East coast growers, how's your brix

About 10 days ago I wrote a topic complaining about the lack of sugar in peaches ripening at that time. Well, things have completely turned around as I’ve gotten a reading of 17 for one of my Early Magic plums and a very surprising 21 for a Carene nectarine I brought from a client’s orchard. My tree died so I’ve none to try but an Avalon nect I didn’t test off one of my nursery trees can’t have been more than 2 or 3 digits lower and had more acid with that sugar- one of the best nectarines I’ve every tasted.

It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around when it stops raining much for a couple of weeks. .


I’m having some oddities as well. Pears and apples seem to be ahead of schedule, while peaches and plums seem to have fallen behind. My June Gold is not even tennis ball size yet. Why do they give them names like June? June in Mexico?

Maybe yours are like mine and just taking longer to develop than normal. Virginia.

I had a client try a Shiro plum from my tree that probably was 13-14 (I just tested one about the same size that was 14 and I doubt there is any fruit on the tree higher than that) and an Early Magic that was likely 17, and she preferred the Shiro. People’s tastes vary so much that all reports of relative quality have to be taken with a grain of salt. EM is more acidic than Shiro, and many people prefer lower acid fruit. I like acid AND high sugar and will likely never prefer a lower brix lower acid fruit more than one that is higher on both or even one of the two.


We have had more rain and more cloudy days than where you are.

My small, unripe Spring Snow that accidentally fell a month ago tasted sweet with brix @13.

My ripened SS grown in pot ripened 10 days ago had brix at 11.

Today, I tasted my SS from in-ground tree. One had brix at 10, the other @ 8. They tasted awful. I could not finished either one and they went into a compost bin.

Early Magic has not had many sunny days. So far, most had brix around 11-12. There was one at 14, an outlier.

It does not look like rain will end when July comes to an end, either.


I’m sorry. I’m actually located in a bit of a drought strip in NY State that runs for a couple hundred miles, but even closer to the coast and out of this narrow strip the fruit is ripening up to the highest brix I’ve seen since I started making measurements… In the past, not even Elephant Heart got up to 17and only reached 16 in fruit I measured. Only my Euro plums ever got into the low '20’s, once as high as 24. Measuring Carene nects at 21 this season is an exciting development.

One drought year some Honey Royales got up to 28, but it was only a few fruit and I never got any to harvest again. Crops were tiny and animals couldn’t resist the low acid, high sugar fruit. Birds are now pecking my Honey Blaze nectarines even though they are still hard. I picked a bunch yesterday to see if it’s best to harvest them when still hard- I bet brix will be in the low '20’s.

High brix and a dearth of squirrel is making this a true banner year.


I do not have plums but my apricots taste pretty intense for that amount of water we got. I don’t have a brix meter though. I noticed an interesting thing. If I pick few apricots withing 8 hours of good shower on a cloudy day , their taste is somewhat diluted. If there is at least 12 hours of dry and mostly sunny weather - the taste become intense again. Not sure if it is really possible or it is just my luck on picking them.


I have noticed that the larger the fruit, the more diluted they tasted after lot of rain.

My Florilege apricot tasted pretty good but my Spring Snow peaches were horrible. And I mean a spitter kind of horrible.


I just knocked my Spring Snow peaches on the ground and if I don’t cut the tree down I will graft it over. I only like low acid peaches or nects if brix gets above about 19.

What has been your total precip following the 3-4 inches you got from the hurricane that became a tropical storm (forget the name)? Have you been getting lots of warm blue-sky days? We have had excellent ripening weather for over 2 weeks now with only light rainfall in the form of quick passing thunder storms, which don’t do much damage as long as they don’t create hail.

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Rain on average 2-3 x a week. Rain, not sprinkles. If it does not rain, it is cloudy. It has been like this since the end if June.

Can’t recall the amount. Worcester county and MA has broken 100 yr record of the amount of rain fall in July.


Wow, and you are probably only a couple hundred miles from me. I hope things clear up for you.

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Same frequency here except the amount has been about 1/4 each time. Expecting heavy rain tonight. Red Heaven peaches falling off the tree have been tasteless. Methley plums have been too watery but sweet enough. Trailman crabapples have been very good as they fall off.

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I just measured one of my last Silver Gem nects which was dead ripe off the tree and it was at 16, which is high by the usual standards at my site. A smaller and very hard Honey Blaze had just a slightly higher reading- about 16.5. I don’t know how far I can let them go on the tree because wasps or something else is drilling small holes into them that start to rot. If H.Blaze ends up being a reliable cropper it may be a nice addition to my orchard. I generally prefer more acid in my fruit but if it ends up sweeter than my other nects or is sweeter when hard for freezing it will be useful.

Gold Dust peach at 14- weird, highly perfumed- a bit mushy on soft part and firm on the rest. Not melting like a classic free-stone peach, but a nice early peach.

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Dead ripe Nectafest that I planted on sunniest and driest spot in my orchard shows 18- the highest ever I’ve gotten from a non-subacid nect.


Running Tab:

And one of the last few Early Magic plums hit 20. This is just plain weird- it hasn’t been that dry although my site has missed a lot of the rain that fell just 20 miles south of me- by the ocean and NY City- but that shouldn’t be an issue with plums. Haven’t had more sunny days.

Artic Glo nect, best it’s ever tasted. 16 and very red flesh with the white.

Alfred cot. 15 Nice texture but would need to be about 17 to really be world class. Good nuff though. Lost over half of the crop to bacterial spot, which I’d never seen on cots before. Another quarter is defaced by it.

Nectafest nect, 17-18

Great Yellow J. plum 16. Could have called it Pina Colada. For people that find fruit that tastes like a different fruit attractive, this is one worth trying. Big and yellow as can be.

De Montfort 17 First prune plum of the season for me. I had an American Mirabelle with 25, my Ecuadorian helper said for the first time I’ve heard him when talking about fruit, “too much sugar”!. I say, too much pit!.. and skin.

Oullins, 17 It and the Mirabelle are in the least favored part of my orchard for sun.

Honey Royale (light crop, small fruit) 22.

Santa Rosa plum 17, but sour skin. However, it is a very distinctive plum.


Never heard about this one; did you want to say Silvergem? Or perhaps Arctic Glo?

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You got me- Artic Glo, more and more names, less and less brains.


We are all getting older and older and our brains started their shrinking journey :grimacing:


We have been pretty good brix-wise in Maryland recently, it was raining a lot several weeks ago but has eased up in the last few weeks. Now I am eating Shiro in the 15-18 range and Weeping Santa Rosa in the 17-20 range.

My main problem recently has been crows, they ate every single asian pear I had even including ones nowhere near ripe. Crazy birds. I just bought more scares so I can protect more stuff. My plums are covered with scare tape so I am getting plums at least.

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If you have to net for crows, you can just rest nets on the trees without tying them closed- at least our local crows won’t climb under nets to get fruit. It is weird how they take fruit some years and not others and are drawn to Asian pears. I have plenty of crows around but all they’ve been interested in this year was the cherries.

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Mine still aren’t getting sweet. They’ve gotten up to 10 brix, from 7-8 when I last posted about a week ago. They are still pretty firm on the tree, so I’m just going to leave them until they are good or get destroyed by something (I’ve seen more losses on them to something (yellow jackets?) recently. With their acid, 10 makes them just barely palatable. But, I have much better fruit, so I can take a chance on them improving.

I found a damaged Feng Bao peach (I think) on the ground today. 13-14 brix and a wonderful aroma. I tried picking one and it wasn’t fully ripe.

I also had an interesting Raspberry Red nectarine. It Wasn’t fully ripe yet, but something was damaging them. About 10 brix. I could see why they named it that way as there is an aftertaste of raspberries.

My Tango tree looks to be dying. The leaves have been drooping for the last 1-2 weeks and the fruit is shriveling. The Freckle Face graft wasn’t close enough to ripe, but the Tango have actually been pretty good this way. They are normally rubbery, so a bit more rubbery isn’t a problem, at least for me. No way to get a brix measure though. I’m not sure if it is borers (there is a good sized hole, so it could be) or some other issue like X-disease. Either way, I should probably just remove it. I like TangO’s, but I don’t like the rot that I always get on them. I think this tree is a big part of why I’ve had so many brown rot problems…

On to the good stuff- Lavina has been very good. They are often around 15, with a few up to 17 so far. I’ve gotten a lot off the tree- this is my 2nd picking, with at least one more to go.

I under-thinned, but it carried the heavy crop like a champ. It was mid-way through the 2nd picking when I thought to take a pic…

The low hanging fruits are the ones slowest to ripen. Here’s a pick of some which are being swallowed by gooseberries and weeds.

Purple Heard has been 14-15 brix, but nowhere near as tasty. Mild and sweet. Like a slightly meatier and slightly sweeter Metheley.

A few Ersinger have been pretty good and I just did a first pass through the tree today, as it started dropping fruit a few days ago. Also in the 14-17 brix range.

This is the first time I’ve had a significant number (more than ~3 on a tree) of Euro plums to pick. I’ve tried to pick only those with a bit of softness (not fully soft) to them.

Geo Pride pluots have started to color up. I picked one with a crack which was 16 brix in the damaged area and 12 brix at the other end. When the whole things gets to 16 brix (or more), it will be a very tasty fruit. Maybe another week?

I think it’s about a month early, but I’ve had a few Flavor Grenades ripen (or at least color). The two I had didn’t get that that high of brix (~12), even though they got pretty dark. The ones I’ve had from the store were much more yellow and much higher brix (18-20).