BACK

Plum Pollinators
Plums are one of the most vigorous, tolerant and easiest of stone fruits to grow and will reward you with prolific crops for very little effort. The variety of Plums on offer to today can make choosing the right tree for the right place a little mind boggling.

The most important thing to know about Plum trees is that most require a pollinator i.e. another plum tree planted nearby that will help cross pollinate the blossom in order for fruit to be produced. Nearby does not necessarily have to be in your garden but the chances of a good crop are improved greatly if the bees don't have to fly too far to do their job.

There are 3 main species of Plum and their hybrids sold in New Zealand. They are:-

European (Prunus domestica) - Includes many heritage varieties. Usually perform better in cooler climates where they can be completely dormant in winter. Fruit is often very aromatic and usually smaller than the Japanese Plum.

Japanese (Prunus salicina) - Vigorous, more tolerant of warmer climates, tend to have large fleshy fruit.

Cherry Plums (Prunus cerasifera) - These tend to fruit first in the season with smaller fruit.

The chart below is an easy guide to find the correct pollinator for your favourite Plum tree. Self-fertile Plums can be planted without a Pollinator but will usually do best with a companion of the same species.

Cultivar
Angelino
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Fortune, Black Amber

Cultivar
Angelina Burdett
Type
European
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Self fertile, Greengage

Cultivar
Billingtons Early
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Black Doris, Omega

Cultivar
Black Amber
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Satsuma

Cultivar
Black Doris
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Elephant Heart, Santa Rosa, Duffs Early Jewel

Cultivar
Blue Diamond
Type
European
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Angelina Burdett, Greengage

Cultivar
Burbank
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Self fertile, Santa Rosa, Omega, Duffs Early Jewel

Cultivar
Coes Golden Drop
Type
European
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Greengage, Reine Claude de Bavay

Cultivar
Damson
Type
European
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Self fertile

Cultivar
Delight
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Elephant Heart, Santa Rosa

Cultivar
Duffs Early Jewel
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Self fertile, Santa Rosa, Red Doris

Cultivar
Elephant Heart
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Sultan

Cultivar
English Greengage
Type
European
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Self fertile, Coes Golden Drop

Cultivar
Fortune
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Billington

Cultivar
Greengage
Type
European
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Self fertile, Coes Golden Drop

Cultivar
Hawera
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Self fertile

Cultivar
Luisa
Type
European
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Self fertile

Cultivar
Mac Verna
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Billingtons, Wilsons Early

Cultivar
Marabella
Type
European
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Self fertile

Cultivar
Mariposa
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Elephant Heart, Satsuma

Cultivar
Omega AKA George Wilson
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Duffs Early Jewel

Cultivar
Plumcot
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Duffs Early Jewel, Santa Rosa

Cultivar
Purple King
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Duffs Early Jewel, Red Doris

Cultivar
Queen Rosa
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Satsuma

Cultivar
Red Beaut
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Santa Rosa, Billington

Cultivar
Red Doris
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Feb-March
Pollinator
Duffs Early Jewel, Santa Rosa

Cultivar
Reine Claude de Bavay
Type
European
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Self fertile

Cultivar
Santa Rosa
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Partially Self fertile, Omega, Black Doris

Cultivar
Satsuma
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Partially self fertile, Santa Rosa

Cultivar
Shiro
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Santa Rosa

Cultivar
Sultan
Type
Japanese
Ripe
Jan-Feb
Pollinator
Partially Self fertile, Santa Rosa, Elephant Heart

Cultivar
Wilsons Early
Type
Hybrid
Ripe
Dec-Jan
Pollinator
Partially Self fertile, Black Doris, Billington

Rootstocks for Plums
As Plums are so vigorous and naturally grow very large, their size can controlled by the type of rootstock that they are budded or grafted on to. As with Apples the rootstock will dictate the eventual size of your Plum tree and how it responds to various growing conditions. The rootstocks are a specially selected form of Plum from the same family (Prunus). They form the roots of the tree and the first part of the stem - the scion which is the named variety of Plum is then budded on to the rootstock and this forms the main part of the tree. The most common Plum rootstocks are as follows:

Myrobalan
- Controls height to approximately 4-5m
- Tolerant of wet and heavy soils
- Keeps tree size and crop size uniform
- Shows good disease resistance
- Adaptable and hardy

Marianna Semi Dwarf
- Controls height to approximately 3.5m
- Tolerant of heavy soils
- Shows good disease resistance

St Julian Semi Dwarf
- Controls height to 4-5m
- Good for colder areas or inconsistent climatic conditions
- Bears fruit after 3-4 years
- Can stand on its own roots, no staking

PixieDwarf
- Control height to 3m
- Prolific and will produce fruit after 2 years - fruit will be slightly smaller
- Needs staking
- Likes ideal conditions i.e. sun, good drainage

Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm