Szabó, Z., Nyéki, J., Andrásfalvy, A., & Soltész, M. (1999). Association of European plum varieties in the orchards. International Journal of Horticultural Science, 5(1-2), 21-24. https://doi.org/10.31421/IJHS/5/1-2/15
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The flowering phenology, blooming time and inter-fertility relations of 63 European plum varieties has been studied at growing sites with different ecological conditions during a 10 year long period. The purpose was to develop a system of variety combinations which approaches an optimum in fertility as long as inter-fertility relations will cease to be a limiting factor of yield. According to their blooming time, varieties are assigned to 5 groups: very early, early, medium, late and very late. As for their fertility relations, four groups are formed: self-sterile (0%), partially self-fertile (0.1 to 10 %), self-fertile (10.1 to 20 %) and highly self-fertile (more than 20 % fruit set with self pollination). The four categories of fruit set at free pollination are also relevant to the grower: low (less than 10 %), medium (10 to 20 %), high (20 to 40 %) and very high (more than 40 % fruit set).
By artificial cross pollination, one combination Cacanska najbolja x Stanley proved to be mutually inter-incompatible. Blocks planted to a single self-sterile variety flanking a pollinizer variety proved the spacial distribution of the pollen. The reduction in fruit set was already apparent in the second row away from the pollinizer trees. In a large plantation, without bee hives, relatively low yield was stated on self-sterile trees even close to the pollinizer.
In the case of self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties, a combination of three varieties is recommended. The blooming period of the pollinizer variety should overlap the period of the self-sterile variety at least by 70 %, and the distance should not exceed 15 to 20 meters. Association of self-fertile varieties may also enhance the productivity of the trees. In that case an overlap of 50 % in blooming time and a maximum distance between the varieties of 30 to 40 meters will be sufficient.