zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
[personal profile] zeborah
Did you know, Gentle Reader, that in New Zealand it is completely legal for your neighbour to chop down their own plum tree whose branches happen to hang over your fence, thus delivering to you every January a bountiful crop of the most delicious plums in the world?

To be honest, I was actually aware of this cruel and unjust law, but before today I never once thought such a thing would ever happen to me.

Even aside from being a downright unneighbourly thing to do, it's really rather futile. As I may have noted before, plum trees are like a tasty version of convolvulus: just when you chop one down, another springs up from the taproots on the other side of the garden. Then you turn back to the first one and discover new shoots growing off every inch of the stump.

In fact do you know what I was doing when the neighbour told me he was chopping down his plum tree? ("I noticed it's crowding out your trees," he says. I tried to reassure him not to worry about it on account of my camellias -- what good did camellias ever do a body? -- but soon gathered that this was merely a polite way of saying "I hope this makes you as happy as it's going to make me to chainsaw the sap out of this thing.") Well, for one thing I'd just finished gathering a bag full of windfall plums to preserve. But what I was doing *then* was pinching shoots off a couple dozen would-be plum trees I'd cut near the ground a week or two ago, and wondering when three other plum trees had started growing in my herb garden.

So even if my neighbour chops down his entire tree, and also all the other plum trees that have spawned and thrived along that fence, I've still got a young-but-fruiting plum tree on my side of the fence, and a bazillion other proto-plum trees that would welcome the opportunity to show me what they could do.

But it's going to be a few years before I get nearly as many plums as I have been.

Date: 2010-01-25 08:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Also - I don't know if this is true of plums in general and this plum in particular - most cultivated fruit trees are grafted. So what you get from the suckers is the rootstock, which is hardy and grows well, but may not bear the most delicious fruit. Then again, it may... so good luck!

Date: 2010-01-25 09:11 am (UTC)
ext_245057: painted half-back picture of me that looks more like me than any photograph (Default)
From: [identity profile] irinarempt.pip.verisignlabs.com (from livejournal.com)
Gah. Reminds me of my landlord chopping down his walnut tree, the only thing that made my otherwise very exposed roof terrace bearable in summer, because he'd noticed that I wasn't getting any sun. No, but I didn't want any, and I did want walnuts, but it never occurred to him to ask.

(I moved anyway, before the next walnut season)

Date: 2010-01-25 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jhetley.livejournal.com
I have to say that I rather wish our city would deprive us of plums. A couple of the kinds of flowering trees they plant between road and sidewalk ("pavement") fruit and dump squishy detritus all over. Nobody but the crows harvests the production . . .

The City Forester should review a plant's entire life cycle before selection, that's all I'm saying.

Date: 2010-01-25 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ritaxis.livejournal.com
You can eat those pljums. Use them like sour cherries.

Date: 2010-01-25 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jhetley.livejournal.com
None of the offenses live in front of our house, or even on our block. By the time we get there, it's just a question of watching where we put our feet.

Date: 2010-01-25 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ritaxis.livejournal.com
Are they the kind of plums that have the same plums from the top of the tree as from the suckers that come from the root?
If you're getting a lot of suckers from the root, you know that tree is kind of stressed. So you might be able to choose a couple of the sprouts and nurture them and thus prevent as many sprouts as previously.

Camellias do no harm, and if they're the winter-blooming kind, they look nice in the rain.

So funny to talk to a person with opposite seasons -- your plums are bearing while mine are just beginning to think about blooming.

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