[NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question

loneroc loneroc at mwt.net
Wed May 18 10:15:08 EDT 2005


Thanks for the advice, Dave.  I've sort of been keeping my eyes open for
early native Prunus americana, but have not seen much.  Land owners around
here are very protective and probably wouldn't like me snitching branches
from their plums (even if they're bulldozing them later in the week).  I
suspect that your experience would not translate too well here since your
bloom season seems significantly more compressed than mine.

And thanks for helping Jean move her trees.  Since I moved to Lone Rock from
the Twin Cities a few years ago I can't drop over to help Minnesota friends
the way I'd like.

Steve Herje, Lone Rock WI


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Griffin" <griffingardens at earthlink.net>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 5:53 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question


> Hi Steve,
>
>  A few of my plums bloom before the natives but these are mostly the
> salicina ones like the Ptitsins and they are planted down the north facing
> slope to compensate for this. While some are still too early the bloom
> overlaps with the early natives, this year at least. I did have to drive
> quite a ways to find an early native for my first bouquets of blossoms but
> you certainly could force bloom to compensate. It would be best to mark a
> plum patch for this as I find them almost impossible to locate until they
> bloom.
>   A bigger problem for me this year is that some of the late blooming
> hybrids - Waneta, Pipestone - didn't bloom until the natives were done and
> my beach plums hadn't started yet. They finally started over the weekend
> and I think I may have caught the hybrids with a combination of late
> natives for the early part and beach plum for the later bloom. We'll see.
I
> don't like to look at fruit set until June drop as it is easy to be fooled
> until then.
>   I met your friend Jean Johnson recently when I went to dig out a few of
> her fruit trees before she moves and to do some crosses on her Siberian
> peach. She seems very kind.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
> > [Original Message]
> > From: loneroc <loneroc at mwt.net>
> > To: <griffingardens at earthlink.net>; North American Fruit Explorers
> <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Date: 5/17/05 5:16:13 AM
> > Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question
> >
> > Dave,
> >
> > I find that my local wild plums do not bloom until my hybrids are done
> > blooming (almost).  Do you need to cut the wild plum branches early and
> > "force" them under warmer conditions so the bloom periods coincide?
> >
> > Steve Herje, Lone Rock, WI
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Dave Griffin" <griffingardens at earthlink.net>
> > To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 2:59 PM
> > Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question
> >
> >
> > > My plums also seem to be very dependant on the native bees in spite of
> > > having 4 hives on the place - plum blossoms everywhere and the honey
> bees
> > > are in the dandelions. Fortunately, the natives seem to have been on
the
> > > increase in the 3 years since my apricots began blooming and I am
> > beginning
> > > to think that the early food supply they provide may be a factor in
> their
> > > increased population density now.
> > >
> > > For an excellent paper on plums in general, and especially on plum
> > > pollinizers, by Rick Sawatsky of the U of Saskatchewan, go to
> > > www.usask.ca/agriculture/plantsci/dom_fruit/   Click on Fruit
Articles,
> > > then Plums on the Prairies, then scroll down to "our recent
experience".
> > > Their premise that there are no good hybrid pollinizers for hybrid
> plums,
> > > you have to have native plums, is the basis for my having kept
bouquets
> of
> > > native plum blossoms in milk bottles tied into the trees throughout
the
> > > orchard all during this years bloom. My wild plum plantings are not
yet
> > > flowering so this is a stopgap until then. Native bee activity has
been
> > > high during the good times between the bad that make for a normal
spring
> > > here (high temp is 48 F today with snow predicted for tomorrow) and I
am
> > > expecting good results. Keep you posted as the season progresses.
> > >
> > > Dave
> > >
> > >
> > > > [Original Message]
> > > > From: loneroc <loneroc at mwt.net>
> > > > To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > > > Date: 5/11/05 8:35:53 AM
> > > > Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question
> > > >
> > > > Jim,
> > > >
> > > > Although I maintain a couple hives for pollination--I notice that
> small
> > > > native bees are the most frequent visitors to my plum blossoms.  I
> > > > occasionally find honeybees on them, but not too often.
> > > >
> > > > I presume that you have the native bees as well--maybe you could
> observe
> > > > them closely to see if they're only going after pollen or if they're
> > > finding
> > > > nectar, too.
> > > >
> > > > Steve Herje, Lone Rock, WI
> > > > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > > > From: "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at uslink.net>
> > > > To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > > > Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 7:57 AM
> > > > Subject: [NAFEX] Plum Pollenation Question
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > >    When my plum trees are in bloom, it is a spectacular site.
Folks
> > > > driving
> > > > > by stop to stare but the honey bees don't seem to even notice the
> > masses
> > > > of
> > > > > white blooms.  They just fly right over them as though they can't
> see
> > > all
> > > > of
> > > > > the flowers.  I used to wonder if my honey bees were either lazy
or
> > > going
> > > > > after better flowers.
> > > > >    This year the bloom is late and the plums and black currants
are
> > > > blooming
> > > > > concurrently, an event that I've not witnessed before.  Black
> Currants
> > > > have
> > > > > relatively insignificant, almost green flowers and the bees had no
> > > trouble
> > > > > finding them.  That leads me to rethink my prejudice(?) about
honey
> > bees
> > > > and
> > > > > plum blossoms.  So I ask, "Do plum blossoms not have nectar to
> attract
> > > > honey
> > > > > bees?"  Do honey bees frequent the plum flowers in your orchard?
> > > > > -- 
> > > > >
> > > > > Jim Fruth
> > > > > Brambleberry Farm
> > > > > Pequot Lakes, MN
> > > > > www.bberryfarm.com
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
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