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Plums not producing?

 
                              
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We have yellow plums that had always produced heavily in my youth. They are left in a near wild state and had never been messed with. For the last proximately 8 years they have gone barren. Does any one know enough about plums to suggest a cause? The trees themselves look healthy and hearty, they have just gone from high yield to absolutely not a single plum on them.
 
Leah Sattler
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could they just be old? I was told that peach trees only produce well for so long and that they need to be replaced every so often. (can't remember the timeline, sorry)
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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yeah peach trees are generally really short lived but i'm not informed enough on plums to make a comment on them..however..i have just planted baby plum trees this year.

i do know that a lot of trees bear best on NEW growth..so possibly pruning them in the spring would precipitate some new growth and that might also make them bear the following year?? I'd try pruning them really hard this next spring or really late winter.
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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Are all the plum trees in question the same? Have any other old plum trees been removed on your property or a neighbor's? Most plums are not self-fertile so if the pollinators have gone missing all the trees remaining will stop producing (assuming they are all the same variety). If this is the case you can either plant another plum of a different variety or graft one of the existing trees over to a new variety. Note: Asian plums only pollinate other Asian plums and European plums only pollinate other European plums so you'll need to figure out what you've got.

Otherwise, I would look at some re-invigoration techniques. Start with a good pruning to get them into a good form. Then I would mulch (or sheet mulch) the area under the trees from the trunk to a foot or two past the drip line of the crown. If the trees are still in good shape they will respond to the pruning and fertilization by putting on a heap of new growth. If the trees don't respond you'll probably want to replace them.

Good luck!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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If the problem is pollenators, then the trees would have flowered, right?

If the problem were age (whole tree, or just lack of new growth), then I would think there would not have been blossoms for the past few years.

GCLECKS, have there been flowers on them lately?
 
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