ARRGH No Plum wine this year??

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by Scooter68, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    It's March 12th and the biggest Plum tree I have is beginning to bloom. ABOUT 4 WEEKS TOO EARLY. Last frost in our area is typically 2nd or 3rd week of April. Blossoms were popping open yesterday and the temp this morning was 32. Next two mornings it's supposed to hit 30. NOT looking good. This tree does this pretty much every year and I can't do much about it. Tried home made "Smudgepots" one year (Tiki torches around the bottom) but that didn't work since it was in the 20s. Maybe a few will make it. I've planted a couple of other varieties of plum trees that are supposed to be later producing. REALLY want to make some homemade plum wine, and of course have plums to eat fresh too. This tree in 11 years has produced about a 2 dozen plums of which I think I've gotten eat less than 6 because of the birds. The tree itself is the biggest fruit tree I have at about 9 inches in diameter at the first fork. (12 inches at the base of the trunk) I spent about half a day pruning it this year and as you can tell even then I could have pruned it back more.
    Plum2018_2.JPG Plum2018_1.JPG
     
  2. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    I feel for you. Most all our fruit trees got hammered with frost last year. Been using juice from the local brew store and what little was left in the freezer from the year before. Hope we get some fruit this year. Arne.
     
  3. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    That is heart breaking! Invest the time and money to grow a tree then have that happen! I have two grape vines for 5 years now and have yet to see a grape!
     
  4. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Yeah, We haven't had a real freeze since the trees blossomed. Blossoms are now fading out BUT now in the forecast out for the next 10 days I see 3 days (Not in a row) with near freezing and one freezing - Now is when you hope the weather forecast is too pessimistic. I am afraid to look at the blossoms - I suspect what I will see is lots of tiny little wanna be plums about to get snuffed out. Ah well.
     
  5. Arne

    Arne Senior Member

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    Hope you stay warm. We woke up today to the ground covered with snow. Still coming down, hope it quits soon. Supposed to go to the daughters for Easter, might have to put it off for another week or two. Arne.
     
  6. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Thanks, looks like the next 4-5 days will be the worst, I hope. Average last frost day here is April 26. Of course it can be later or earlier, this year hoping it's behind us. I've also got broccoli plants out Covered partially and lettuce seeds also under row covers. But that's just the way things go.
     
  7. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    Man, that's tough. Idon't have plum trees - it's my cherry trees that get hit by a late frost or snow. If we get warm days in early March and the buds start to swell and then BAM - a freeze or snow or freezing rain hits and the temps stay in the sub-freezing range - then no blossoms = no cherries. Happened 2 years in a row - then last year, got over 20# off 1 tree.

    Wrongway - it took my grapes 7 years before the first cluster. Keep pruning & training the vines, tho. I kinda gave up one mine and let it go w/o pruning - now I have to cut it way back. Once established - they are tough. Mine almost drowned 2 different times and I thought it was dead - came back every time.
     
  8. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Well we just had 2 days in a row of freezing (25 and 28 degrees) I've just decided not to even go look at the trees. If the produce, they produce. Maybe by the end of April or early May I'll go inspect. I have been surprised a couple of years when I thought all was lost - Only to find.... A bonanza - 4 whole Plums on my huge tree. Yeah, that's dissappointing, especially when you find them already ripened and bird pecked...

    But maybe one year I'll get a real bonus crop and I'll be able to complain about what to do with all of the plums. I already know the answer Whine! Ooops I mean Wine ! :db


    Yeah Wildhair sometimes just when you think you are safe... Right now our young cherry bushes (trees someday?) are loaded with blossoms and they are now calling for a real hard freeze in 5 days. At least the Apple trees haven't budded out or blossomed, yet, and the blueberries are just starting.
     
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  9. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    We're still in winter up here - ground still frozen, snow still lingering, temps hovering in the 30's. It's lovely. I looked at my cherry trees this morning - buds are still tight. Garden plants are started in the greenhouse. Got all the fruit pruned last month. I really chopped the heck out of my yellow transparent apple tree. It was supposed to be a semi-dwarf and it's over 25 feet tall and show no sign of slacking off. I really "opened up the middle" as they say. Now I have more wood for smoking fish and venison - so it's all good.
    Now - winter, winter go AWAY!
     
  10. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    I suspect somebody played with the labels at the nursery on that Transparent Apple. Such fun. I've had that happen once or twice with the veggies at Lowes or other garden centers. Little children with wandering hands no doubt.
    Today it's beautiful so I think I'm going to do a little garden prep work, With raised beds here it's nice - Ya set a goal of doing 1 or 2 beds instead of not knowing when to stop. (of course the back tells me later when I went too far)
    Anyway hope winter is over soon. I was looking up Montana way a couple to days ago using the weather sites "Snow Cover" map. Uggggh Spring for them is many days away.
    I checked your location Winneconne - yeah you have a few more weeks to go but hopefully not too long. Spent 2 years in Duluth in 79-81. Once you've been there you really understand cold, and short summers. Good luck to you with that Apple tree.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  11. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Ah well, life happens. Only one of my 3 plum trees old enough to produce has any plums on it - about a dozen plums. But the tougher news is that I stopped by the local peach orchard - they suffered late freeze damage to their crop and may be hurting as well - translation HIGHER PRICES for what they will have in another 6-7 weeks.

    Still waiting to see about apple trees and the blueberries did appear to suffer some as well. Guess I will have to focus on something other than making a lot of wine this year.

    (Of course I can pull out the frozen blueberries from last year as I replace them with the blueberries from this year. We are in no danger of running out so if the stored quantity drops for a year, Meh OK.)
     
  12. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    My strawberries got hammered - lots of winter kill in the whites, June bearing and the Alpine. But the cherries blossomed! yah! Looks like the apples are fine, grape buds haven't started swelling yet.
     
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  13. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Good year to perhaps step back and assess future directions in wine making as far as what types and my processes.

    On the up side there still seem to be plenty of empties at the recycling center. Perhaps I can start building and organizing my collections to go with future wines to bottle and make. You know this could be an advantage to the OCD side. :db
     
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  14. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Hate to hear that, Plum is one of my favorites. I was looking at the oodles of Sand Plum bushes at my sisters farm and not seeing anything that resembles a plum yet anyway!
     
  15. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Maybe i can find some plums at a local market that are over-ripe and bruised. Figure about 5-6 lbs per gallon at least should make a decent wine.
     
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  16. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Yes that is a good idea, We have the chain stores Dillons here.
    I should check with them!
     
  17. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Yeah hope you can connect with a manager on that. They may have policies that prevent selling the fruit like we want but if you never ask you'll never know. Also look for some fruit stands as well, they certainly would rather sell their stuff at a lower price than throw it out with a total loss. Chain stores have their accountants and lawyers prodding them to avoid ANYTHING that might come back to bite them. Yeah Silly but you know with the lawsuit happy attitudes the exist...
     
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  18. wrongway

    wrongway Senior Member

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    Ya, some of the things that are done is hard to understand.
    There is a C*sey's Truck Stop in town and they always have
    Pizza by the slice and after so long of time they have to
    throw it away. I know a person that works there and I ask,
    Don't they let you eat it at break time? He said Nope!
    Maybe they have good reason but I cringe
    when I see things like that just thrown out.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  19. wildhair

    wildhair Member

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    We have a very wasteful country, but that's also because we have the most lawyers per capita of ANY country. There's a "cause and effect". No one wants to get sued - even if you win, the cost to defend yourself can bankrupt you...........so you still lose.

    You SAY you want the fruit to make wine, so the store sells it to you cheap. But instead you eat it and get sick and sue them because they knew the fruit was past it's prime which is why they sold it at a discount. So - they never do that again.
     
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  20. Scooter68

    Scooter68 Old Enough to know better but....

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    Sadly that is the thought process that takes over in place of common Sense. I know of one place that donates their leftover bread products...BUT not bread that has been sliced up already in their slicing machine. Go figure that one.
     
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