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Any agriculturists out there Waaaay O/T

590 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Ray_Hillebrand
I promise to help anyone with advice on their cars if I can but I need to know about plum trees and the internet doesn't have the info I need.
I had two Bermuda plum trees that was bearing huge plums until last year. One died from wood borers as best as I can tell. The other had fruit but not many. This year the frost got to the buds and the tree is bare. I have some dried out seeds and there are a couple still hanging on the tree and I would like to plant them and try to replace the dead tree.
Is there any thing I need to do to get one of these seeds started growing? Do they need to be dried in the sun or what. Again, I've searched the internet and cannot find the answers...
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Ray, if we can narrow the variety down to a parent group, we might be able to apply cultural practices appropriate to the parent...

Describe the fruit size and color, along with average time of maturity.
Describe the trees' growth habit.

It's also possible that, while this variety has produced good fruit, it may be contra-indicated for your climatic zone, due to when bloom and bud-set occurs.

Describe your prior cultural practices with these trees...

We have a small family orchard and vineyard, as does my mother, and we've run into all kinds of interesting problems over the years...

Also, I reside in the prime stone fruit, citrus, nut and vegetable area of the country and we have enormous resources regarding agriculture. I'll bet the plant science folks at UC Davis could find you an answer, if your efforts are fruitless...*G*

It's been my experience that most stone fruit is grown on inscect and/or disease resistent rootstock and, as such, is not propagable via seed. We have purchased all our stock as grafted bare-root stock from commercial nurseries.

Unfortunately, we don't grow plums but a neighbor down the street has 160 acres in plums and prunes and, if I run into him while we're out walking, I'll bend his ear for some tips...

Sorry I can't be of more assistance...
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I bought the 2 trees about 5 years ago from a Kansas City home improvement center. The tag described them a Burbank plums. The trees bloom in mid April and fruit is ripe around the second week of July. We had a late freeze here this yeas that got to the blossoms and I can understand the lack of fruit this year.
The plums are about 3" in diameter and are a deep red color. I no longer can find the original tag but they are also known as dwarf trees. I could probably find another to plant but thought I might be able to start one from a pot. I wish I had found the damage from the wood borers before the other tree was killed, next time I will pay more attention...
The only thing I did for the trees was use some miracle grow in the spring, I also sprayed for bugs and worms. This is not a big issue with me except I hate to fail in anything and dont want a tree to beat me....
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I don't know anything about plants but my dad is a horticulturist so I asked him. This is his advice:

"Because plums are cross pollinated by bees the seed produced will not give identical fruit to the parent tree. If you want to go ahead and see what you will get, your choice is to plant the seed in the garden but it will not likely germinate before 2003, if at all. The other option is to place the pits in a bag of moistened peat moss and keep it chilled in the fridge (not freezer) for about 3-4 months. Occasionally they will sprout in the fridge, but if not, plant in a pot or in the garden. Drying is detrimental to germination so do not dry the seeds any more than they already are. Germination is stimulated by chilling such as the fridge or a natural winter. If after one winter they haven't germinated, they probably won't.
If you want an identical tree you will have to purchase one."

I hope this helps. (And I hope this makes sense to you.)
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Now we're getting somewhere...I could sworn you typed "Bermuda" in your first post...maybe it was the triangle..*G*

You'll be interested to know that your plum (and it's 'Santa Rosa' pollinator) were created by the plant genius Luther Burbank (the tree's namesake)....

There's tons of info out on the web on this variety....I'll leave it to you to peruse it..*G*

Here's a sample page on plums from UC Davis...from my brief reading of their site, it would appear that they're developing some new rootstocks for these trees, which resist nematodes and fungus better.

I couldn't find any direct info on planting from the pit but my instincts are, for best production, you'll likely need a grafted tree (yours was apparently grafted onto dwarf rootstock unless they were genetic dwarfs, something I don't know) and, for best production, a pollinator like 'Santa Rosa'...
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you also must realise that it is going to be some time before the tree is going to be of any size, i dont know how big plum trees get, but i would asume they grow about the same rate as apple trees... in which case, it will be ~10 years before it is fairly large and producing good fruit (depending on soil, climet, etc) my point is, you may just be better buying a tree that is already a couple years old.

- Jason
You know, I went back and looked and did type Bermuda, what was I thinking... Anyway, I think I can go with the information you provided in the link...Thanks...Ray
You are right, I will probably buy another one, they aren't that expensive although it will take money away from the Mustang.....*G*
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