air circulation.Plums tend to flower early, and a late spring frost can damage blossoms, causing them to drop before setting fruit.Utah State University Extension recommends watering twice weekly to a depth of 1 to 2 feet deep, which helps develop root depth better than watering daily.Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree in the late spring or early summer.Mulch slows evaporation of water from the soil and discourages weed growth.Place the bag around the fruit, close it and fasten it to the branch above with string or a twist tie.Planting two or more compatible plum tree varieties increases fruit production even in self-fertile cultivars. .
How do I encourage my plum tree to produce fruit?
This year it produced a lot of blossom but no fruit but it has gone into a growth spurt.Is there anything I could do to encourage it to produce fruit next year? .
Fruit Tree Pruning
Fruit Tree Pruning.In trees over 5 years old, the second phase begins, in which fruiting wood is maintained and renewed by thinning and heading fruiting and non-fruiting wood.Thinning cuts refer to the complete removal of branches and are applied to promote space for aeration, light penetration and fruit maturation.Apples produce fruiting spurs on wood 2 years and older that are productive for 6 to 10 years.You may also need to thin spurs.Apricots bear the bulk of their fruit on 2 year old wood.This wood will grow fruit spurs the second year and produce fruit the third year.Figs produce fruit on 1 year old wood and the upcoming season’s growth.They require little specialized pruning; head back to keep tree to manageable size and thin to keep aerated.Pears bear fruit on spurs on 3 to 10 year old wood.Pruning consists of thinning shoots to promote growth for next season’s crop and heading cuts to keep fruit within reach. .
Why Are There No Plums on My Tree?
Bees and other pollen collecting insects help cross pollinate plum tree varieties within 50 feet of one another.If plums form and begin to enlarge but then drop to the ground before they mature, it could be because the flowers were not pollinated.If the weather is rainy or cloudy or exceptionally windy for several days during the bloom period, bees will be less active, and this can diminish pollination and result in fewer plums.Japanese plums fruit will ripen in summer to produce a beautiful yellow pink flesh.Both types bloom in early spring and the plums produced ripen in summer.Both types are self-incompatible or partially self-incompatible; that is, their flowers require cross-pollination from a different variety for maximum fruit production.Plum trees require a specific duration of cooler temperatures in winter, (called chilling hours) before they will bloom the following spring.Chilling requirements are usually provided on the nursery’s label, and do not equate directly with USDA hardiness zones.Exceptionally high winds or drenching rains in spring can damage buds or flowers, causing them to fall off and not produce fruit.Unusually extreme cold or frost during or immediately before the blossoms open can cause them to wither and fall off.To protect from extreme cold, you will need to cover the tree with something more substantial (like a blanket) and include a heat source such as an electric light bulb.If you have a plum curculio infestation, eggs or larvae will be developing within fruit lying on the ground.If you had infested plum trees last year, cultivate the soil around them to destroy larvae that may be overwintering in the ground.This photo taken by the Missouri Botanical Gardens represents an up close and personal view of the devastating beetle that can wipe out a whole plum crop.If you have a severe infestation of plum curculio beetles you can apply carbaryl (Sevin ® spray), phosmet, malathion, pyrethrins, or the organic fungus Beauvaria bassiana.Delay application of any pesticide until after flower petals drop to avoid harming beneficial pollinating insects.Brown rot will cause the plums to become soft and shriveled, and eventually drop off the tree.Apply a copper based fungicide in early spring while the trees are still in their pink bud stage (before blossoms open) and again three weeks prior to plum harvest.Plum trees should get about an inch of water each week from rain or irrigation; otherwise they may drop blossoms and/or abort fruit.If rainfall is insufficient, water enough to soak several inches into the soil once a week.Bone meal is a great way to augment a plum tree’s supply of phosphorus.Cut out suckers that sprout from the base of the tree and watersprouts that shoot up from branches.Nitrogen fertilizer promotes leafy, vegetative growth and can diminish flowering if applied in excess.This plum should have been pruned in early summer to reduce the effects of alternate bearing.In black knot, abnormal growth on bark or wood near the twigs and branches swells to produce large cankers.Powdery mildew is a common disease among many fruit trees that will produce a white substance on infected leaves and branches.Makes a good fruit tree for the Midwest states as well with harsh winters. .
Do plums grow on new or old wood?
One may also ask, when should you prune a plum tree?Plums fruit on fruiting spurs and one year old laterals, so it's important to remove any old or dead wood that's cluttering the tree to encourage new growth.How many years before a plum tree produces fruit? .
How to Grow Your Own Juicy Plums
If you’re new to growing fruit trees and a little worried about their care needs, a plum might be the way to go.European plums are sweet and firm. .