Au Ruburn and Au Producer and Methley

Purchased three plum trees today which was nice, but the highlight of my day was getting to directly ask questions about the plum trees to retired Auburn Extension Fruit Specialist Dr Arlie Powell. Since retirement he and his family have developed a fruit farm in Jemison Alabama that is simply beautiful. He also has several You-tube videos on pruning blueberries and blackberries. If any of you would like to see more of their farm click on the link below.

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Anybody tried his training/pruning method on Blackberries?

It is different from anything I have ever seen.

I’ve grown all 3 of those plums and Rubrum has been my best performer.
Roadside was a prolific bloomer, but would never set any fruit, although it
is supposed to be self fruitful. I had methley planted next to it, and while it
is supposed to be a good pollinator and both bloomed at the same time, it
set very little fruit. In my part of the South, it is considered to be a junk plum,
and nobody that I know grows it. I have since, gotten rid of both, but you hit
a home run with Rubrum. I hope you have better luck, with Roadside and Methley
than I did.

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Rayrose. There is no better source than first hand information on these varieties. This is my first attempt at growing plums in a long time. This may sound a little backward but my first priority is disease resistance and a close second is taste. From what I read no plums are totally resistant. Do you have others that you would recommend? Thanks, Bill

First mistake I ever made. I should have typed Au Producer instead of Au Roadside. What are your opinions on Au Producer and Au Rubrum? Any opinions are welcome, even negative ones. I would rather hear the bad side going in than after a few years down the road. Thanks, Bill

Thanks for posting about petals from the past, very interesting.
I think we will attend some of the tasting tours they do in July & August.

I have Au Rosa, this will be its first fruiting year, Its flowering now and we got a freeze last night, so not a good start.
It is supposed to have good disease resistance.

“AU-Rosa is highly resistant to bacterial canker (Pseudonwna syringae, Van hall), bacterial fruit spot [Xanthomonas pruni (E. F. Smith), Dows], bacterial leaf spot (X. pruni), black knot [Apisporinamorbosa(Schw.) Ark.], and plum leaf scald (Xylella fastidiosa),”

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@blueberrythrill Rick, What about a new thread on Blackberry training methods? Dr Arlie Powells method was impressive that the plants were so old and still disease free. So the cane suppression & extra airflow must be working.

Sorry about barging in on the Methley forum, but when I saw Dr Powell’s method of pruning Blackberry in the links to his Petals From the past website, I lost control! His method is like nothing I have ever seen

I can start a new thread on Blackberry pruning. Perhaps someone on GrowingFruit.Org is using his method

I posted an Auburn link on GW a couple years ago with a nice chart of disease resistance. I found the article, but it looks like the link is now broken.

I found a copy on my computer (see page 4): AU_Plums_1300CIRC.pdf (753.9 KB)


I’ve had the opportunity to visit Petals from the Past. It’s beautifully landscaped with a lot of fruits. I definitely draw inspiration for it and hope that we can create a similar place with our new farm. Wish we lived closer so we could visit more often.

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I’ve grown Producer too, and got rid of it after wasting 5 years. The name is a misnomer because
it doesn’t produce very much fruit, and the fruit that it does produce is bitter and tart. I’ve grown most
of the AU series and the only one that I would recommend is Rubrum. It’s a winner in every way. I’ve
grown many different plums and have never had any disease with any of them. Since you have purchased
Rubrum, I would highly recommend that you plant Santa Rosa near it. They will cross pollinate each
other and you will get tremendous fruit set. They are totally different plums, but are great pollinators.
While Rubrum is sweet and rich, SR is sweet tart, if you like tart. I personally don’t, and am grafting several
other varieties onto SR, but will still keep a large part of the tree. Last year from these two trees, I harvested over 250 lbs of plums. I just tried to upload a picture that I posted on GW last july of my SR, but the file was too big.
I’ll try to email it to you.


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Thanks rayrose. I may end up grafting the Rubrum onto the other two trees, and leave a section of each for cross pollination. Nice to hear from someone who as been there before.

David. While at Petals Saturday I looked over the same row of blackberries that is in the video. The row of blackberries are well kept as is the whole place. Suppression along with careful management of details may be why they are long lived. You may already know that most of his classes are free except for the optional lunch. Bill

Bob. thanks for posting. Bill[user]=71136105&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0

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This is my Santa Rosa from last year. Thanks Brady for showing how to post this.


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Thanks in return.That’s a beautiful picture.I hope to get some for the first time this year on my little Santa Rosa. Brady

Bill give that Methley a chance. Rayrose didn’t have any luck with it, but many in the south have. It is still a recommended home plum by Clemson, however Florida state no longer recommends it due to diseases bacterial in nature and small fruit size. I have seen videos of it flourishing in Austin, TX and elsewhere in the south.
Mine is the best fruit tree I have although obviously my growing climate is different being in a border state.

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I was planning on letting all three trees grow and fruit and just see how they do. The graft change would be later and only if needed. Dr Powell told me all three would do well for my location but all plums need a spray schedule. Thanks, Bill

Thanks for posting the picture. I hope to see a similar fruiting plum in my back yard soon.