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Foot sox for plums
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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
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1
July 21, 2020 - 11:11 am

The evil squirrels keep gobbling up my plums. I was saving the last of my Methley plums but they stole that one too.

I put some old foot sox on the Shiro plums, just after the first one dropped.  It has been astonishingly successful.  They are still hanging in the tree. Even the ones that fell are almost all still untouched.  One had a bite in it, but it's so much better than before.  I think I'm going to have to use this method every year.

John S
PDX OR

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coolbrze
49 Posts
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2
July 22, 2020 - 6:14 am

Foot Sox as in the disposable foot coverings like socks? Do you cover each plum? I've been pinching all my blossoms (sm. relatively new 46 tree orchard) b/c I haven't installed my electric bear fence yet but after doing so - deer, birds, & small game will be what I'll have to watch out for.

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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
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3
July 23, 2020 - 12:26 pm

Yes, the same ones you use on apples and soak in the clay mixture. 

I didn't just want to throw away the old ones. I will reuse the ones that are in good shape. Sometimes, with the ones with holes,  I also tie them around the stem of a graft, because slugs love to slide up there and eat all the new growth, killing the scion, and ensuring that you just have rootstock.  They don't cross over the foot sock, because it will suck up all of their slime.  I've seen them stuck, waiting at the foot sock, trying to figure out how to cross over it. I just pluck them and kill them.

John S
PDX OR

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GH
Battle Ground, WA
82 Posts
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4
August 15, 2020 - 5:27 pm

I tried fruit sox on my Shiro the first year that it produced a few plums, because the plums kept disappearing.  The fruit and sox disappeared also, such a puzzle!  With only one plum remaining, I was lucky enough to spot a Scrub Jay absconding with the plum.  I never found any sox remnants, but I'm supposing that Jays are smart enough to not let some hosiery get in the way of a good meal.  Even though it was sad to lose all of the fruit, it was so enjoyable to watch the Jay's determination to pull off the plum and carry it away.

Did anyone else have a problem this year with their Japanese plums not producing?  Out of three trees we got three Shiro plums.  They were loaded last year.  Although it was a mild and dry winter and spring, all three trees bloomed during an especially cool and rainy spell.  The trees are otherwise disease-free and healthy.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
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5
August 15, 2020 - 10:24 pm

Shiro plums were producing for me even though it was a wet flowering period. Shiro is a hybrid of several species of plum and can't be pollinated by another hybrid plum, such as my toka and lydecker plums. I tried this experiment and it doesn't work. What did it then was my new graft of purebreed myrobalan plum that got put in the same tree a few years ago. I never noticed ants or bees so somehow it got done when I wasn't paying attention to where the pollinators came into play this year.

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GH
Battle Ground, WA
82 Posts
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6
August 15, 2020 - 11:06 pm

The three Japanese plums are Shiro, Beauty, and Satsuma.  All three produce tons of plums, except for this year, so the assumption was that the lack of plums was due to weather conditions.  There are naturalized prune plum trees on the property, also, but I don't think that they have an impact.  Interesting, this requires some research.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
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7
August 16, 2020 - 9:44 am

During the pear scion gathering event I got to work some with George who lives in Oregon city. He loves his satsma plums and so we agreed I would go gather some pollen from them this last spring and I did go. It was heavy blooming going on on two shiro trees that were very big trees with satsuma grafted into both of them. However it was raining hard and no pollen was even available on flowers that were not open yet. Needless to say I was very confident that he would not crop this year and he didn't.

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GH
Battle Ground, WA
82 Posts
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8
August 16, 2020 - 1:07 pm

The plan was to add a Hollywood Japanese Plum to the orchard, but this year of no cropping has changed my mind.  Even when apples develop biennial cropping, there are at least a few apples to eat during the off years.  If the trees produce well next year, it may be tempting to plant another one after all - these plums are so tasty.

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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
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9
August 21, 2020 - 12:28 pm

No fruit set on Hollywood, or my small yellow unnamed one. None on the seedling either. I still got quite a few on Methley and Shiro.  They are really solid here. Those are the ones where the fruit sox helped me save some of them.

John S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
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10
August 21, 2020 - 9:48 pm

John S said
...I put some old foot sox on the Shiro plums, just after the first one dropped.  It has been astonishingly successful...

Since I see your still testing footsox then hopefully you or anyone that uses them on apples might think it's a good idea to soak them in nootkatone as manufactured by nootkashield, a safe new product that apparently harms the nervous systems of insects like ticks and mosquitos so far. The company per the link seeks more bug information and if you or somebody else proves this on codling moth it's a win-win (ie. no losers for a free supply).

What I kind of mean is that even in a worst case scenario that if it won't work with footsox you can still see if your happy wearing it as a repellant against bugs in your nature walks...(?)

The product is a natural discovery as coming from peels of grapefruit and foilage of an Alaskan cedar. 

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
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11
March 18, 2022 - 11:24 pm

John S said
No fruit set on Hollywood, or my small yellow unnamed one. None on the seedling either. I still got quite a few on Methley and Shiro.  They are really solid here. Those are the ones where the fruit sox helped me save some of them.

John S

PDX OR

  

John: What is the comparison between your Methley and Shiro as far as which flowers first? I'm kind of looking for a very early season plum for breeding purposes. This is how I landed here searching for a local pollen source of Methley. I have Shiro which ripens at the same early season as my Lydecker, both good eating plums, but being they both are hybrid plums that can't cross over to each other and I would really like to be testing some from you soon if possible?

I remember your email and so in case you forgot mine I will send one now. Thanks John!

Edit: This update intends to streamline the intention of my using Methley pollen this year;

Some examples of North American plums as Poor pollinators to each other (by prunus breeding technician @ University of Saskatchewan)

Prunus x rossica 'Methley' (by Wikipedia describing a hybrid type descendant from Europe)

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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
(Offline)
12
March 21, 2022 - 2:19 pm

Methley is the early plum.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
(Offline)
13
March 21, 2022 - 8:08 pm

Your three way grafted plum tree that Methley is grafted on peaked flowering the day I was there yesterday. Which gaging by the Shiro we both have and the very cool weather pattern still here does not look like very promising for you.

On the other side of the river (here) it seems my Shiro is up to 2 days after yours. And with improving temperatures tomorrow I will be able to take some data points of how well hybrid Methley can make towards pollinating Shiro. 

I could talk all day about how many places I go but I won't to be kind. So I will stay fixed (ontopic) here on hybrid Methley and hybrid Lydecker, and which (if any) works better on Shiro.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
(Offline)
14
March 23, 2022 - 2:56 pm

Our Japanese plums + bees:

Urban areas such as Wunderground dot com for PDX data for yesterday (March 22nd) verses in what I saw for lack of bee pollinations confirms to me that the only Japanese plums to be had in my yard and going forward are going to be those of my own hand pollinations and breeding. 

Any local observations for any bees? It was sunny and over 60F when I began the process of using hybrid to hybrid of various early flowering diploid plum species and I saw one fly visit two flowers on the same cultivar and several wasp type critters with no capacity to haul pollen the way bees do on body hairs. Even if there small wasps were able to carry pollen everything stayed damp on the pollen due to the closeness between dew point temperature and actual temperature. 

In the process of trying to figure out how bees know not to fly (meaning they know no pollen is freely available) I started figuring ways to quantify yesterdays Wunderground network data (with mostly freeware software) as follows. 

Freeware for personal use Tabula data

Left side; Tabula output to clipboard and clipboard data shown in yellow box capture; the right side

The reason I didn't use rain guage data is that nothing accumulates (ie. poor weather data) when there is actual moisture falling such as last night with our drizzle on my late night walk. All that's missing now is a good bee day and a moving graph of the two numbers on the day it happens... but when?

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