In my ungoing quest to actually get a decent harvest of plums off of my ever expanding hybrid plum and chum section I read whatever I can find about plum pollination trying to understand it. I realize I’m not alone in this situation (many trees, few fruit) and a lot has been said on GF, but there has to be a better way than just continuing to add varieties and hope for the best. This year should have been a bumper crop for me – only one frost in early June and 3 days of beautiful sunny weather when all of the plums and chums were in full beautiful bloom (the longest stretch we had with no rain all season) and they were full of pollinators. I had great expectations. I had a handful of fruit. The only trees that didn’t bloom were the, it sounds like, very important American Plums which are too young yet, plus some new grafts of even more hybrids. The only years (two) that I’ve had a somewhat reasonable crop I also had a Pembina blossoming. Unfortunately that tree died a few years ago.
This summer the newsletter of the Canada DGB Fruit Growers Group had an article by Thean Phey on Plum Pollination (I’m always on the lookout for articles by Thean Pheh and Bernie Nikolai for interesting ideas on growing fruit in colder regions). It doesn’t give any easy answers, no answers really, but it was interesting. I’m wondering what others more knowledgeable than I think about his ideas here? The plum article is down the page below the Budding and Grafting one.