[NAFEX] Plum problems in the south

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Thu Aug 9 12:27:52 EDT 2007

Lucky wrote:
 following my experiences grafting various European & Japanese
hybrid plums onto native P.angustifolia(Chickasaw plum) suckers, I
don't know that I'd recommend it - I've got - or would have, if I
didn't keep them mowed - a veritable forest of P.angustifolia suckers
popping up for 25 ft in all directions away from the originals, and,
as I've largely abandoned all stonefruits except for Chickasaw plum
as a total waste of time and space, the 'improved' varieties that I
originally grafted onto the Chickasaws are either long-since dead, or
largely overwhelmed by shoots from the rootstock.

    You sent me a graft of "Guthrie" which died, but the rootstock lived. 
I'm pretty sure I put it with the pots I saved from the drought.  So that 
will be Chickasaw.  I take it if you'd just planted some seeds from 
'Guthrie' you'd have the genes and probably a lot of the same behavior as 
the parent.  I'm assuming it did well enough for someone else to name it and 
pass it on to you.  Were these other varieties other species?  And what 
about the beach plums you had?  They'd be seedlings I think.
    I don't know what species my native trees are.  I collected them locally 
and had assumed they were P. americana.  There were a couple of hortulana 
trees with very different leaves in a yard in town, but they have been cut 
down.  I confess I never planted any, I kept meaning to go dig some sprouts. 
The leaves were very long, and they fruited very well one year, but I didn't 
see crops on them in the few years before they got the axe.  The only stone 
fruit to survive the Big Freeze were these native plums of mine.  They 
bloomed after the freeze and even though I never sprayed them they dropped 
enough fruit for me to start a couple of gallons of wine.  If I'd done 
anything about the curculio I'd have had enough to do something with.
    Are you losing the trees, or losing the fruit and if so, to what?  Late 
frosts, curculio, brown rot or all three?     Donna 

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