was walking the yard today admiring my cherry crop. my black ice plum i planted last year bloomed profusely a few weeks ago but with no pollinator for it yet i didnt give it a look after the blooms faded. well today i noticed about 40-50 fruitlets on it! now the question is what pollinated it? im surrounded with wild choke and pin cherry. i have 4 romance series cherries and 1 Nanking cherry that barely bloomed due to snow damage. that’s it. no other plums around me with in at least a 1/4 mile area. i know all my neighbors on my street and the only one that raises fruit is my closest neighbor and he doesn’t have anything in the Prunus family. so what pollinated my plum? i asked this question before, if what i had could pollinate this plum and the consensus was they wouldn’t. ive never come across any wild plum around me and due to the fact im surrounded with fields with one narrow row of trees in between my yard and the back field, i would have noticed a plum blooming in that small bit of woods. for such a good fruit set id would think the pollinator would have to be very close. ill have to go walk the wood line to see if there’s a plum in there but it’s a very narrow strip (30 ft) with mostly larger trees and bushes that ive been through often. regardless it’s a nice surprise.
I can’t solve the mystery for you but I can offer two possible explanations:
- Your plum was pollinated by your cherries. Not crazy, I think. They are in the same genus, and plum/cherry hybrids exist. A bit of googling suggests your black ice plum is already an interspecific hybrid.
- Your black ice plum is partly self-fruitful.
checked on the self fruitful part already and no they arent. i did graft a American plum scion from Everett on it but its just starting to leaf out.
Some trees will set fruit, but it will never develop without a pollinator. My guess is there is another plum you don’t know about.
i guess its possible. these are definitely pollinated. you can see the ones that weren’t are withered and falling off. they’re about the size of a BB.
They might get bigger than that before they drop. Scions flower all the time. Sure it didn’t flower without you noticing.
no . the buds just pushing through the parafilm now. it should have its own pollinator next summer. hopefully it holds onto its fruit but if it doesnt it should next summer.
Final thought. Someone else has a plum they never considered because it never set fruit. They thought it was just a tree in the yard. Until now.
if so win/win for me.
i stand corrected! found a burnt ridge nursery pollination chart that states black ice is partially self fertile. case solved! hopefully with the wild American scion, next season i should have a full crop.
I read in another article that it’s not self fertile, and the Arbor Day Foundation claims:
“This cultivar is a cross between a conventional Japanese plum and a cherry plum.”
That being the case I expect it’s only partially self fertile and your cherry varieties are probably the cross!
I grafted Kuban Comet on my neighbors red flowering cherry and it set some 28 fruitlets this spring, it’s only a two year old graft. I expect most any plum that is related to cherry can benefit from cherry blossoms as long as the blossom periods match. I tried to graft Black ice last year but had not takes, it’s a tough one to graft. This year I tried Black Ruby, I think out of 4 grafts only one took and that again was on my neighbors flowering cherry
yeah the chart i found says its partially self fertile. but it would be nice that the cherries were also involved. only way to find out for sure is to grow out the seed.
My Black Ice doesn’t set fruit with an Alderman 30’ away. Count your blessings. I guess I’d go with the hypothesis that there’s a pollinator you don’t know about.
The tree age can affect the ability to set fruit. My 5 year old wild goose trees had a good load of flowers last two years, but have not yet set any fruits. I am still waiting to see when they are mature enough to set and hold until maturity. On the other hand my grafts of Cuban Comet and Oblinaya at 2 years old set so much fruit I had to tie them up to avoid breakage. One actually broke off last week when I had not anchored it. I had splinted it thinking that’s enough but the wind caught it and snapped the cherry limb it was grafted to. 43 nice green plums gone. Variety definitely lives up to its name
my romance cherries did that. yr 3 and 4 they flowered like crazy. looked as if it all fruit set then 1 in 4 aborted at pea sized. this year they are 6 yrs old and seem to be holding onto most of their crop so far. fingers crossed.
Make them into plum “wine” liqour
50/50 rock sugar to plum cover with overproofed vodka
Japanese Plum Wine (Umeshu) 梅酒 • Just One Cookbook
I have some infusing right now but I think I might have gone overboard with 95 Proof everclear
we used to do something similar when i was stationed in Korea. we would take various fruit , chunk it up, put it loosely in 2 quart mason jars and top it off with everclear. after a few days sitting the fruit would absorb the booze. eating several chunks before going bar hopping in the ville got you happy quick.