The Q&A Archives: Why a Plum Tree Won't Set Fruit

Question: I have a unknown yellow sweet plum that has been in the orchard for more than 30 years. I grafted new trees from it 10 years ago. The trees bloom but rarely set fruit. They are located in the same area as the original trees which produced buckets of plums. There are wild plums nearby like in the past. Some years the sets fall off soon after they form. We tried spraying even though we never had to years ago. Sometimes late frost may be blamed, but it can't be the cause each year. Any thoughts about this situation? Was there anything about grafting that could infuence the outcome? Peter Stipetich Ashland, WI

Answer: Grafting shouldn't affect the flowering and fruiting of your old plum. It could be that this particular tree is a different variety from the wild and other plums in your yard, so it's blooming at different times or just not compatible with the other plums. You should annually prune your plum trees and fertilize in spring with a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10. For more details on growing fruits trees contact your local County Extension Office (715-373-6104).

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