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 italian prune pollination 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post italian prune pollination
I just bought an Italian prune plum from a local nursery, who apparently got it from Dave Wilson Nursery. Anyway, there appears to be some dispute over whether this is a self pollinating variety or not. I've done some research...the nurseries say it's self pollinating, while the bloggers say it needs a pollinator. I can't seem to find a complete answer, so I'm turning to the resource I trust most-the members of the HOS. Thanks in advance for your help!


Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:36 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: italian prune pollination
In my area I believe Italian ‘prunes’ were used to pollinate blocks of Brooks, Brooks being the main crop for drying ‘prunes.’ My Grandmother in Portland, with a fairly isolated lot, had magnificent crops on her ‘stand-alone’ Italian prune tree… My suspicion is similar to that of a Bartlett pear; they are self pollinating, but will bear more fruit with an available pollinator.

As a member of this organization, with access to grafters and grafting classes, I’d suggest you plant the Italian, then devote (graft) a limb to a known pollinator next year. One of my favorite ‘European plums’ are “Petite,” I believe they’re also used as pollinators – but the combination of those two should work … at least I’d try it :P

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:16 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: italian prune pollination
Thanks Viron, I was starting to think about other varieties to graft onto it next year. I was thinking of a yellow plum, such as Victoria, just so I can tell the two apart, but I think Victoria blooms earlier than Italian Prune. I'll look up Petite and see if I can find some scions of it in my area or online. If not, I'll be willing to pay for shipping and labor for any scions from HOS members next Spring. I'm also thinking Green Gage might be a good scion to graft. But other than those varieties, would any Prunus Americana plum varieties be acceptable with the Italian Prune?


Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 414
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: italian prune pollination
I thought Victoria was an orange/red plum popular in England.


Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:44 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: italian prune pollination
I would aim for European plum varieties, as Asian plums bloom earlier.
JOhn S
PDX OR


Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:59 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: italian prune pollination
Yeah, Victoria may be orange-red, I really don't remember. It could be that I've only seen them before they ripen. I could also try a Damson. There are just so many choices that I might end up with a 5-in-1 plum tree when it's all said and done.


Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:24 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: italian prune pollination
Most Euro and Asian plums will grow from cuttings, so if you have a friend who is pruning...........
John S
PDX OR


Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:19 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Junction City, OR
Post Re: italian prune pollination
John,

I did not have time to ask for details of rooting plum cuttings after your talk in West Slope library. I vaguely remember that you mentioned that it’s important to slice the cutting a bit(??). Would you please provide some details?

One old study from UC Davis on rooting plum cuttings I found interesting:

http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/repositor ... -64681.pdf

I am curious about how important the timing of cutting is (with, if any, modifications in the rooting method). In the report above, cutting taken in mid-November (Davis, CA) resulted in best rooting.

I typical prune my plum trees in late summer after harvesting and I do not touch them when they are dormant.

Thank you for your time, over years I have learned a lot from this forum and I find your comments always very helpful.

Best Regards,

EC

PS> A minor comment on your previous talk: since the content is fantastic and huge while time is limited, I think it is better to run PowerPoint in slide show mode so you can move back and forth with simple key strokes: you spent too much time navigating the slides in the side pane. Any time saved would benefit the audience, I am sure you will get a lot of questions, just like the previous time. 8)


Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:53 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: italian prune pollination
Thanks for the link, Eric …but keep in mind their following recommendation:

In propagating nursery trees of some
fruit species there is a trend toward the
use of selected, vegetatively propagated
rootstocks rather than seedlings because
clonal rootstocks may have certain special
characteristics, such as disease or
insect resistance, freedom from virus, or
dwarfing or invigorating influences on
the tree.
For widespread use of such rootstocks,
simple, inexpensive propagation methods-
as the use of hardwood cuttingsare
needed.


Still morning the loss of my beautifully pruned Gravenstein apple trees … no doubt due to a root rot or fungus, I will no longer recommend anyone graft a desired variety to Seedling rootstock or, in this case, propagate your desired variety from a cutting, thus leaving it susceptible to the diseases described above. Witnessing the slow demise of my 40 year old apple trees, while those on a specific rootstock just feet away continue to thrive, was painful… :|

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:00 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: italian prune pollination
Hi Eric,
I appreciate your helpful comment about the slide show version. I will have to ask someone how to do that.

Viron's point is well taken. The rootstock is chosen because it is good at its job. It also leads to quicker fruit. It partially depends on your skill in grafting. Growing from cuttings requires less skill. You could do both of course. Cuttings taken in late summer are likely to dry up and die unless watered carefully. I would slice about two thirds of the cutting, which should be under ground, and the top one third left uncut and out of the ground. Others may have different ratios. you can use rooting hormone, and it usually helps. Late summer is a great time for the tree if it's done fruiting. Only prune prunes :) when it is dry.

I wish you would have introduced yourself.
Thanks
John


Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:07 pm
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