Name Your Freeloader

Many of us have had the problem of freeloaders on our property. They put out thousands of flowers, but never seem to fruit much or none at all. Year after year they make you cry, and you swear your going to kick them out as they promise to work. This is your chance to let your hate flow. Tell us the name of the offender and what crimes they have committed. Then finish it with what your going to do about it.

My freeloaders-Santa Rosa and Flavor Supreme. Both of which have now become franken plums. Flavor Supreme would set tons of fruit every year, then one by one drop everything before ripening. I had two Santa Rosa. One got a variety change and the other is a franken plum like FS. Santa Rosa didn’t even bother setting fruit. Plenty of flowers though. Now I have new friends that pay their rent.


Mine are a Pipestone and Toka pair. We’ve called them the Lying Freeloaders for years now. Stunning flower show, no fruit. PC is clearly also a chunk of the problem.
As to how they are being dealt with, we’ve listed the house. They are not among the things I’m planning to move or plant in the new place. I may just swear off plums and apricots entirely.


Flavor Supreme is a very stingy producer even here, in California. On the other hand, Santa Rosa typically pumps out a lot of fruit here.


Jostaberry… A currant/gooseberry hybrid that produces tons of foliage but insignificant amounts of berries. On top of that it is a magnet for legions of sawfly larva, who can eat half the bush in a day.

This season it is getting evicted and transplanted towards the back of the yard. It is going to get less sunlight but it is not like it ever did much good with more.


Mine too. I am scratching my head and wondering why I got a jostaberry. It seems to have none of the redeeming qualities of a gooseberry or a currant.

Year 3. No sign of blooming. It’s definitely a novelty plant. The gooseberries and currants that are the same are or younger are larger in size and full of flowers / early fruit right now. In warmer climates, the jostaberry is much more impressive. I gave one as a gift to a friend in Oregon and at the start of year 2 it is 4x this size and blooming (although not as heavy as a currant).

My freeloader-


There is some kind of Hawthorn,that I didn’t plant.The thing was cut down to a stump at least twice and holes drilled in and poison poured in once.
The tree is over ten feet tall now and blocking light to a Mulberry.Maybe there is something that can be made with the fruit.

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I graft quince or medlar on my hawthrones


Pomegranates have largely been freeloaders for me here in the Southeast US, with less than a dozen fruit from Salavatski over the past 10 years. Most of the other cultivars I’ve grown have fruited even more sparsely than that, or not at all. They’ve been spared by the fact that they’re attractive small trees and feed my nostalgia of living in hotter, drier climes.

I would’ve added fuzzy kiwi, but this year my Saanichton vine is finally full of fruit after 6 years of nothing. So it’s earned itself a reprieve.


Red Skelton’s “Freddie the Freeloader”.

Sweet citrus was my freeloader. I read about people growing lemons here in my state in a pot. I tried both mandarins and oranges. The issue I learned on a video is that sweet citrus like a mandarin or orange need colder weather to ripen. Since most people are keeping citrus indoors in colder climates when citrus naturally fruits the fruit never sweetens. I guess this is not a issue with sour citrus like a lemon but the issue is I don’t use sour citrus. I decided to grow a fig instead.

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My Freeloaders…

Jostaberry, Red Currants… gave them a good try, in 4 years got 3-4 berries… yanked them. They could not take my heat and humidity.

Lapins Cherry… started spring 2018, big healthy looking tree, a few blooms the past 3 springs, but no fruit. It looks good so may just leave it… perhaps some day it will fruit.

Eu Plums (Rosy Gauge, Mt Royal) started spring 2018 - nothing but leaves… every spring I think this will be the year, but still not even one blossom. I will leave them and keep hoping.

Moor Park apricot… started spring 2020… had a few blossoms last year, none this year… no fruit. Don’t think it is tuf enough to do well here.

Peaches… about ready to give up on them. I have 3 trees and love peaches, but between brown rot and OFM… and my unwillingness to spray… mostly just disappointing. Sad when you have 3 peach trees and look them all over and can’t find a peach that is not riddled with wounds and oozing.

I really need to stick with things you can successfully grow with no spray.

Peaches are on the way out… Persimmons, Jujubes, perhaps eventually Pawpaw, Pears… on the way in.

My freeloader is currently a potted fejoia (pineapple guava). I bought the pair as 5 year olds from Edible Landscaping in 2019 and have yet to see a single flower. I realize I’m zone pushing and it might be user error at this point, but it will be exciting to actually have fruit on that one some day.

The above feijoas:
As 5-year olds, were they well-branched?
Are they still in pots, what size?
Have they grown a reasonable amount in 2020 and 2021? (6" or more multiple branches)
Winter temperatures below +15 may affect spring bloom.