Interesting new trees at Walmart

To be clear and for the benefit of some new users, past discussions have made it clear that some of the most expert fruit growers here do not like the idea of buying fruit trees at big box stores. I understand and respect those opinions and it is not my intention to reopen that debate here. But for those willing to consider big box store trees, I did want to let you all know that walmart has some interesting varieties that they have never sold here before. Also, past threads have shown that if my Walmart here on the KY/TN border have a particular variety, Walmart stores all over the country are likely to have the same varieties, so if you are interested in these you can likely find them at your local store.

One variety I had not seen at Walmart before and is fairly uncommon at most online nurseries in my experience is a Peach called Diamond Princess. The only other place I’ve seen these was at Lowe’s in past years.

The other 2 varieties that caught my interest were two European Plums. I haven’t ever seen any Euro Plums at Walmart before. The two I saw at my local walmart last night were:

  1. French Prune Plum
  2. Green Gauge Plum

Now, I admit that both of those are questionable names and its hard to know exactly what these trees really are. “French Prune” seems fairly generic to me, but perhaps I’m wrong about that? As for Green Gauge, there have been other threads about how many different plums are sold as “Green Gauge” these days, so who knows if these are true. But I still think its interesting that there are 2 new varieties of Euro plums- whatever they are.

BTW, the plums actually had labels telling what the root stock was! That is something I’d NEVER seen at a big box store. I’m sorry, but I forgot what the root stock was, though!

In the end, these varieties are probably too vague/questionable for most of you to buy them, but if you are looking to take a gamble or just find a pollinator for another Euro Plum, maybe its worth a try? Either way, I wanted to let everyone know I saw some trees I’d never seen before and were therefore interesting to me.

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I have seen a lot more variety in the fruit tree selection at big box stores as well the last few years. And it appears as though some attention is being paid to zone/climate instead of selling customers a “name” that will die on them. (Though they could still do better. Instead of McIntosh, they have Anna and Dorset Golden, and instead of Bartlett, they have Hood and Kieffer. Those varieties are “fine” but very far from the best that would be appropriate for our zone/climate. But…baby steps, lol.)

I hope it indicates consumers are getting smarter about what fruit trees they buy, and we will continue to see more variety and better choices.

Whether you buy at a big box store or not, I think that’s a great thing. I think so many people are put off by fruit trees because they bought a few long ago that up and died on them. But hopefully with these better choices, more people will have success and get interested in the hobby ,which will benefit all of us.

Also, I’m jealous. I love window shopping for fruit trees, and, as of a week ago, none of our big box stores have gotten them in yet! (And I’m in zone 8a Georgia. Not sure what they’re waiting for!)

I wonder if this implies that more home owners are getting into growing fruit. I know that vegetable gardening has declined over the years. I also know that fruit grower oganizations such a NEFEX have been in steady decline. But that may simply be because Millennials are not joiners and Boomers and Busters can’t retire and devote their time and energy to a club or volunteer work like their parents did.

Generally fruit trees are less trouble than a vegetable garden which is a big reason I went that rout rather than the vegetable garden rout. Maybe that’s the way home gardeners are going and the box stores are picking up on it. Just be aware that a tree with the Hood label on it could really be a Bartlett just with a Hood label.

But you got my curiosity up. I’ll have to go by Walmart and see what they have. Personally I hope they don’t sell European plums in Georgia. Chickasaw varieties would be much, much better.

God bless.

Marcus

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Who converted Gage to Gauge — Walmart, you or your spellchecker? :wink:

In the early 18th century, Sir Thomas Gage, of Hengrave Hall, near Bury St Edmunds in England, procured the French plum variety Grosse Reine Claude from his brother, the Rev. John Gage, a Roman Catholic priest, then resident in Paris, and introduced it to England. In course of time it became known as the Green Gage Plum. This created a tradition by which all Reine Claude varieties are called Gages in the English-speaking world.

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