Thanks for your input. I am not sure if pests/bugs would be an answer. I have Middleburg grafted on a Coe’s and a Castleton trees. Only Middleburg leaves look like that while other branches of other varieties next to it look normal. Hard to believe that leave hoppers and aphids would totally ignore other varieties and only damage Middleton.
However, if it is a disease and Middleburg is the one that susceptible to it, it makes more sense.
Yes, leaf hoppers are much more active on my Oullins plums than Castleton, or at least much more consistently destructive of leaves. They also aggressively attack Long John. I’m not sure about relative disease resistance to fungus- specifically marsoninna. I’ve only become aware of it since last year. The blotchy red and yellow leaves probably indicate marsoninna. I’m waiting for a more normally dry season to determine if this is going to be a permanent pest. Insects often show a preference for specific varieties- probably sometimes because of greater protein content of leaves. Jap beetles often only attack Honey Crisp apples in an apple orchard.
Now I know why many people prefer E plums to J plums. I have limited experienced tasting E plums and I like Coe’s Golden Drop very much, followed by Castleton. They have “ plumey” taste and aroma that lacks in J plums.
Today I picked Valor, E plum from my last year’s graft. It set a bunch of fruit on this one graft. The fruit size is good, 1.5 oz. I tried two; one with 22 brix and the other at 22.5 brix. After tasting watered-down J plums and some peaches, I am happy to eat this plum with brix over 20. Delicious.
Those look like Adam’s new “Valor”- Valor is pretty big and more oblong- at least it was for the first 15 years I grew it (from both Adams and Hilltop nurseries). However, the mystery plum tastes as good as most any prune plum when it ripens properly and so far looks pretty reliable. I think it is better than Castleton in flavor.
I was just asking Alan about this earlier in this thread (see below). My “Valor” is from ACN, so it looks like you have “their version” of Valor. Sorry about that- it looks like I’ll need to call it “Valor, ACN variant” in my scion list.
Post #205: Bob- Do you know what year they started sending out the wrong variety? I got my Valor from them in 2014.
Alan- You can be pretty sure you got the mystery plum, unless they sent you something different than they sent me that year. You will enjoy the quality of what you have at least, but it will be over by Sept.
So your grafts produced fruit before the original tree…
Sounds pretty good. When I visited Alan, I think most of the Valor were in the 21-23 brix range (maybe one 26 as well), so 22-22.5 means they are likely on par (at least with regards to brix) with the Valor Alan has been growing. Just a bit earlier. Unless the picture is distorted, they are much shorter than the ones Alan was growing.
His looked more elongated, like those in the picture at Orange Pippin:
Valor looks pretty much like Empress in both size and shape, as you may remember. The year you mention of the high brix was a very good year for E. plums and stonefruit in general. I doubt sugar will get that high this year, so Marmaung’s plums are doing just great. My Valors are a bit overloaded and earliest ripening fruit has not been impressive, but we’ve had better weather lately. I think it gets sweeter in warm and not hot weather, with cooler nights possibly helpful. Another spell of hot, humid weather is in the forecast, but only a few days of it, so we will see. At least the late spring may help in holding off their ripening.
I’m also hopeful about the potential quality of my Autumn Sweet E. plum this season. It is prone to cracking but the crop is in surprisingly good shape so far and its crisp plums are already pretty good even though flesh is still green. A crisp E. plum with high sugar is unique to Autumn Sweet as far as I know.
Flavor Grenade provides that experience with a J. plum (as I call pluots- I find no similarities to cots in their fruit or foliage). So far my Grenades have been bland and lacking adequate sugar- much as Scott describes them. Hopefully they will improve yet, if they don’t, the variety is officially on probation- 3 strikes,but I will give it 4 before executing the tree (it is on citation and not worth topworking). If it doesn’t produce good fruit next year I probably won’t even sell the trees in my nursery, although at another site their quality was very good last year. Dawn to dusk sun while mine is shaded from late-mid afternoon.
No, valor is the same color as Empress, dark purple- and about the same size and shape. Those plums look great, though. My only other Vineland Canadian breeding product is Victory. When those Vision get soft, I expect brix to top 20. Enjoy. Seneca looks like that to me. Here is a description of Valor and other plums from Cornell. You can see that their description fits mine, except I always say dark purple instead of blue, but when I consider it, blue is probably the closer color. Your plum in the photo is my version of a reddish purple with some yellow background.
As is often the case with evaluations from U’s with breeding programs, the varieties most praised for flavor are the product of Cornell and don’t jive with my experience (Long John seems to only occasionally reach highest quality in my orchard domain, Seneca is consistently high quality when it crops, but the difference between a ripe Seneca, Valor or Empress is negligible to my palate). The quality of prune plums is mostly about when you pick them and their ability to stay on the tree to obtain maximum sweetness, IMO. Even Damson’s get sweet and reasonably palatable as fresh fruit if you wait until about late Sept. to harvest them- but they are too darn small. Rot can also quickly spread through the tree if you let them get soft-ripe because the fruit forms in long clusters of fruit pressing against fruit.
Marmaung, I have probably 20 trees of the variety you (and Adams) think is Valor- in my nursery and planted at other sites (where I was planning on it to ripen late, instead of almost with Castleton, which I often planted it with). On one tree I manage I grafted a Castleton to it so I and the client each could compare the varieties, and both of us preferred the mystery plum slightly.
I have absolutely no doubt that your tree isn’t valor and that valor is almost identical in appearance to Empress- oblong and not round. Maybe Scott has grown the thing and could recognize it. It is of high enough quality so would likely be at least somewhat popular and not obscure, unless, somehow, it’s a chance seedling. E,. plums tend to produce good fruit from seedlings.
I told my sales rep there- she said she told the responsible party. I didn’t bother litigating my case much, so I don’t know if I convinced anybody over there. Not like I’m a big commercial customer- usually buy about 120 trees from them a year. I also bought Contender peaches that from the showy blossoms may be Loring. I’m told Contender has simple blossoms.