[NAFEX] St. Lawrence Nursery/plum tree size

loneroc loneroc at mwt.net
Tue Aug 21 08:11:31 EDT 2007

Hi Bill,

My plums on P americana grow as large as and are faster growing than my
standard apples, and real thorny to prune.  I am tempted to let them go and
just get a taller ladder because almost the only fruits I don't lose to
brown rot are the high up ones.  I assume that they dry off more quickly.
Maybe there are no plums higher to drop brown rot spores on them either.

I agree with your incredulity about St. Lawrence's standard-tree-only
practice:  If I were growing trees that needed to out grow deer in a cold,
short-season zone 3 a standard might be the way to go.  With the advent of
Bud-9 there are dwarves that grow well and are much more practical for the
average homeowner.  The only major drawback is that Bud-9 trees must be
staked. (I've found this out the hard way.)  They are also more susceptible
to fireblight, by the way, but less so than M-9, which is not very hardy.

My veeeeeeeeeery best rootstock so far for my long-season zone 3 area (and
I've tried them all) has been the Bud-118/Bud-9 interstem.  I got trees on
this and plain rootstocks from Bear Creek.  They're self supporting, very
hardy, don't sucker and are smaller than an M7. They're the perfect
homeowner size.  The only drawback that I see other than the dollar extra
per tree (omygosh) is that the tree needs training the first few years of
its life to avoid weird branching.  If you don't sell it to homeowners until
the fourth leaf (who don't want dinky trees anyway) you can't get a better
tree.  Alas, it'll never happen.  Once again, the market won't allow the
best product.  Maybe if Bailey's wholesale nursery took this on...........

Steve H, Lone Rock, WI in a "good" USDA zone 3

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "William C. Garthright" <billg at inebraska.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] St. Lawrence Nursery - More comments

> > The strange thing about St. Lawrence Nursery is that they don't believe
in dwarf trees.
> >
> That was a problem for me, too. But I still bought some plum trees from
> them, because I thought that plums would be just a small tree anyway,
> and that I would be able to summer prune them to keep them small. I only
> planted them in April, 2006, but I'm already wondering about my
> assumptions. They are VERY vigorous, and summer pruning has been harder
> than I expected (for one thing, I hate to keep pruning when it's
> horribly hot and dry - which describes the whole of our summers). Still,
> I seemed to have a hard time finding any DWARF plums.
> Um,... and I must admit that I think I planted them on top of where the
> old outhouse used to be, which probably didn't help matters any.
> Bill
> Lincoln, NE (zone 5)
> -- 
> Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall
> deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so
> whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose,
> and you allow him to make war at pleasure. - President Abraham Lincoln
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