Santa Rosa Plums

This is a picture of a Santa Rosa Plum tree growing in my parents’ yard.  It is full of plums this year, much more than it usually has.  Temperate climate fruit trees like plums need a lot of winter chill hours (hours below 45 degrees) to bloom and set fruit.  I think part of the reason this tree is producing so heavily is that last winter was colder than normal – at least in terms of night time low temperatures.  

In addition, 2008 was a very dry spring in California.  It was one of the driest springs on record.  Heavy spring rains can reduce fruit production by damaging the blossoms or preventing them from getting pollinated.  The dry weather has probably increased fruit tree production this year.

2008 has also been a bountiful year for fruit trees in my yard too.  My peach, pear, nectarine, apricot, and apple trees are full of fruit.  I don’t have a plum tree right now. In general, plums are not at the top of my list of favorite fruits, but Santa Rosa plums do have a nice sweet-tart flavor.  They are mainly fresh eating plums, because the fruit flesh clings tightly to the seed (clingstone), making it hard to cut out for cooking.  I would recommend them to anyone considering planting a fruit tree in their yard.  One nice thing about plums is that they tend produce fruit at a younger age than other fruit trees, such as pears.

August 10 2008 02:58 pm | Plums