I would like some input from those who have any of these varieties that I am considering to add as pollinizers for my existing Asian plums,
Kuban Comet and Ozark Premiere.
I have read that most can be pollinizers but I am seeking input that would help me identify the ones that have a higher quality and taste so that I can narrow my scion list down to maybe the top 5:
If you have any of the following varieties, please give me your comments and rank your top 3:
Waneta, Black Ice, Obilnaya, Satsuma, Methley, Santa Rosa, Black Splendor, Burgandy,
Thanks and Happy New Year!!
Satsuma is a very good plum.
I’ve only fruited satsuma. it’s really good, kind of nutty and floral. small soft fruit. nice sour kick near the pit and a little from the skin, but mostly extremely sweet so it’s got balance. fun purple color. probably the best non-pluot plum I’ve ever had
I also have methley and Santa Rosa that haven’t fruited. I’m grafting over Santa Rosa because it’s generally not recommended for this area because of poor set many years (I got it because all the local nurseries carry it)
look at “EB0937 fruit handbook for Western Washington” and the list of stuff grown at nwrec Mt Vernon. they have a few plum recommendations that are very local for you
I hope to go to the field day in Mar.
Dennis, I only have experience with three of the plums on your list; Obilnaya, Methley and Black Splendor. Obilnaya and Black Splendor were both very good. I am removing Methley. It ripens in the same time frame as the other two, but is not nearly as good.
You may have other/better choice. But from your list, Satsuma gets black rot pretty easy and looks pretty bad. Santa Rosa is a great tasty plum but in my area not very productive.
I agree, Methley is a 5-6/10. Some orchards here call it sugar plum, and it is just that, perhaps with a very mild flavor.
Prior to the field day, WTF usually sends an email with a link to scions being offered. There are usually about 50 apples (there’s already a list of antique apples on website), 25 pears, 12 plums, and maybe some peaches. It’s worth with taking a look at the list beforehand so you’re not disappointed in the offerings. They also usually have about 15 different rootstocks.
Since the event has been cancelled for the past 2 years, I’m hoping there’s a wealth of stuff this year!
Btw, you need to be a member of WTF to attend. You can do that onsite or beforehand. While that increases the cost of your scions and rootstock, the site itself is a dream for fruit growers who like to see full-grown trees in all types of configurations.
For Growingfruit members who want to attend, we can have a meet-up. Bring along your extra scions and we can trade in person!
I have grown both Satsuma and Santa Rosa for years, but I haven’t noticed Sat is more vulnerable to black knot, but that’s probably not an issue in Kent Washington anyway. My sister doesn’t get it in Coastal N. CA even with all the moisture where she is, being in the redwoods- she grows Satsuma. If Kent is away from the ocean, I’m sure both would be really great- in the sunny west, Santa Rosa produces enough to have long been the most commonly grown commercial J. plum, albeit in CA.
I have satsuma for 3~4 years, already has black knot all over its branches. I am going to prune it out. My Santa Rosa in ground for 10+years no single black knot. The other J plums, mostly have no significant black knot issue, Only 2~3 out of 30+ cultivars infected by black knot , satsuma is one of the 2~3.
Last year was bad black knot year for me. What I did differently was on the 2020fall~2021spring, I didn’t spray copper as dormant spray, I used something else instead. I was trying to cut down the copper usage. I thought I didn’t have big black knot issue in the year 2019 and prior so I have no need to watch the black knot very closely. Big mistakes. Then 2021 spring/summer the black knot popped up here and there.I think my Babcock peach has something extra growing on its branches. It may be the black knot too. It is too cold now to be out look closely. Well find out in couple of months
I manage J. plums in my nursery and usually have about 8 varieties on 50 or more trees at any given time which I sell in their 4th to 6th year- been doing this for a quarter of a century and also maintaining scores of orchards where I’ve been planting my trees for the last 25 years. Satsuma has been one of my favorite varieties for about half that time. In my experience and in my region, only Methely has stood out as being especially susceptible to black knot, but I can’t speak for the Chicago area. Nor for Kent Washington- but at least I used to grow J. plums in CA and have a sister who still does in N.CA so I have a clue.
However, it is instinct to find ones own anecdotes as being gospel. I’m no different.
Are you growing any Euro plums? How are they fairing with Black Knot?
Ahmad, most are J. plum, pluots. I have some Gages, Mirabelles , and hybrids like Lavinia, Superior etc. none have black knot issue.
black knot isn’t really a problem here, it pretty much doesn’t rain all summer. the main problem with Japanese plums, other than canker, is poor set if they bloom too early and get wiped out by rain or a freeze or there aren’t any bees
Because J. plums flower earliest of all but apricots here, we have the same problem with early frosts in the NE. Shiro and Methely are probably the most consistant croppers here I grow, and a less known but higher quality plum called Reema.
Because we get rain and cloud cover all year, the highest brix varieties become more needed. Shiro and Methely range from quite good to bland depending on how much rain and cloud cover occured during ripening.
I’ve gotten a lot of useful feedback and agree that Methley can be eliminated. I ordered scions of Toka and Satsuma. These two seem to be favored by many with no negatives. I would also like to obtain several of the Pluot varieties that can mutually benefit from my existing Asian varieties. I have two new Pluerry variety scions to graft so if I can obtain some Pluots I will be well prepared for spring grafting.
Thanks for your feedback and advice.
Waneta has been my most successful plum. Black ice are tasty, but not as hardy. There are probably tastier plums, but many are not hardy this far north.
I tried Waneta and Black Ice grafts last spring, neither worked, so I think the scions were not that healthy, both from a nursery. My nursery supplied scions as a rule did not make it. I hope this year is better.
My favorite hybrid plums last year were Oblinaya, Toka, Purple Heart.