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Wondering if my purple leaf plum trees will bear fruit? If so, what is the chill requirement? We bought this house in July and it has 2. I read online that they do bear, but I'm not sure if they bear in Phoenx.
Hi Andrew and Powell,
When I saw you reference Pink Lady's I picked some up at the farmers market today and they are sweeter enough over the gala or fuji that we might give them a try if we decide to go for a tree. And yes we have given our trees 2-4 years to get some strength before allowing fruit to stay on - except for the 'taste' each year to see how they are doing :-)
Andrew I am also not clear on your 'low spurring' reference -- are you talking about bud strength/numbers or where the fruiting branches come out?
Catherine, much like peaches, apples are generally borne off of fruit spurs (the stubby side branches that grow off a main branch). Occasionally, they even develop off the tips of a growing branch.
In the case of Pink Lady, fruiting spurs only grow off of two year old wood and for the first few years, most trees only produce a small number of spurs. That's why it often takes a minimum of two years for most >5/8" caliper trees to produce even one to two apples and often four to five years before you get a decent crop. Same deal for Fuji. That's why most people are generally frustrated with apples, with the exception of high spurring varieties like Golden Dorsett.
Speaking of which, Dorsett would be a great tree out here in Arizona except for that fact that the fruit matures in 115 degree temperatures here, resulting in mealy apples if not picked within a 48 hour window of ripeness. If picked too early, the fruit is pretty bland and tart, like a subpar Granny Smith.
Thanks for the clarification on what you meant, Andrew.
FYI -- We have a golden dorsett and have not had the problem you are describing with them. She gives us great apples and I sun dried some last year, ate off the tree (I happen to like green apples) and have made apple sauce, pies and pie kits (frozen pie ingredients).
It has about 30 little plums on it. This tree is in a corridor of my yard where the cold air flows through our large wrought iron gate. We are in the middle of a cul de sac and we have a detatched garage so our yard is separated from the driveway by a large wrought iron gate, so cold air blows through and has nothing to stop it, so it cools this are of my yard considerably more than other parts. This purple plum has fruit, but the other which is near my pool does not. They both flowered. This just confirms that this was a good place to plant the Katy apricot, santa rosa plum and mariposa plum that are directly behind this purple plum.
Sorry...I don't know why even after I rotate the pic in my photo editor it still uploads sideways. Darn iPhone!!
Super news Karis. Knowing the cooler areas of your garden sure made a difference for you. Now tell us how they taste when you get to eat them :-)
Yup, that will be the big question. Only four varieties of purple leaf plum seem fit to eat fresh. The rest are jam. Here's hoping.
My Hollywood (which may be a Spencer Hollywood) is leafing out and seems happy so maybe next year....
Don't know why I didn't respond to this last year, but as I am working on continuing to build my orchard, I looked back on this thread for reference. The plums from this purple leaf plum were delicious!!!! better than any plum I have purchased from the store. They were small, about the size of a large cherry, with a tiny little pit. Perhaps this is a hollywood plum.
The santa rosa and mariposa plums I planted last year directly behind this were probably dead when I planted them (they were bare root.) The Apricot is doing great...has grown about 3 feet and has put on a bunch of fruiting wood this year. I am replacing the plum this season, and because of the proximity of this purple leaf plum, I will probably only put in a Santa Rosa. I believe they are partially self-fertile, although the tag says it needs a polinator (see my thread on conflicting reports) but I am wondering if this purple leaf plum will serve that purpose...
Alright Karis...save those dormant clippings (pencil size diameter, end of the branch so it is last years growth] for the scion exchange. You will have to come up with a name for the variety. Wild looking leaves as it approaches winter, eh?!
If it flowers at the same time as SR Plum they should both x-pollinate for increased fruit size and number.