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Are American OR Black (Canadian) plum trees self-pollinating?

Rick Freeman


Joined: Jan 08, 2012
Posts: 102
Location: NW Montana, Hardiness Zone 4b
I've been getting ambiguous answers on the question of whether or not American Plums and Black (Canadian) plums are self-pollinating. Can anyone definitively answer this question for either or both species? Thanks.


Rick Freeman

Interface Forestry, l.l.c. http://interfaceforestry.com
rick@interfaceforestry.com
Victor Johanson


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 233
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
    
  10
There is controversy regarding plum pollination, and the answer to your question may not be fully established. There is an excellent article on plums and pollination at http://www.fruit.usask.ca/articles/plums.pdf .

I have one plum tree that fruits like crazy no matter what. It appears to be an Americana or Nigra; I got more than 1,100 plums from it last year, and that must be some kind of record up here. The other bearing tree, a Salicina Mandshurica, only had about 30. Both were originally bought as rootstocks. The year before, there were no apparent pollinizers (we bagged the other trees around it because we were doing some crosses), but the prolific tree still bore fruit. Maybe apomixis.

Check them out (the red ones are the producers):



[Thumbnail for 2011plum3.jpg]

[Thumbnail for 2011plums.jpg]


Vic Johanson

"I must Create a System, or be enslaved by another Man's"--William Blake
Rick Freeman


Joined: Jan 08, 2012
Posts: 102
Location: NW Montana, Hardiness Zone 4b
Thanks Victor,

I appreciate your reply.

That's probably why the information has been so ambiguous. Hmmm. Do any of your close neighbors have plum trees that you know of?

Perhaps I'll plant one of each (American and Black) to see what happens.

Kind regards, Rick
Victor Johanson


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 233
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
    
  10
Very few people up here know that growing plums is even possible. I've met only two other people here who have done it, in nearly 30 years. I'm trying to spread the word, though, and some folks have indicated that they want to get some trees from me in spring. Since these are on their own roots, and sucker freely, I can propagate them easily. I also successfully grafted a few named cultivars last year, which will hopefully survive the winter. The closest plum trees to me that I know of are 4-5 miles from here, and belong to one of the two I mentioned. Maybe there are some besseyis or tomentosas nearby, but I doubt it.

You could always just graft a branch on if you need a pollenizer and space is an issue. Or try Nankings or sand cherries.
Rick Freeman


Joined: Jan 08, 2012
Posts: 102
Location: NW Montana, Hardiness Zone 4b
That's great news!! I'm definitely trying Nanking cherries, too... and some other stuff. Mainly going through St. Lawrence Nurseries but also some local (shout out to Watershed Consulting!)...
Victor Johanson


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 233
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
    
  10
My experiences with St. Lawrence have all been positive. The new catalog just arrived here today. Lots of tempting stuff.
Shane Dockerson


Joined: Dec 11, 2012
Posts: 1
I Know American Plums are and also sandhill plums. We have a wild orchard and sell trees, seeds and fruit. They spread like crazy.
We are in our winter operation trying to rid ourselves of the sucker trees. If you have wild life around they will spread them also.
Check out www.riversidesandplums.com
Bob Dobbs


Joined: Jan 13, 2012
Posts: 145
    
    3
In my own personal experience,

Prunus Angustifolia: Yes, self fertile
Prunus Americana: Yes, self fertile

Actually, most fruits in prunus and related genus are self fertile, excepting highly inbred fruit like sweet cherries.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6431
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
132
St. Lawrence nursery certainly has a nice selection of cold hardy trees, and tons of info.

If you are looking for more local, try Lawyer Nursery in Plains, MT (USDA Zone 4)
(About 50 miles NW of Missoula)
http://www.lawyernursery.com/

They are wholesale only...minimum order is $250 for trees

To see an updated listing of availability see here: http://www.lawyernursery.com/maggies/avail.txt
 
 
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