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Technofreak

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#296194 28-May-2022 23:48
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Not quite Home Workshop but I couldn't find a better place to put this.

 

I want to plant an Omega (aka George Wilson) plum tree. They are partially self fertile but to get the best crop from them they need another species of plum tree as a pollinator. There are a few varieties that are suitable but I want one if possible that is most like the Omega in flavour and firmness.

 

I'm hoping there is someone on here who knows the Omega plum and can advise on a good choice of pollinator based on my requirement of taste and firmness.

 

Pollinators that I have identified so far are, Billington, Elephant Heart, Burbank, there may be others. However I am unsure about their respective taste and firmness qualities. Hence this post. 

 

Thanks.





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Eva888
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  #2919898 29-May-2022 09:17
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I don’t know which part of the country you live in but the important lesson I learned about plum trees in Wellington is to choose a late fruiting variety. Both of our trees are early fruiting so Spring arrives and they blossom beautifully but the howling cold winds and low temperatures are still there and the bees aren’t daring to come out of their winter hibernation to buzz around and pollinate. Result after five years, not one plum as the blossoms are torn off by wind, the bees are shivering and attempts to hand pollinate have proved fruitless.

Since then I have only bought late fruiting trees and they have done really well. So choose two varieties that fruit at the same time. Omega are a late season fruiter but Billington are one of the first of the season so I wouldn’t put them together. You want the blossoms to come out at around the same time on both trees so the bees and insects can do their work of pollinating flying from one to the other.


SATTV
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  #2919907 29-May-2022 09:52
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I have a double grafted tree so I get the best of both worlds. 

 

My graft is an I graft, so there is root stock, Louisa then black Dorris on the top. Apparently if you use a Y dual graft it favours one side over the other. in saying that we get far more Louisa plums than Black Dorris.

 

 

 

There is nothing like fresh plums from the tree, the big fat birds in my area agree.

 

 





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neb

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  #2920098 29-May-2022 20:01
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Is it really that critical? My parents had a Satsuma and that had a crop every year despite (depending on who you believe) not being even partially self-fertile. We've currently got a Satsuma, same thing, gets a huge crop each year from God-knows-what source of pollination. Before that, the neighbours had a Black Doris or Satsuma that also get pollinated every year. So I don't know if it's necessary to worry about it too much.

 

 

The real problem with plum trees is killing all the possums before they strip them bare, see some of my earlier dead-possum posts.



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  #2920174 29-May-2022 21:36
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Is it critical? I don't really know except all the information I've read so far suggest having a pollinator is the best way to guarantee good reliable crops. Perhaps you have been lucky to have a pollinator within bee flying distance of your tree?

 

Re the Billington being early season V Omega being late season, I did wonder about how that worked.

 

With the Omega apparently partially self pollinating it may be over the top getting a pollinator variety but on the other hand I don't wand to find out at the 11th hour that I should have planted a pollinator.

 

Back to the reason for my post. Can anyone comment on the flavour and firmness of the plums that are pollinators for the the Omega? Basically I am only interested in the Omega plums but if I have to have another variety I might as well have one that I'd be happy to eat.





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neb

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  #2920175 29-May-2022 21:41
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Technofreak:

Is it critical? I don't really know except all the information I've read so far suggest having a pollinator is the best way to guarantee good reliable crops.

 

 

Sure, it must be getting pollinated from somewhere, I meant more does what it's getting pollinated from matter so much in practice? I have no idea what sort of mongrel pollination the various satsumas all ended up with, but they still tasted exactly like satsumas when they ripened.

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  #2920181 29-May-2022 22:07
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neb:
Technofreak:

 

Is it critical? I don't really know except all the information I've read so far suggest having a pollinator is the best way to guarantee good reliable crops.

 

Sure, it must be getting pollinated from somewhere, I meant more does what it's getting pollinated from matter so much in practice? I have no idea what sort of mongrel pollination the various satsumas all ended up with, but they still tasted exactly like satsumas when they ripened.

 

It does matter to some extent. The pollinator has to be compatible. Each variety has it's own set of compatible pollinators. Not all varieties work with each other. 





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Bung
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  #2920183 29-May-2022 22:18
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My elderly uncle (90 at the time) was told to spray a bottle of lemonade on his plum tree to attract pollinators. On the theory that if 1 bottle was good he climbed onto the roof of the house and sprayed the adjacent tree with 2 bottles of lemonade. They had more plums that year than they could use. Any customer at his daughter's shop was given a bag of plums if they wanted them. Luckily he now uses a walking frame and can't get onto the roof.



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  #2920184 29-May-2022 22:21
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Bung: Any customer at his daughter's shop was given a bag of plums if they wanted them.

 

 

Just for reference, which shop would this be, and is there a minimum purchase?

Bung
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  #2920243 29-May-2022 23:57
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It was a florists and the minimum purchase would usually depend on how much trouble you're trying to get out of.

Technofreak

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  #2924821 10-Jun-2022 16:04
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I ended up ordering one of these. https://www.wairere.nz/Plum/Double%20Grafted/Plum-Dble-Billington:Omega-

 

Both types are pollinators for each other and they both seem to have similar attributes with respect to my wants. The Billington fruits a bit earlier which will give a longer harvesting/eating season. Win/win I'm hoping.





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SpartanVXL
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  #2924833 10-Jun-2022 16:16
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In auckland, the more annoying pest is the guava moth. Plenty of plums from the trees but most will be infested with larva.

SATTV
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  #2924851 10-Jun-2022 16:55
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SpartanVXL: In auckland, the more annoying pest is the guava moth. Plenty of plums from the trees but most will be infested with larva.

 

I dont have that issue ( yet )

 

Have you tried anything like a pheromone trap or neem oil?

 

Given plum trees are often quite big it is not practical to cover with fine mesh to keep the buggers out, you could cover some branched once fruit has set and at least keep some fruit.

 

 John





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vexxxboy
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  #2924855 10-Jun-2022 17:08
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Finally cut our Plum Tree down after 25 years or so , it just got to big for the back yard and although you still got a huge amount of plums , they were so high up, only the birds could reach them and the mess they made when they fell of, rotten , well im just glad it's gone.





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Technofreak

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  #2924860 10-Jun-2022 17:15
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vexxxboy:

 

Finally cut our Plum Tree down after 25 years or so , it just got to big for the back yard and although you still got a huge amount of plums , they were so high up, only the birds could reach them and the mess they made when they fell of, rotten , well im just glad it's gone.

 

 

Could you not prune it to keep the size down?





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SATTV
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  #2924893 10-Jun-2022 18:10
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Technofreak:

 

vexxxboy:

 

Finally cut our Plum Tree down after 25 years or so , it just got to big for the back yard and although you still got a huge amount of plums , they were so high up, only the birds could reach them and the mess they made when they fell of, rotten , well im just glad it's gone.

 

 

Could you not prune it to keep the size down?

 

 

The tree will always put their energy into growth once they have been cut and you don't get a great yield for a few years. Some of the original variety's grow very tall, with selective breeding  / grafting and management they can create smaller trees.

 

But there are commercial growers particularly in the Avocado industry that will take the tree back to a stump ( above the graft ) and let them grow again, faster than planting a new tree but will still put 3 - 7 ears energy into growth rather than fruit.

 

John

 

 

 

 





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