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Greengage trees

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Question from Fi


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I have three greengage trees which fruit well, but in August before they ripen many of the fruit turn mouldy - too many to pick off. Also in previous years much of the fruit has contained tiny maggots next to the stone. Needless to say we now cut them open and destone before eating! They are delicious though and any tips for saving more fruit would be welcome. Two of the trees are quite old.

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  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Wed. 19th September 2007 14:37

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Reply from Palustris Catz

Greengages are the worst of all the plums for getting Brown rot. There is little one can do about it, except that you really do need to remove any affected fruit as the spores are spread from those. Pruning the trees to allow more air through is also useful. BUT you do need to prune from March on and from August to Sept , but not between the end of Sept and December because f the risk of Silver disease. The spores over winter on the bark of the trees. You could wash the trees down with a fungicide.
As for the plum moth caterpillars. First of all give the trees a Winter Tar oil wash in December. There is an organic version of this which is very good. Then in spring hang a Plum Moth trap in the trees. They are very effective.

  • Posted: Thu. 20th September 2007 21:25


Reply from Fi

Thanks Eric, that's really helpful. At least I know what the enemy is called now! Just made some greengage jam as despite mould problems, have too many to eat at once! Tastes like nectar.
The upside of the mouldy fruit on the trees, is it attracts red admiral butterflies - lovely!

  • Posted: Sun. 23rd September 2007 12:19