Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can I cut down the two scrawny trees (which my brother says are the males) near my two fruitful plum trees?

The leaves on these trees seem similar to those on the plum trees, but blossom with little blue/purple flowers whereas the plum trees blossom white. If they are, indeed, the males, do I need to keep both of them - one for each fruit-bearing plum tree, or is one male enough for both of them? Can't they cross-polinate each other? Or do they have to be different species? Thank you.

Can I cut down the two scrawny trees (which my brother says are the males) near my two fruitful plum trees?
Did you plant them? If you didn't, then they are more than likely "suckers" that have grown from the rootstock (plums are notorious for sucker production). If this is the case, cut them off and get rid of them. All of the energy is going towards these useless suckers, instead of fruit production for your plum trees. The flower color should tell you that they are not true plums, but rather scrawny suckers. There is no such thing as "male" plum trees for your brothers information.. Hope this answers your question.

**Billy Ray**

keep the trees

trees are good

keep them
Reply:Take blossoms and leaves from, both kinds of trees to your local extension service so that they can properly identify them, before you cut anything down.
Reply:It would be OK to take out one, if you are worried about pollination.

But as noted before, you need to have a good identification of both the fruiting and other trees to be sure. Some plums do not need a seperate pollinator, but not knowing which variety you have bearing fruit...can't say what the situation is.

Little blue purple flowers? I'm not sure what that variety would be. But it sounds nice.

How about giving the 'scrawny' trees some fertilizer. And the fruiting ones too. May help them all.

But generally one male tree will pollinate several females.

Now, the thing is, plums are compplete flowers, both male and female. However they are not always self fertile.

So have them checked out, when in bloom by a knowlegable fruit grower.
Reply:Plums are not 'male and female'... it's just that some can fertilize themselves and make good fruit , and some need another tree nearby to get GOOD pollination and the best fruit result..... different types give the best production, but they need to bloom at nearly the same time..... your tree with the 'blue/purple' blooms is unfamiliar to me, so I agree, you should take a sample branch to the County Extension office and get an ID for sure.... before you cut down anything.... if your two GOOD trees are producing well, removing those trees (if they ARE the pollinators)could result in little or less than satisfactory fruit production on the good trees.........know before you act!!!....

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