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We have a 4 year old Victoria Plum tree. We prune it, and water it well. We were excited this year when it had the best show of blossoms so far. After blooming, a large number of tiny green plums began to form. Sadly, one by one they dropped off, leaving us with six small red deformed plums, and one normal green plum.

How can we help this tree produce a full crop of healthy fruit?

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    Welcome to the site Carol! In order to try and diagnose your problem, we need more details, especially pictures. Please edit in some of the tree itself, as well as both the healthy and deformed-looking plums. Also, are there any bite marks or visible insects? Where do you live? Have a look at our help center pages. How to Ask is a great place to start. If you need any help, leave us a note. We hope to see you here often! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jul 5 '15 at 20:57
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    Where you are in the world is important to know, and as already mentioned, a photo of the deformed plums in particular – Bamboo Jul 6 '15 at 10:46
  • As well as the buds if they are available...please send pics of the entire plant and its environment/soil. – stormy Jul 7 '15 at 22:59
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There are a few things that could be causing this:

  1. The age of your tree. Four years is actually a very young tree to already be setting fruit. The type of rootstock will affect how early they start to fruit, but a lot of the nurseries will tell you most plums start to bear between 4-6 years of age. I think that is quite optimistic. Mine began bearing reliably at 7-8 years of age.
  2. June drop. It is actually fairly common for plums to set more fruit than the tree can support. If you did not thin the fruit in late spring, the tree will thin the fruit itself by dropping the excess. This is a good thing. If the extra fruit wasn't thinned out, you'd end up with fruit that was really small and poorly developed.
  3. Poor pollination. I suspect that this might also be a factor for you, since you mentioned deformed plums. If there weren't enough pollinators around when your tree bloomed (either because it was too cold for them when the tree bloomed this year or because there simply weren't enough bees around in your area), the fruit would start to form, but would not develop well and would drop after a time. To help with this in the future, make sure you have a bee friendly garden. Plant bee-friendly flowers in your yard to give them food before and after your tree blooms and be careful about pesticide use. That said, I have a no-spray garden with tons of plants to attract the bees, but I've still seen very few for the past two years. With an average-sized yard, there is only so much you can do to support them on your own.
  • Our plum tree was full of white flowers,this is why we could not understand why we still only got 1 large plum – Carol Macklin Jul 13 '15 at 6:23
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    What was the weather like when it was in bloom? Did you get any frosts or freezes? Was it warm enough for bees? Did you see bees? Are there any other pollinators in the area? (Victoria plums are self-fertile, but will still benefit from another pollinator.) – michelle Jul 13 '15 at 14:27

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