Gauging Green Gage

It is as dry here in the southeast NY area as it’s been in years this time of the year. No ones talking about water shortages yet, but if rains don’t come in about a month the discussions will begin. Meanwhile, the often difficult to grow Green Gage plum in my orchard is producing clean plums with 21 brix. They are the first really outstanding plums of this variety I’ve yet to grow here. Sites with dawn to dusk sun have often had amazingly good GG fruit but not my somewhat shaded tree which loses some sun at both ends of the day due to nearby forest trees. I think GG may need more sun exposure than other plum varieties to reach top quality but I suppose all the sunny warm days have compensated well for a bit of shade.

Strangely my peaches and most varieties of nectarines seemed to be a tad sweeter last year, I think because so much early rain this season made them too big for their spacing- at least to get highest sugar.

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Kinda what we were discussing earlier. And one reason I go for full season water deficit. The other is I want sweet early fruits as well as late. I think you have it right this time.

FN, yeah I know you believe in deficit irrigation all the way through and I don’t claim to know the best path to high brix with large fruit. I don’t have much control over when my irrigation will happen to occur, of course.

With enough thinning you might have had sweeter fruit. Honey Royale likely has higher potential brix than most peach/nectarine. But not that much more to totally account for 28 brix. With a heavy crop they probably would have been more like 18 maybe 22 depending on load.

I picked my Green Gage about a month ago in Northeast Ohio. It tasted very good compared to the Italian Plums I usually buy at the farm market, but it was the first Green Gage I ever tried. Maybe it should have ripened more. Could I have picked it a month early?? Here are some pictures.

A Bavay


My Green Gage plums look more like Mrs. Gs. Mine have never turned as yellow as the photos of Ztom.

I understand there are different strains of Green Gage.


ZTOM there are different strains of GG as Olpea says, but the most common problem in my experience is so many nurseries sell varieties that aren’t any kind of GG at all under that name. Adams County used to sell a J. plum that looked like GG under the name- and they got away with it for a while because commercial growers don’t grow it- I called them out on it and they stopped. It wasn’t even a particularly good J. plum.

Millers used to sell an awful early purple plum as GG- I don’t know if they still do. I got my real GG from Cummins. Yours at least looks like it may be some kind of Gage but Oullins is an early Gage with much more of the GG appearance.

Incidentally, my GG’s don’t get the full sugar until they are actually soft ripe. If they were J.plums at that point of softness they’d be over ripe and bland. E. plums don’t tend to get bland from over ripening- they just keep getting sweeter and more flavorful as long as they are still juicy. Wait too long and you have prunes if it is dry enough for them not to rot.

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My husband and I had my Bavay’s for dessert last night. Just split in half, small butter cookies and a small dollop of cream. The Bavay’s were as sweet as ever (sugary) and just perfect. If fruit can make you swoon, Bavay’s surely are on the list!



Boyer’s Nursery of PA is selling Green Gage this year.

Do you know if theirs is the genuine article?

I don’t even know the nursery, but it sure is an illusive variety. The source I’ve used that seems to be the genuine article is Cummins.

Once I move I’m going to have to get one of these, thanks for the tip about Cummins.

that’s not Green Gage

Yeah, I have another few green gage trees from Trees of Antiquity and Raintree that I hope are true to type. This plum was pretty good, though, and it bloomed profusely this spring before getting zapped by 20 degree weather. I got one fruit from a Jefferson plum tree last year, and this fruit seems pretty similar to that. I’m assuming it is some hybrid gage-plum. I also have a 3 year old Purple Gage from Raintree that bloomed much later and set about 6 fruits. They are 1/4" to 1/2" diameter. We got some frost last night, though, so we’ll see if they pull through.

I pretty well trust TofA because they propagate their own trees and the owners are right there engaged in every operation. If their mother tree wasn’t true to name, they’d find out and replace it.

Speaking of that jefferson tree, it was in full bloom on March 31 and got zapped. I noticed a new bloom on it the other day, and one other fruitlet.

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I ordered “Old Green Gage” from Cummins nursery for next season. Is that the same green gage that Alan is referring to?


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That’s the one I recently planted.

Our Green Gage. Look green but sweet as honey.