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I have a had a Mirabelle de Nancy plum tree in my garden for at least 3 years but so far no fruit. It is growing and healthy with long thin branches which point upwards. They each have lots of little 'spurs'? On them. It is fairly close to another small plum tree, possibly Victoria, which fruits abundantly. This week I decided to be reckless and snipped off the top 25% of a couple of the branches and tied them horizontally to see if it will encourage fruiting...of course this could be its death knell but I thought what have I got to lose! Any thoughts anyone?

Pruning may be part of the answer but not at this time of the year as you can introduce silver leaf disease. Generally prune plums and cherries when they are in full leaf. It may be that you need the 'right' pollinator nearby (you may need to research that one). Also try feeding with a high potash fertilizer to encourage fruit production.

Training the branches horizontally will also help to encourage fruit spurs along the branches.


Mirabelle is self fertile and does not need a partner, our plums took 3 years before fruiting, it means it could be growing a root system instead of producing fruit.

Many thanks. Yes Man of Kent I knew I was taking a risk with nipping off the tips of a couple of branches. We shall see whether I have been foolish. Patience needed then Netherfield. Maybe this will be the year

Festooning is a great technique to use on plums, encourages flowering/fruiting and also controls vigour.


Festooning? Sounds lovely....but what is it?



I have a similar problem with a new Victoria, bit of blossom first year of planting but nothing last year or this, though it's growing well and seems healthy. I mulched with compost in Autumn, should I mulch again with some potash compost now or leave it till Autumn?

Like the festooning idea so will give that a go this weekend if I can work out how to anchor it!


Tie the branches to bricks??

Jim Macd

Always ensure you don't burry the graft if you do the scion will root and want to be a large tree before it flowers.

Leaves again this year, no blossom as yet but the plum tree right next door has had lovely blossom. Maybe this will be the year for the Mirabelle 

Jim Macd

My Mirabelles have finished flowering already, I'm in County Durham. This is just the first full year they've been in. I think you've buried your graft. Have a look at the base of the tree if you can't see a join then dig down gently with a trowel until you find the join.


If you have buried it then uncover it, if any roots are coming from the scion then remove them with a very sharp knife or secateurs. The graft/join should be well above the soil since even an inch above may not be enough to stop the scion rooting in especially since you've mulched. I've got an apple tree that I think has probably rooted from the scion even though it's above the soil. There's roots coming from the join which could be from either the rootstock or the scion and it still hasn't flowered which tells me I need to get the secateurs out. 


Many thanks for this helpful image. I shall have a look and what's what with my Mirabelle. If necessary then the secateurs it will be

Jim Macd

I cleared the roots from around the graft on my apple yesterday. I'm not sure if they were from the scion or the rootstock looking at this photo they look like they came from the rootstock but I'm glad I cut them away, it won't hurt the tree in the long run. Hopefully next year it will flower. There's flowers the Court Pendu Plat I grafted onto it but I'm not going to read much into that yet. The variety was originally Ambassy. I don't know much about that other than it's an early and that's probably it only virtue. 





Another year and still no fruit

No roots around the grafting point either.

I may think about moving it. Though it is in good soil it may be competing with other things - gooseberries & strawberries.

It has leaves, had blossom, no frost - all very puzzling as the plum tree a few feet away is yet again laden.

I guess that's gardening for you 



I think maybe that mirabelles are the most select type of plums? I think that they are commercially grown in the warmer parts of France. I don't know where you live, but I'm wondering if you have bought yourself a thoroughbred race horse when what you want/need is a hunter.

I have never seen a mirabelle growing in UK. No doubt they do exist. It may be that you just don't have those hot continental days that it needs to feel at home.

Just a thought.

Jim Macd

If your tree had blossom but no fruit and never had fruitlets then it's a pollination issue, assuming everything else is fine. I've got two  that have been shoved in a hedge for just a year and a bit, they've had bigger fruit than my moly coddled plums this year. I did hand pollinate though. With so few bees and pollinators around you can't rely on them to do the job, and no amount of nectar rich plants in your garden is going to help if there's no bees there in the first place because they've been killed off by ant killer and other pesticides people scatter round like salt on chips. I know most harm is being done by farmers but if we don't do our bit the bees are stuffed and your crops along with them. 

Useful info here particularly that they are only partially self fertile.

I have just harvested from my cherry plum which took years to begin fruiting. It flowers very early in the year, usually before my Victoria plum trees. 

Perhaps it is a pollination issue although we do have bees in the garden, quite a lot as it is a very wildlife friendly area.....chemicals almost entirely banned!

I think I shall try moving it and possibly siting it close to two old apple trees which still produce fruit.

Many thanks for all you suggestions, thoughts etc.

I have a mirabelle now 3 years old. I had 5 plums this year. Better than the 4 last year.

i live not far from Agen, France. plum country of course and am going to step up the potash feed this year as advised on this forum. I was advised feed in the Autumn and again in the early spring.