My Garden ~ plums and possums

Our Luisa plum tree branches have a heavy crop this season. It’s a large cone-shaped yellow-fleshed fruit, sweet and juicy to eat  when ripe and picked straight from the tree. However, we have a problem. Possums! This animal is a serious pest in New Zealand. They roam distances and forage during the night and damage trees. We set Timms traps as we will neither use poison baits as we don’t wish to harm the environment nor shoot the pest for obvious reasons of safety of others. We check and clear possible nesting sites on our place. Our friend has three Jack Russell dogs. She says the possums don’t venture much onto their property because the dogs have strong hunting instincts. Though we enjoy the company of our canine friends, we don’t own a dog. Oh well, I’ll just have to pick the fruit and preserve it before we lose the lot. At least the courgettes and lettuces have been spared.

Luisa Plum    Ripening and undamaged Luisa plum fruit is large, red skinned and yellow-fleshed.

Luisa Plum   Half-eaten plum left on the branch by a possum. Often branches are broken as the animal clambers through the tree in search of the tastiest fruits.

 Possum damage to Luisa Plum   More possum damage. Plums are knocked to ground – often the unripe fruit.

4 thoughts on “My Garden ~ plums and possums

  1. Do you have another name for Luisa Plums? There is a tree like this growing in a neighbour’s property (in Hobart) and the plums are just ripening now and are sweet, long oval fruit. I tried google searching luisa plum, but it only came back with your blog and these photos as the only useful thing it could find. I’m wondering what tree it is with the thought that one day I may grow one myself. Thanks.

  2. Hi, Miriam. I have no other name for the Luisa plum. The only horticultural info I could ever find is in the hyperlink above. My notes from my local garden centre’s catalogue at the time of purchase a few years ago read that Luisa was first cultivated in Hamilton from a chance seedling. No mention about possible parent trees – how it might have got its name. The notes describe Luisa as very large, yellow flesh and skin, virtually freestone. Unusual shape, similar to a mango. Exceptional eating quality. Ripens late January to Early February. Self-fertile. It is aromatic, fine flesh, juicy and sweet. Relatively disease resistant in more humid parts of New Zealand. I have found this fruit tree easy to grow and true to description. Cheers, Jenny.

  3. Good Afternoon Miriam,
    I was just wondering if you knew of any nursery where we could purchase a Luisa plum tree?
    We live just outside Auckland in Beachlands.
    Thanks Tony

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