[NAFEX] Asian/American plums
William C. Garthright
billg at inebraska.com
Sun Nov 16 12:50:02 EST 2008
> Regarding Asian/American hybrid plums, like the recently discussed 'Superior': I've read that pollination can be problematic with these. Specifically, some say they pollinate each other, while others say that they can only be pollinated by wild plums, and that the people who think their hybrid plums are pollinating each other are being fooled by a wild plum nearby, that's really the one doing the pollinating.
I've heard that, too, but I wonder about it. Of course, my plums are
very young, and this is the first year I've had fruit (partly because
everything froze last year). But I've got four Asian/American plums
planted together, and no wild plums in the immediate vicinity (of
course, they're common in Nebraska, so they're probably in the
It seemed to me that I had few bees this spring. Even my solitary bees,
in nesting straws nearby, didn't do very well. So it's hard to imagine
that there'd be a huge amount of pollination from a distance. My
Superior plum was a mass of blossoms and set on a huge amount of fruit
(far too much for the little tree, so I had to thin it greatly). The
Alderman - planted just 18" away - was also a mass of blossoms, but set
on very little fruit. The Toka and the Waneta - though a year older than
the others - had few blossoms and almost no fruit. Why the difference? I
don't know. But I doubt very much that it had anything to do with
pollination from any distant wild plum.
Note: I've heard that Toka is a good pollinator, which is one reason I
planted it. As I say, it had few blooms this year, but there WERE some
blossoms while the other plums were also blooming.
FYI, I also had lots of blossoms on three young pluots (planted 8'
apart, on the other side of my yard). I've heard that these are very shy
bearers, and I didn't see any bees around them at all. I ended up with
two or three pluots, is all (and only one of those made it to maturity).
We'll see what happens in future years.
I don't know if any of this info is of value. It's just one year in one
location, after all. Just thought I'd mention it.
Lincoln, NE (zone 5)
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