Letting the plums stay on the tree at planting time appears to have slowed down it’s growth but it appears to be starting to push new leaves now.
I’m, very, very excited to see that someone I know has AU Cherry. When your tree starts growing vigorously enough for you to spare some scion I would love some. But at the right time of year of course, and don’t set back your young tree on my account. But I am looking for this variety and would happily trade any scion from my trees for it. God bless.
Tree vigor and tolerance to plum leaf scald
are the primary improvements of ‘AUCherry’.
Trees of ‘AU-Cherry’ are vigorous
and show no evidence of plum leaf scald,
whereas trees of ‘Methley’ grow much slower
and are highly susceptible to plum leaf scald.
Tree vigor is a primary selective criterion in
the southeastern United States and the relationship
of plum leaf scald to phony peach
makes resistance important.
Another improvement of ‘AU-Cherry’ is
its tree longevity.
I’m not sure why but many of the plum varieties have Methley in their heritage which is disease prone and on the smaller side. Methley being self pollinating is the only logical reason I can come up with.
Good info on AU Cherry. What I know is that it one parent is P. caricefera and the other an Asian Plum. That’s what makes me think it would make a really big tree if grafted on Mariana since Mariana is a really big tree.
AU Cherry. Softening a little but not completely sweet yet. Very small pit.
Wow. Looks beautiful. How does it taste? Or have you had a fully ripe one yet?
I haven’t had a fully ripe one yet, This one was still a little tart.
Dang! It’s looks just like a slightly under-ripe Mariana which shares the P. carisafera parent in common! How big was / is it?
Plenty of other self-pollinating plums to work with
Too me red flesh is generally a positive in a plum. Not only does it mean more antioxidants in an already extremely nutritious fruit but it also usually means well colored jams, preserves, sauces that keep their color well in storage. But it looks small, which is what I would guess by something called a “cherry plum” which will make it more time consuming to process. That’s the one really good characteristic of Robustos. The individual plums are the perfect size for processing. They are not so big that they are hard to handle, but big enough to make processing fast and easy.
In your climate, yes. In the deep south, no. Au Cherry is really the only self pollinating plum that I know of that’s supposed to be disease resistant enough for our climate. But until the grafts I plan for this spring have been in the ground for a few years, I won’t even know if it can stand the disease pressure in my canker infested location. All the “Asian” hybrids bread for the Deep South except Robusto that I’ve tried succumbed to bacterial stem canker within three years of planting.
So far I have been very limited to growing improved Chickasaws which are expressly not self fertile and often pollen sterile with each other it appears and Mariana. I’m trying Sprite Cherry Plum which looks good and is growing fast but that graft is less than a year old. I’m also trying Marabele grafted into the same Mariana rootstock as Sprite. I plan to graft AU Cherry into the same tree and another onto it’s own Mariana rootstock.
The nursery that I got my mature Mariana from said that they thought that it is self fertile. It is not. Like many interspecific plum hybrids it mostly seems to be fertile with a close relative to one of the parent species that’s not a hybrid such as a European plum which is a close relative to P. caricifera, and Hog plum which is a close relative to the pollen parent, the Munson plum. P. munsonia blooms too late to be a source of pollen for Mariana. It does not appear that a pure P. caricifera can take the disease pressure in my climate, but there are a couple of varieties of it that have done well in the Deep South for others that I’m willing to try as a branch in my multi-variety cherry plum tree. God bless.
According to a size chart I was reading it should be 2.9cm or 1.14" (similar to Methley) if I converted correctly. I’m guessing that it was actually about 1.25" which is small compared to most plums. The smaller size is most likely why it is not a commercial variety. On the positive side it is supposed to be highly disease resistant. This tree was planted only a few months ago so that might be contributing to its smaller size. Good munching size with a very small pit.
The tree started out growing slow but has really taken off recently.
I would say that age of tree has a huge impact on plum size, at least at first. I say this based on my experience with Robusto and Mariana. Up until this year, I would have responded that 1 to 1.25 was the size range of a Mariana plum. This year the plums were averaging about 1.5 inches with some being a lot bigger. Now some of that might be on account of the vigor of the seed resulting from the hog plum pollinizer. That would be a great masters level research project right there: To see if pollen source can increase embryo vigor effect fruit size by increasing the amount of hormones on the developing ovary. It can’t have a direct genetic effect since the fruit is mother plant tissue. But it might have an effect on the amount and type of hormones emitted by the developing embryo inside the seed. The first year that Robusto produced fruit, the fruit size was also well less than 1.5 inches. My Robusto produced plums in the 1.5 to 2.0 inch range with most of them being closer to 2 inches than one and a half inches. So yes, I imagine that your AU Cherry will produce larger fruit in future years.
Here’s a couple of questions: When did it bloom in relation to your Chickasaw and Asian plums? Was it early, about the same, slightly later or much later? Mariana blooms slightly later. I have a hunch that AU Cherry will be very cross fertile with hog plum and with wild Chickasaw plum. I expect it to be cross fertile with wild Chickasaw on account of the Asian and Chickasaw genes in it. I expect it will be cross fertile with hog plum on account of the P. carisafera genes. It may or may not be cross fertile with Sprite or Mariana or any of my hybrid or improved Chickasaw types. I’m convinced that cross fertility between hybrids works or does not work on an individual variety to individual variety basis. But if my hunch about vigor of seed relative to hormone production and fruit size is correct, having some wild Chickasaw pollen in your orchard might improve fruit size on everything. God bless.
AU Cherry Plum update. Darker, sweeter, softer, and still a hint of tart.
You were so right about the large tree size. I planted about a 3-4’ tree this year and the top is now about 10’. No idea what root it is on but wow has it grown.