Reasons for low fruit set?


I have an Emerald Drop Pluot on Myro root stock that sets very little fruit - only 1 fruit this year!!! Its a large tree now and healthy. No visible signs of stress.

Its surrounded by other plums and pluots (Santa Rosa, Flavor King, Flavor Grenade, Burgundy, etc) that have set a crazy amount of fruit. Had to thin out a bucket full this year. Pollination is definitely not an issue - plenty of bees.

It was also loaded with flowers in spring.

I had enough chill hours this year ED only needs 400 - Even my Favor Supreme that needs a lot more chill hours has finally set some fruit. I am in San Jose CA Zone 9b.

I cant find any reasonable explanation for the poor fruit set on this tree!

Do the bees not like ED? Anyone else with ED - what is your fruit set like? What rootstock is it on?

Thank you!


Given everything you wrote, the only things I could think of were that possibly the bees and the flowers did not coincide, or there was a cold snap following pollination. Any chance either of those could apply? Oh, and one other possibility- is there any chance that Emerald Drop might need the pollen from a tree that is not nearby? Santa Rosa should do it, but did its bloom coincide with your Emerald Drop?

Just guessing.


Thanks Mark, Great questions!

That’s a possibility… May be the bees got here later in the season…ED was first to bloom of all the plums and pluots. WSR and FK followed immediately and then the other Pluots as well - so plenty of overlap for sure!

No cold snap for sure… a little rain - yes. Bees don’t come when it rains.



Do I remember correctly that you had a good crop of ED last year? Could it have been too many for what the tree could have supported at that stage of its size/age? If that was the case, then your tree entered a biannual cropping mode to recover from last year’s exertion.

Other than that, my ED is on its third leaf (like all my other pluots) and together with Splash, they are the ones with the smallest number of flowers/fruitlets this year, which I think is because their Myro rootstock is not as precocious as citation (rootstock of my other pluots).


Last year was also very little fruits on ED - less than 10. This year its just 1!

I think so too! My CHP is on Myro - it sets a decent amount of fruits (< 40 per tree) doesn’t go crazy like citation does where I have to thin hundreds.

How many fruits did your ED set this year?


My ED is at shuck split, so it’s too difficult/early to count, but I can update you in a few weeks, if you remind me :slight_smile:

What is CHP by the way? It’s is past 9 pm here, and It was a long day for me so my brain is a little slow…

For the lack of pollination issue, I suggest that you watch your trees during bloom to see which ones are attracting bees and which ones are not. I noticed for example that cots attracted the most bees this year. Among my pluots, surprisingly, Flavor Supreme attracted the most, to the extent that I was concerned it may not get pollinated because bees are visiting it before all the other pluots! Since this is the first year I expect a good pluot crop, I hand pollinated all my pluots, I did not want to take any chances.


Candy Heart Pluerry


Yesterday I counted about a dozen, pea-size fruits, there is probably a few more hiding. The interesting fact is that Splash had ~20 blossoms, almost every single one of them set a fruit, ED on the other hand, probably had close to 200 blossoms, and only about 10% set fruit… My best setting pluots are FG and GeoPride respectively. DD is third by a good margin and FK is fourth. FK had a ton of blossoms, but if I am to guess, less than 5% (more like 1%) set.


@Ahmad - Thank you! I guess I’ll have to hand pollinate ED next time. May be I need to add an early blooming pluot. Thats my excuse anyway to get a new tree :wink: My fruit set on FG is similar to yours. Interestingly the bees here love FK and they wont leave the tree alone, its right next to my ED and over sets like crazy!

@marknmt - Thank you!


My experience with pluots is bees and hand pollination were not factors in low fruit set. Some pluots (and plums) just don’t seem to want to set in certain weather conditions.

FK DD and FG should eventually set well, FS may never set well; those are the only pluots I grew.


We had way more rain than usual this winter and spring and my early blooming Pluots like Emerald Drop, Flavor Royale and Candy heart pluerry hardly set. FR did not set at all for the second year in a row due to lots of spring rain during bloom time. Like Scott says weather can really influence your fruitset and we have had a lot here in California the last two springs, especially this spring.



Assuming pollination or weather isn’t an issue, some varieties simply aren’t very prolific. I grew Green Gage plum for years. At the very best, the large tree produced maybe a bushel of plums. Other years it produced 1/2 bushel or next to nothing, in my climate. Compare that to Rosy Gage (or other plums) which produced enough fruit to require quite a bit of thinning most years.

It’s the same thing with peaches, or any other agricultural crop.

When I was first involved in the commercial pig business in the late 80’s, Camborough 15’s were the preferred breeding gilt. They were “meaty” because the thought was a meaty breeding gilt was required to produce a “meaty” offspring for slaughter. The problem was C15’s (and their contemporaries) weren’t very prolific. They had relatively low litters of born alive. It was a lot of work and expensive feed for a farmer to raise relatively few pigs from this type of gilt.

Fast forward a couple decades. The industry learned a “meaty” boar as a breeding stock was all that was needed to produce a “meaty” offspring. A meaty boar could be “bred” (actually “bred” is a loose term. Virtually all pig breeding is done a.i. now) to a gilt/sow not so meaty, and still produce a very meaty market hog for slaughter. The result is that now breeding/brood gilts/sows are much more prolific (but less meaty).

My old pig farming partner (spoke with a week ago) produces 28 piglets/sow/year as a result of more prolific breeding stock. Litters are 13+ pigs born alive and the sows milk well to feed their offspring to wean 11+ pigs/sow. Compare that to the older days, when I was involved, where sows farrowed less than 10 pigs per sow and could raise barely 9 pigs, if you were lucky.

In terms of trees, you are going to get some varieties which are very prolific (produce offspring [fruit] abundantly) and some varieties which produce sparsely, according to the climate they are planted. It’s up the the individual goals of the grower to determine if the given variety is worth the amount of time required for care, compared to the reward of volume and flavor of the fruit.

In my experience, many times backyard growers underestimate the importance of volume/proficiency of a given variety because they are very focused on raising quintessential heavenly tasting fruit. Only after several years of disappointments of no harvests do they finally realize the space and time devoted to the quintessential fruit is a disappointment. Many many times, a slightly less heavenly fruit (still a delicious desert fruit) is much more attractive to grow because you can actually harvest some of the fruit for your table. Understand I’m describing lessons learned myself here, albeit from years ago.


I totally agree with your comment about growing fruit. This is not quite appropriate for the topic but may I ask why some of the pork smell horrible while cooking and some do not? There no way I can tell by looking.



Your comment made me laugh. Brings back some old memories. Honestly, it’s been a couple decades since I’ve been in the pork business, so I’m really not an expert at this point. But I can relay some experiences I’ve had.

At one time the U.S. industry was looking to slaughter intact boars. For folks unfamiliar with the pork industry, the main reason male piglets are castrated is because their meat gives an off flavor if they are slaughtered intact (i.e. not castrated). It’s very offensive to some people’s tastes, especially Americans.

However, when I was in the pork business, the U.S industry was looking at slaughtering intact males. They were doing this in Europe at the time and European tastes were acceptable to the meat, as long as the boars were slaughtered at a slightly lighter slaughter weight (It turns out the older the boars get, the “stronger” the boar flavor of the meat.) I once tasted some of this meat slaughtered from younger boars, and it wasn’t too “strong” but did taste “stronger” than pork I was used to. But it was good to my tastes.

Slaughtering boars never caught on here (except occasionally for highly spiced products like sausage, where different flavors of meat can’t be detected, which is still done to this day) so you shouldn’t be tasting any especially “porky” flavored pig meat as a result of slaughtering boars in the U.S. for something unseasoned like pork chops.

I have tasted some pork stronger than other, and personally I think it’s a difference is in the age and weight of the animal slaughtered. Older pigs do taste more “gamey” than younger premium animals. So that may be a big part of the answer. Additionally, I suspect that barrows, even though castrated, have a “stronger” flavor than gilts.

We used to separate barrows and gilts on finishing floors and feed them differently according to their needs. I don’t know if they do that anymore, but I suspect they do. There are enough differences between them to justify different feed inputs. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if there are differences in the flavors of the meat.

Man all this talk - I’m ready for a properly cooked pork tenderloin smothered in gravy.:yum:


Now you are speaking as the farmer/business owner you are :blush:… For me, as a fruit connoisseur, I will go for the most heavenly variety as long as I can get a minimum of 20 fruits or so from it… and as an added bonus, the low fruit set will significantly improve the taste and size…


That’s a good objective. Remember though for some in a little bit more varied winters than DE, 20 fruits per tree doesn’t happen every year consistently for those elusive connoisseur varieties. Many times it’s 3 years of nothing, followed by a year of 50 fruits from the tree of paradise.

It’s all a personal decision of space and time devoted.


I should have not used the word “horrible”, my apologies. We use pork in some of my favorite dishes, and it is sometimes frustrated when the food does not taste the same. Thanks a lot for your reply.


Please do not start sharing vegan indoctrination youtube videos!


So sorry I just realized I missed to reply to the last few messages on this thread.

@scottfsmith , @fruitgrower - Thank you!

@Olpea - Truly appreciate you taking the time to explain this, Thank you! :hugs: BTW your peach reports are inspiring!!!

@NewToFruits - I hear you! You’ve got to do what you think is best for your health! Although completely unrelated to the thread :wink:


These have set well for me too, Good choices for me here in Michigan. I need a couple more years, but Honey Punch may be added to that group, HP is a very nice pluot too.
I want to see if the other Dapple series set well. Thats a darn good choice of fruit for me.
Spring Satin seems to set well too, again though need more time. I liked the fruit.
Very early which is nice!