I have a plum tree that is meant to be self pollinating. I have had it for four years, but when I bought it it was 5 years old. The first two years I had an abundant crop of plums. But for the last two years there has been no sign of any blossom, and last year no plums at all. I have a column apple tree also and both years it has produced plenty of blossom and fruit, so the soil seems to be fine for that tree. The last two years the Winter has not been too bad, 3 and 4 years ago we had a huge amount of snow. This year it has been quite mild, so I do not think it is due to frost. What is going wrong, my 5 year old daughter misses picking fresh, delicious plums off the tree!?

It is a Plum Opal, Fan trained - definitely self fertile. The Rootstock is described as St Julien A and Pixy. The plum is positioned alongside a wooden fence and faces full sun for a large proportion of the day. It has never been allowed to dehydrate, but is also on the top of a slight incline, so not in standing water either. The leaves are healthy and there are plenty of small side shoots growing, just no evidence of blossom. I have not pruned it this year, but did so last June.

  • 1
    Can you describe your growing conditions for the plum tree? Amount of sun, amount of water, are there any odd looking things going on with the leaves or branches? Has anyone pruned it in the past two years? What are your winter temperatures like? What variety of plum is it, if you know?
    – TeresaMcgH
    May 2, 2014 at 17:22
  • From your description of the last few winters, it sounds as if you're in the UK - do you have a large bullfinch population where you live? Otherwise, answers to Teresa's questions would be helpful, plus, is there anything growing round the base of the tree? Do you know if it has a dwarfing rootstock? Is it growing normally otherwise?
    – Bamboo
    May 3, 2014 at 11:03
  • Hi @user3416! It looks like you’ve accidentally created a couple of accounts. If you’d like to merge them (there are some advantages to doing so), the instructions are here. Welcome to the site!
    – Niall C.
    May 3, 2014 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


I'd like to ask how you pruned it - plums fruit on year old and older wood, so if you took off quite a lot of growth, you may well have removed the wood which would have flowered/fruited this year. Pruning of a fan trained plum is quite specific and rated as 'moderate' in the difficulty of pruning table, so is that a possible answer?

Even if it is, that doesn't explain why it didn't flower the year before you pruned it, other than to say that because this particular plum flowers quite early, the flowers are very susceptible to frost damage, and last year in the UK (if that's where you are) we had a very cold and miserable spring.


If your tree is in your lawn perhaps the high nitrogen fertilizer used for the lawn has told your plum to put out vegetative growth versus reproductive growth...?

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