[nafex] La Crescent Plum

John Bunker jbunker at palermo.org
Wed Jan 30 09:58:52 EST 2002


Nafexers,

This email was recently sent me with the request that I post it.  If you
have thoughts you'd like to pass on to the author, her name and email
address appears at the end of the email.

John Bunker
Fedco


We planted a La Crescent plum (Korean plum x European plum?) in the summer
of 1988 and it survived the drought just fine and every year produces an
enormous crop of branches that we keep removing to keep it out of the
sidewalk and porches, but the few fruits that set turn brown and fall off.
We have tried grafting a few other things on the tree but they don't set
fruit.  We tried pollinating with a couple of Western bush cherries, which
set lots of fruit that turned brown or dark purple and fell of.  Our
Siberian apricots lose their lower fruits this way.  Michigan summers are
humid.

This summer we took the train to La Crosse WI and then biked to Seed
Savers' via La Crescent MN, fruit growing center for MN, which is located
high on a bluff west of the Mississipi, where it is usually dry (but they
had two years of heavy flooding).  The plum must be designed for a dryer
climate.

Could you pass along this email to plum interest group members (I don't
want to get on the list, just have this one question):

What plum varieties are likely to do well grafted on our La Crescent (will
cross-pollinate with it, or does it not pollinate other things?) that can
tolerate a humid summer climate?  Santa Rosa worked for two years (a
different tree) until the scale insects took it over.  (The opposums got
most of the fruit, but not all of it).  We want low-maintenance (no
sprays, don't care about the looks of the fruit).

The soil is clay.  Beach plum did not thrive, nor did dune cherry.
It is on a southern slope, dry, partial sun (behind an oak).  I have no
other better spots for a fruit tree -- the two pawpaws and two apricots
got the rest of the sun.  The black walnut got most of the back yard.
A male persimmon has the other half of the front yard (we need grafting
practice anyway).  There is a cherry of some sort across the street in an
alley that does well - would it be graftable onto the plum?  It has small
sweet cherries - may be sour cherry, probably not black cherry.

Thanks for passing along our request for help, and if anyone has scionwood
for their suggested varieties we would like to buy some.  We can send you
lots of La Crescent in exchange.

Sindi Keesan and Jim Deigert of NAFEX,
Ann Arbor MI (zone 5, SE MI)
       Sindi Keesan <keesan at cyberspace.org>





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