Green Gage: The Holy Grail Of Stone Fruits

In the east coast,the motto should be “planted it and they will come”. “They” here include but are not limited to OFM, PC, CM, stink bugs, squirrels, groundhogs,raccons, deer, brown rot, black knot, CAR, etc.

Those who have fruit for from their apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, for the first few years in the east and declare that they don’t need to spray are on a honeymoon period.

After 5 years, reality will set in and they will join the brotherhood/sisterhood of misery. Anyway, I don’t know what it is like growing fruit in Ohio.


Similar issues to MA. Lived there the first 29 years of my life.

I have yet to meet anybody who does not have problems after 5 years. I suppose some exceptions. Your statement though is very true in general. I first heard Scott say it, and he was right. I found though what pressure you have most varies by location.


So i would really like to not come off pretentious or rude with this statement and it applies to insects much more than fungal and bacterial diseases.

And this comes into the idea of plant it and it will come so what kind of eco systems is everyone making. All of our fruit plants grass etc is really just there to support pests insects.

What do you guys do to encourage beneficial insects and predators to come in? I try to make a eco system for my plants and have homes for lady bugs, lace wings, beneficial wasps and apply beneficial nematodes as well as not put anything around to kill the beneficials who unlike the pests have not developed multiple resistances to pesticides fungicides and herbicides. For me it took about four years to get mason bees and three years or so for the wasps.

I also brew compost teas and spray beneficial bacterias for diseases and try to cull out the plants that don’t really want to live here but most things will probably become infected at one point and either learn how to fight the pathogen off or succumb to it.

As far as Bavays Gage goes it has been a slow growing tree for me that has tight crotch angles but is very workable, I will double check what rootstock mine is on. It is the most resistant of the few plums i have, mildly hit by aphids and is only mildly hit by the japanese beetles.

Opal is in its first leaf in ground and is on St Julian it has been hit hard by the japanese beetle but its also a young plant and may not be able to fight them off as well however it was left alone by the aphids.

Superior J plum gets hit super hard by aphids and is basically the only plant in my yard i have seen them on besides bavays and anise hyssop patch that wasn’t receiving water. She blooms very early and yet once pollinated has held tight to her young blossoms / fruit through frost.


Those are incredible!!! So beautiful! So are you saying this is your first year to harvest a Bevay? If so, I can’t wait to hear how they taste. Unlike some folks here are saying, I absolutely DO love extremely sugary sweet fruits, and the euro plums I have tried so far have been that sweet and I love them!!

I also love what you said about “Plant it and they will come”. While I had some enemies from day one, others definately took 3-5 years to show up. So you are right, those saying they have no problems MIGHT just mean they have no problems…YET! This is especially true with my grapes. I thought grapes were the easiest thing ever…for 3 years they just grew and fruited and aside from japanese Beatles I had few problems. Year 4 changes that with lots Black rot and more.

Also, thanks for confirming that your Euro Plums are more problematic than Asian ones. Glad it isn’t just me!


My greengage.


I’ve grown Green Gage for a couple decades, but I’ve grafted other varieties on it because it isn’t worth a lot of space on my property.

To achieve top quality, it seems to require dawn to dusk sun, unlike any other plum I grow. I’m going to a site next week that provides that for a tree and its plums are really very good. But there are lots of great plums- let alone stone fruits.

The Holy Grail- not by my reckoning. Just a delicious and interesting plum among many. Of course, in other regions it’s probably a different plum.

However, I do know a very opinionated Texan that agrees with me that the best stone fruits are nectarines. I’ll take the opinion of a fruit grower over a food writer any day.


This is the first year of having Bavay. @mrsg47 has spoken fondly about it. I look forward to trying it, too.

@Vincent_8B, your Green Gage look beautiful. Have you picked them yet? They did not look ripe yet in your pic.

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They’ve ripping unevenly. I just picked the ones are really soft. My greengage stays green color like in the picture when they ready.


I heavily recomend the almost drying overripe fruit with the gages. It is out of this world



In the humid regions that isn’t easy. One year we had a long drought after Long John first got a bit soft. After about 3-4 weeks that almost soft fruit got about half way to being prunes but it was much better than prunes because it was juicy and not sticky-dry (or cooked like the juicy prunes of my childhood).

In CA they used to produce prunes by letting them dry on the trees, so those of you in the west in areas where E. plums grow have a great opportunity to enjoy amazing fruit. I’d like to hear from someone in a prime E plum growing area in the west whose grown dozens of varieties.


I have what was sold to me as a greengage plum.
The fruit I got were many small purpley quarter/half dollar size plums.
Nice and sweet but they didn’t look at all like any pictures I’ve seen other than the online nursery who sold it .
I think I got the tree from Miller maybe 10 years ago.
Apparently gage plums come in various colors so I must’ve got a non-green one.
Do you know if all gage plums taste the same?

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In the thread called Stan’s Harvest Diary 2019, posts # 49-50, @Stan posted pics of several of his gage plums. They are great for references. You’d check that thread out.

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Millers sells anything on hand as anything- I got an early purple plum from them years ago (actually 5 of them for my nursery) and it was NO KIND OF GAGE and not even a good or productive plum. A lot of things I ordered from them in the past were not true to name, but it took a few years to find out- waiting for things to fruit.

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Here’s where Stan’s review starts:


Mam, please take a picture of them please, as mine are gone. How lovely. This would be early for my Bavay. They were never ripe until Sept.


I have two Green Gage trees producing for the first time this year. They are either from One Green World, Trees of Antiquity or Raintree (can’t remember for sure). They are getting close and a few of the slightly damaged ones were soft so I tried them today. One was 17 brix, the other 22. Both had really nice flavor, but the 17 brix was juicier. Hopefully I get to try some more soon. Here are some pics:


I truly hate that. They’re not the only ones who do that. And like you say, you waste years before you realize what happened. Got a cherry tree and a peach tree like that.

These things are really small. Kind of look more like beach plums.


That’s quite a thread by Stan. Thanks for the tip. What I have looks more like what Stan showed as purple gage but not as deeply purple.


Yes, I’m well aware of MrsG’s affinity for Bavay and she is a big part of why I bought one. I hope your report will be good enough to back up my decision to buy one, though at the rate mine is growing it will be about 25 years before I can try one! haha