Favorite Euro Plums


However, we will hopefully not have another season like this one in my lifetime. This is why it takes at least 10 years to clearly evaluate a variety in ones orchard. Our year to year observations are helpful to other growers, but they should understand the limitations, especially in the humid region where conditions vary so much year to year.


“However, we will hopefully not have another season like this one in my lifetime.”

Alan, do you plan on leaving us soon? Are you not feeling well?


No, I feel like I’m fit for 2 or 3 more decades if I’m fortunate, but in the last 25 years this has to be the wettest, grayest 6 solid months I’ve experienced yet. It’s drizzling right now and we don’t get drizzle in Oct. If it rains it rains and gets it over with transforming to plenty of beautiful blue-sky days.

This is the first time rain has destroyed much of my fig crop. All I need is 3 consecutive days without precip and I will have a bowl of delicious figs. Ain’t happening here in Seattle East.


I’ve only been growing fruit trees for a few years. I hope this weather is not the start of a trend. If next year is the same I will be thinking trying to grow fruit is a waste of my time. Trying to protect plums with sprays when it rains every other day is not easy. Are there any plums that resist fungus and disease in this wet, humid weather?


Actually, several of my J. plums did fine. The best year I’ve had with Elephant Heart, which isn’t very reliable, either in quantity or quality because the tree at my site gets lots of pitch pockets some years when it happens to bear good crop. Early-magic was fine as was a variety I got from Eric that has been sensational the last two years, but at the moment the name escapes. My E. plums were pretty dismal, however, although Valor gave me some useful plums- the problem is half of them never got good sugar. Those last two are exceptionally hardy for J’s. I did help them with Indar sprays, however. I’m in a protected site from wind and also get some shade which increases fungal pressure.


AC Nursery says they’re grafting a new source of Valor to be offered in 2020. Mentioning it since I read previous posts about their Valor not being the true one.


Funny, I believe I’m the one who brought the issue to their attention and they have yet to communicate this to me.

Never underestimate the importance of saving face. Of course, I don’t know if that’s the issue, but who cares? We’re all insecure bozos- brothers and sisters in the silly circus trying to pass for serious adults.

Sorry, I thought I was in the lounge for a moment. Early dementia setting in my bozo brain.


I had called upon ordering a Valor two years ago, after seeing your post about it recently. He said only one person mentioned this (you lol) but nobody else had called in saying it was the wrong variety. In any case I guess he discussed this around the office and called me back a week later just to let me know they had new wood ordered. Shrug. Just thought I would let you know lol


I wonder if they don’t mostly sell their E.plums to hobbyists. They used to sell a J. plum as Green Gage, and when I brought that to their attention the excuse was that G G is too hard to grow in their region and this was an improved substitute. The fruit did look like GG but tasted nothing like it and it wasn’t a very good plum as grown here- in taste or production. After my complaint they started propagating true GG.


@alan, from your experience would venture to guess what variety AC Nursery was selling as Valor. I would like to try the fake one due to it’s early fruiting.


It is an excellent earlyish E. plum. We think better than Castleton and just as precocious with a spreading growth habit.

I can’t guess the variety because I’ve never grown any plum that is the same. I wonder where ACN got the wood. It’s earned a place in my orchard, for sure, although I don’t need an entire tree of it. Gee, I wonder if it’s patented. Ha ha.


Maybe they should keep selling it as “Stolen Valor.”:grin:


Despite the horrible weather, Stanley was very sweet. Of course there were only a few hang on each branch. That proves the effectiveness of thinning to me. I wonder if it would be smart to further thin plums a few weeks before harvest if the weather looks like it will be bad?


How is your Mirabelle Parfume de Septembre doing? I’m debating between this and Reine de Mirabelle - any suggestions?

Also, what do your plastic sleeves do for the tree/fruit? Is it to prevent birds from getting the fruit?


I am venturing into European plums. I just put in Bavay Green Gage last month and am looking for a Mirabelle (either Reines des Mirebelles or Parfume de Septembre) and a blue/black plum of some kind. I eat them fresh mostly and some get turned into jams so I’m hoping for a lot of flavor.

One Green World has the Shopshire Damson Plum as an option and Raintree has a bunch that I’ve never heard of before. I don’t see the Empress variety in either stores nor in my local nurseries (not a lot of european plums here).

Any suggestions?


Order bare root from one of the many reliable CA nurseries. I don’t know where you are and have never grown E. plums in S. CA where all my experience with fruit occured before I moved NE. All we grew in Topanga was J. plums. Elephant Heart was my favorite J. plum then, and when it works here, it still is.

Trees of Antiquity is a nursery in a pretty warm spot close to San Luis Obispo that carries a pretty wide range of E. plums.
The owner could probably help you choose.


Like @alan mentioned, you are on the opposite coast with a quite different climate. I am hesitant to give recommendation re. what grows well in your area. I can tell you what I like re. taste (which can be influence by climate, too).

My favorite is Coe’s Golden Drop, tasty and large. I like Castleton because it reminds me of prune (it’s prune plum, anyway). My Valor is very good. I only had a few Empress so it’s hard to say but the fruit is the largest among my 10 plum varieties that fruited last year.

Mirabelles, I only fruited Parfume de Septembre and de Nancy. They are very similar in taste and size. Nancy is a bit bigger but Parfume is very precocious. At first, I felt mirabelle taste is not very complex, just sweet. But then, they’ve growns on me. They are little sugar balls.

@scottfsmith has far more experience with E plums including mirabelles than me. He could give your his opinions on them.


@Vohd, @BobVance and everyone who grow Pearl plum,
Could you please post pics of your Pearl plum?

The only pic I found on line is from Greenmantle nursery. The pic doesn’t look like my Pearl.


This is a photo of the Pearl Plum fruit that grew from a scion that Bob Purvis sent.
What do yours look like?bb


Thank you, Brady. I am on the road. Will take pic of mine when I have a chance.

The shape of mine was similar to yours but the color of mine is very orange.

Greenmantle one showed an oblong shape with lighter yellow than yours. However, yours and Greenmatle’s have a similar shade of yellow. Mine is quite off.