Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Santa Rosa Plum

For every success story, there is one that falls below expectations. To be fair, I purchased this plant bareroot and this is what I have to say about bareroot vs. potted.  While bareroot fruit trees are cheaper than their potted counterparts, they also take a little longer to establish themselves.  I think I discovered that I'm definitely a potted fruit tree guy. This tree was the last one to leaf out and I was very worried that it wasn't going to do anything.  However, it leafed out and began to grow.  The branches were easily broken and it just looked terrible. Then some time in the summer it began to look like a tree and I didn't worry anymore.  Today that tree still has leaves and is doing well.  It didn't produce any fruit last year and I don't think it's going to do much this year.  The tree is growing and doing alright, but it wasn't a showstopper for me.  I rate this tree a 6 out of 10 for performance and difficulty growing.  Had I not paid attention to it, I don't think this plant would be alive.  It requires a bit of work, but once it was established, I didn't have to do much.  I personally love plums so I put them in a spot that receives quite a bit of sun with afternoon really was the sweet spot of the garden.  I planted it next to another plum tree that did much better over this variety.  The problem is that it needs this tree to cross pollinate because the Satsuma Plum cannot produce fruit on its' own.  While this plum tree did not fail; it did not entirely meet my expectations.  With that said, I am happy today that it's in the garden and growing.  I'm patient.  Here are the cold facts:)
My Santa Rosa plum tree after it finally leafed out!! It is a bit larger now.

Fruit is delicious and best eaten right off the tree.  It only needs 250 hours of chilling time(perfect for you folks in Phoenix...just watch the sun AND this guy drinks water!). The fruit ripens early June to early July. It is one of the largest and most beautiful Japanese plums with a fragrant yellow flesh.  It is a good backyard variety.  The Santa Rosa Plum tree is self fertile(makes fruit on its' own) and one of the most popular plum trees in the United States with more than 30 percent of the country's total plum crop coming from this tree. This tree can grow up to 25 feet tall.  There are currently no dwarf varieties for plums like there are for other fruit trees.  They love full sun and thrive in any soil.  It can be susceptible to Plum Leaf Scald, but I haven't seen this issue here in Tucson.  Tucson has a variety of plum trees, but they are well hidden.  To be honest, I have not seen any here, but gardeners assure me that people do grow them and have wonderful plums. It's like the "avocado tree" that everyone says grows in a unicorn....don't think I'll ever see one! But the plum tree does grow here.  The picture above is evidence.  If you are a caring gardener, put one in your backyard.  If you are a gardener who just likes a tree to fruit without any assistance, this is not the tree to plant.  It requires a bit of TLC.  This is the second post on Tucson Fruit Trees.   Until next time, Happy Gardening!!

1 comment:

  1. Jump a year into the future and this tree has performed wonderfully. The leaves are now sprouting out along with its' Satsuma counterpart.


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