Chickasaw Plum Inventory


Some more Toole’s heirloom picks: I’m getting a plums now that are well over an 1 1/2 inches in diameter.


If any of you think of it, please take a pick of Odom cut open. It would be good to see what the flesh color is on that one. God bless.



Guthrie Update-2018

Tree continues to be extremely vigorous. This thing wants to be a full size tree, not something 8 feet and under. I’ve already done a summer pruning to remove several feet of new growth. I haven’t fertilized it at all.

Fruit set continues to be good. Once again we had late freezes, once again I saw very few pollinators, and once again the tree needed some thinning.

Flavor continues to be good. I just ate one that had more peach flavor than most grocery store peaches. Very unusual. The leaves look sort of peachy too, come to think of it…

Size is a bit smaller this year on many fruit. The biggest are 1.5 inches, most are around 1.25. Probably should have thinned more.

Lots and lots of plum curculio hits, mostly around the neck of the fruit. I didn’t spray anything for them once again. I probably will next year.

Brown rot has hit this year. Less than 5% (EDIT: make that 15%) of the fruit infected. The constant rains and dense foliage can’t have helped this year. I’m planning on doing some serious limb removal at some point after the harvest, right now I’m scouring the tree daily for infected fruit and yanking it out of there.

Many fruit have cracked again, which certainly doesn’t help with the brown rot. We’ve had 3 days without rain and the cracking seems to be reduced.

Considering I once again went with no spray at all on this tree I continue to be very pleased.


The wild ones I use to eat had a large amount on the tree that wasn’t damaged.


I’m having lots of brown rot issues with Toole’s Heirloom when I had non at all on Mariana and Robusto.


I’m just especially interested in hearing how Odom does. God bless.’



I only have two Odom plums and they look healthy but unripe.


My AU Cherry plums didn’t grow much until recently. The tree has about twelve and I’m excited about trying these out. It is a complex cross with some Chickasaw in it’s background and I’m assuming that is why it gets a great disease resistant rating.


Yes, I’m really excited to get AU Cherry. It has a lot of the same genetics as Mariana. If it’s as good, it will be spectacular.



That’s my experience here too. In fact, I don’t ever recall seeing brown rot on any of the wild chickasaws around here. Just another clue that there’s probably something besides chickasaw in guthrie’s genetics.


It’s hitting Toole’s Heirloom hard. I’m now having to pick the plums while they are still hard and peach colored and either let them ripen inside or else go ahead and process them into something. TH is so soft when fully ripe, it’s actually much easier to work with when not fully ripe. If makes fabulous jam and Asian plum sauce either way, but no store bought pectin is required at all in making jam given how firm I have to pick them. Next year, I will try adding coper to my Malathion and see if some early spraying with coper helps. Maybe I will hit it one time at about the time it ripens those small super early plums. God bless.



I’m sure that I have already picked well over ten gallons off the tree, and this is what remains. Toole’s Heirloom is one productive plum tree and the quality and flavor of the plums is excellent when brown rot doesn’t get them. As was mentioned about Gurthrie, “peachy” is a good way to describe the flavor. It’s for sure much sweeter than Robusto and a generally better plum except not as big and apparently more brown rot prone.


Earlier this week, it was really rough with the brown rot hitting Toole’s Heirloom, but with dryer weather this week. The brown rot has been reduced a lot and the plums are ripening more properly. I pulled five gallons off yesterday. They are still quite delicious, and I was able to pull these riper than the ones earlier in the week.


Now that my Monson plum is bigger, I’m realizing that this looks just like a Monon plum (Prunus monsonia).


My Guthrie plums have all ripened and I’m waiting on my big crop (2) of Odom to ripen. Odom appears to be larger than Guthrie. Looks like I’m getting a pretty long ripening period from these two. The AU Cherry plum might ripen even a little later which would be great. Chickasaw plums do seem to handle our disease prone area.


Greetings, today I visited the home of Dot Piazza and Steve Piazza in order to bring some plums and look at the few plums developing in their plum tree. This is another one of those improved Chickasaw type trees like Toole’s Heirloom, Guthrie, Odom, McKibben and Excelsior. Unfortunately this particular tree has not been productive in part because it’s in too much shade and more fundamentally It has no pollination partner. However, by looking at several unripe plums and getting to see and sample one very ripe plum, I’m pretty sure that this is not one of the known named varieties. In fact it’s the most unique looking chickasaw plum yet. I wish I had thought to take a photo before eating the ripe one.

About the tree: First, someone pruning this tree with production in mind would have shaped it differently. This particular individual has a single leader going all the way to the top and is roughly shaped like a Christmas tree. Apart from that, it is Morphologically identical to Toole’s Heirloom all the way down to the completely green tender twigs. It suckers! (I’m getting a sucker this fall. Yay!!!) This particular tree is probably a little over 20 ft tall.

I only got to see one truly ripe plum. It had fallen off the tree on its on and was “soft ripe”. Nearly all the plums were kind of heart shaped, at least they would have been so cut in half with the the pistol end being a bit pointed like the bottom end of a heart. Maybe it would be better to describe them as “peach shaped”. I’ve never seen this shape in a Chickasaw plum before, Asian plums yes, Chickasaws no. The skin color was light, not yellow but kind of a dappled yellow and pink but with more salman and pink than yellow. The flesh is a deep pink to red. I can imagine that if someone were to cross an Elephant Heart Asian Plum with a Chickasaw plum and then backed cross it to Chickasaw again to get more Chickasaw features, the end result would look something like this. Now the plum would likely have been much redder had it ripened in the sun. The presence of direct sun has a big impact on the color of some Chickasaw plums.

The flavor of the plum is very, very sweet with no sourness nor bitterness in the skin or around the stone. It’s a clingstone type but did not seem to be as fiborous around the stone as most Chickasaws. I did not eat enough of them to really sort out flavors, Its a richer flavor than Toole’s Heirloom. The plum at soft ripe was firmer than what a Toole’s Heirloom or Robusto wourld be at that stage.

Bottom line we have a probably normally light colored Chickasaw with richly flavored red flesh. It’s definitely worthy of being named and included in the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden collection and disseminated more widely as a new variety. it does not match the description of any named Chickasaw that I can find. After discussing it with Ms. Dot, I’m naming the variety “Dot Piaza”.

This was one of two trees that came from Ms. Dot Piazza nephew (Sony?) who lives in SW Georgia. The nephew has three distinct types of improved Chickasaws which he has apparently acquired from other home growers. One of Ms Dot’s sons has the other tree she got from Sony. I’m guessing that Sony realized that you needed two trees from different varieties to get pollination. If so his good intentions were defeated with the trees ending up at two different households.

Dot is supposed to check to see if the tree in her son’s yard has fruit and if the fruit is the same or different, and hopefully she will check to see if it has suckers as well. Hopefully she will be able to describe it well enough for Sony to figure out which one we don’t have of the three so that all three strains can be preserved and named assuming they are all different from what’s already out there. So the quest to find good improved Chickasaw plums unknown to horticulture continues. But this may be the best find yet. God bless.



I occasionally see a minimal amount of brown rot on the native Chickasaw fruits but nothing like what always befell the Euro and Japanese hybrids here.
Minimal plum crop here this year; a few here and there in the Guthrie and natives


Great find Marcus.


Toole’s Heirloom is nearing the end of its 2018 season. I did not keep a tally of volume or poundage of fruit I got from it, but it had to be close to 30 gallons with several additional gallons wasted on account of brown rot. The fruit pictured above was all soft ripe and superb in flavor. I ate all four of them right after taking the photo. Most Toole’s Heirloom plums do turn red when soft ripe, but many do not. Many are more orange, gold, or yellow like the ones here. And sometimes a bright red one will be right next to a yellow one with no rime or reason for the difference between the two.


Looks great