Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stay of execution

This plum tree came with the house.  It's properly mature, probably 30 years old and the neighbours kept telling us how much fruit it produces.

Except it's never produced fruit for us. 

One or two, despite clouds of divine blossom and the efforts of our bees.

We gave it a savage prune.

We fed it.

Talked to it.

No change - just a few sad fruit

Our lovely next door neighbour has a similar tree.  Same problem.

We'd just decided to cut it down and replace it with a productive tree when a farmer friend suggested that the problem was likely to be that it needs a pollinator.

As it used to fruit, we think the pollinator was in someone else's back yard.

There are a lot of old houses around us disappearing to make way for blocks of three and four units.  The developers clear the blocks completely.

The practical reinventor managed to pick one plum and take it to a specialist propagating nursery.  Turns out it's a Kelsey plum.  Fairly unusual and a lovely fruit, with sweet pale yellow flesh and lots of juice.

This is a mariposa.  It's a blood plum and should provide both ours and our neighbour's tree with the right kind of pollen.