Italian Prune not Producing Years later

This is a very beautiful green healthy tree growing in a food forest. But after many years it only produces a couple fruits. All the flowers drop. There are other pollinators around. It’s right by an apricot, plum, nectarine that are loaded.

Does this tree need more sun?

Should it get stumped and grafted?
What would be good to graft on this tree if so?

What other Euro plums you have to cross pollinate it?

The stone fruit you listed do not cross pollinate your E plum.


If you are considering grafting it over with a plum, don’t. Get another prune (prunus domestica ssp. domestica). You won’t regret it.

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Mine took 7 years to fruit (and it was loaded) when I lived in RI. Here I have plums in my second year,.


There’s a Satsuma and Brooks. Sorry it’s been a hectic day I should have said it flowers and it seems to fruit but then everything drops shortly after and ends up with about 5 fruit.

Are they notoriously slow to get going? 7 years seems like seedling status.

Satsuma is a Japanese plum. Brook is aEuropean plum. They don’t cross pollinate. You said your fruitlets turned yellow and dropped. That’s a typical sign of lack of pollination.

If a few plums you are getting hang on to maturity. It means someone growing some plums a couple of miles from you and bees helped your plums with cross pollination.

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I thought Italian plums were self fertile? My dad has one and it’s loaded with plums every year, it’s gotta be 20 or more years old.

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I agree with SamWA; Italian Prune is self-fertile. I’ve been growing it for over 30 years with great (even excessive) productivity, and it is grafted on a Japanese plum with 3 other Japanese plums grafted on it. There is no other European plum nearby.


@SamWA - you are right about an Italian prune being self-fertile (some source say partial self-fertile. Judging from the size of the OP’s tree trunk, that tree is several years old but it has not been productive at all from what the OP described.

The OP should either plant or graft another Euro that has pollen compatible. As you may know, a self fertile or partially self-fertile fruit tree becomes more productive with a cross pollination partner.

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Thanks sounds logical. I’ve gone through a lot of reading and lots of misinformation from different nurseries and collages. Some say it’s self pollinating, needs a pollinator and some says partial self.

the young Brooks plum is a Euro as you mention but that won’t cross pollinate an Italian Prune? The BP is pretty loaded (assuming from the large IP pollen) and only about 4 foot tall.
I was also wondering if it could be some type of micro deficiencies but idk everything is so lush and happy there.

Could you clarify whether the Italian plum has always been unproductive, or if it used to be productive, but is not anymore? I’ve seen mature European plums be quite unproductive until regeneratively pruned to remove large amounts of the older wood and allow new growth to replace it.


Richard suggested applying 2lbs of potassium phosphate for an apricot that would not bloom.

Chinese apricot tree flowers sparsely - General Fruit Growing - Growing Fruit

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Hello friends, Yes, I got that advice last summer, I did exactly that, and this year, we have a bumper crop of apricots for the very first time in 8 years!!! They are so abundant we have had to pull hundreds off. We counted 50 fruit on about an 18 inch branch!!! So, I don’t know if it was the potassium phosphate, or simply a maturation of the tree, or what, but we are thrilled this year!!! And thanks


It’s never produced more than a handful each year. It hasn’t been pruned too much but will get a pretty heavy prune this winter.

@lordkiwi @peggyhamill Wouldn’t hurt to try that too. :pray:

2 lbs of 0-52-34 per tree sounds excessive and expensive; I would use a lot less on a small tree. The advertised package recommended 1 tsp/gal of water. It also has a pH around 4.5, which would acidify the soil if used in large amounts.

Tagging @Richard for explanations make more since.
But I assume the choice of potassium Phosphate is so that enter and create a healty calcium cycle in the soil. in addition to direct simulation of flower and fruit formation.

Actually it is to ensure that important nutrients are available for the next bloom cycle.

Would Potassium Phosphate leach out the soil? Should this treatment be repeated yearly? Would a different form or potassium or phosphorus be more likely to build up?