COLUMNS

Plum Perfect

janeseeley

The fruit trees began blooming early this year, the plums in full bloom almost a month ago and about two weeks earlier than normal. The Santa Rosa plum tree went off first, a vast and full array of floral beauty, set against blue skies and a gorgeous mountain. I love this plum and last year the abundant crop inspired my first attempt at canning, resulting in “Plum Perfect Jam”. This year, however, the intensely dense flower crop was accompanied by a couple nights of 23-24 degree weather, cold enough to have a potential deadly effect on the production of any fruit.

I have been watching the plum tree with intense scrutiny for signs of set fruit and finally I am seeing small plums setting, no doubt not the harvest of last year, but enough to satisfy my desires and hopefully enough to replenish my dwindling supply of jam. The other plum tree, a cherry plum which always produces an over abundant crop of cherry sized plums, is once again well on its way to establishing a huge crop, it is pictured above.

I am watching the cherry and pear trees as their flowers fade; the apples are in bloom. However, the red delicious which set a huge crop that I thinned three times last year has produced only one branch in bloom this year; it is obviously true that some fruit trees alternate productive years and this year the red delicious is taking a rest. So keep an eye on your trees for the signs of a potential harvest, the days of spring are upon us.