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Mr. Smarty Plants - Possible reasons for non-fruiting wild plum

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Saturday - March 10, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possible reasons for non-fruiting wild plum
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My grandfather has land in Lee County with thickets of wild plum, I believe creek plum is another name. However, they never seem to produce plums while thickets nearby on the roadside less than one mile away do. What might be the problem (age, pollination, size, sex of trees, predation, nutrients)?

ANSWER:

This is an intriguing question, but I'm afraid we can't give you a definitive answer for the lack of fruit. However, here are several possibilities:

1. Lack of pollinators, but that is unlikely and easily checked.
2. Disease or predation during early stages of development of the fruit.
3. Too much shade.
4. Soil that is too rich is very unlikely, but possible
5. Genetic basis. The thicket is probably all one clone and it could be a sterile hybrid.

 

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