[NAFEX] hollow plum stones

Joe Boles jo.bo at rogers.com
Thu Aug 19 21:02:10 EDT 2004

Re: [NAFEX] hollow plum stonesLon:

Thank you for the response. The fruit set I am getting is poor. There is plenty of bloom on both LaCresent and Opata and there bloom period partially overlaps. There is very little activey by bees and insects at that time. My quest is to come up with a polinator for the two species rather than propagating either of them.

   with thanks,  Joe

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lon J. Rombough 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 1:25 PM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] hollow plum stones

     Several problems here.  
  First, you couldn't propagate the varieties from pits, no matter what.  The seedlings wouldn't be the same as the variety, as children aren't exact copies of their parents.  You have to graft them or otherwise use clonal propagation.
     Not sure of the full parentage of LaCrescent, but Opata is an interspecific hybrid of plum and Prunus besseyi.  Such hybrids often don't set much viable seed due to genetic reasons that are too long for me to go into here.  It shows up as just what you are finding - aborted seeds.  You can sometimes improve the seed development by keeping temperatures more steady at bloom time.  Say, put a plastic tent over the tree to keep it warmer and drier during bloom, but you would still probably need to polliinate it with a second plum to get good kernal development.
     If you are getting good fruit set now, I'd stick with budding or grafting a new tree.
  -Lon Rombough

    I have been trying to propagate Opata and La Crescent plums from the stones the last couple of years with no luck. This year I have been cracking them open right after eating them and find they are hollow except for a small dried out seed. It appears that the whole crop is this way. Does anyone know what the cause is?


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