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775 Views 7 Replies Last post: Feb 4, 2014 8:08 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Sep 5, 2013 2:18 PM

Fertility of Prunus spinosa

I enjoy making and consuming sloe gin using the fruits of the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).

I have noticed that fruit only appear on bushes in particular localities.  In the spring there are large areas that are white with blossom but, at this time of year, I find sloes only on certain bushes.  Large expanses of bushes are totally devoid of even a single sloe. The same areas are fruitful from year to year, although the crop can be heavier or lighter.

Are there male plants which cannot fruit (Wikipedia seems to indicate that the flowers are hermaphrodite)?  What other reason can there be for such a marked difference in the fertility of this plant?

     Thank you

JerseyDave

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    Jan 21, 2014 1:09 PM (in response to JerseyDave)
    Re: Fertility of Prunus spinosa

    Hello,

     

    Please try The Royal Horticultural Society http://www.rhs.org.uk/ or the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew http://www.kew.org/

     

    Yours,

     

    Florin

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        Jan 27, 2014 10:52 AM (in response to JerseyDave)
        Re: Fertility of Prunus spinosa

        Hello,

        It's not the wrong forum, but some posts pass unnoticed by experts and I'm trying to offer alternatives when I can't offer an ID or advice.

        Best wishes,

        Florin

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          Re: Fertility of Prunus spinosa

          Dave,

           

          Also try the Brogdale Horticultural Trust, and more specifically, their collections web site

          - http://www.brogdalecollections.co.uk/

          ...which will point you to:

          Contact: Tracey Gurney – Education Officer

          Telephone: 00 44 (0)1795 536250

          Email: education@brogdalecollections.co.uk

           

          We'd be interested to hear the answer; please post it here if you can.

           

          Mike

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    Jan 31, 2014 7:59 PM (in response to JerseyDave)
    Re: Fertility of Prunus spinosa

    I think this is more likely to be a result of the weather conditions at the time of flowering. Because March and early April in 2013 were rather cold and wet the activity of bees was probably lower than normal for this time of year. This would have resulted in fewer flowers being pollinated and hence less fruit. In contrast by the time Apples can into flower the weather was much better leading to a good apple crop last Autumn.

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      Feb 4, 2014 8:08 AM (in response to MalcolmGould)
      Re: Fertility of Prunus spinosa

      Dave, Malcolm,

       

      Good points.

      I would still try to talk with the Brogdale HT, if you can.

      I would not see significant ethical issues with asking the landowner to use different stock for further plantings.

       

      Mike

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