As we plan our “incubator” multi-variety orchard planting, I am curious if anyone has any advice and/or first-hand experience concerning interspecific cultivars which might prove best-suited for Climate Zone 7 (Sunset Zone 33)?
In our area, the main challenges relative to stone fruits in general are early bloom with subsequent late freeze and the typical bacterial/fungal disease pressures prevalent in the Eastern United States.
We are contemplating any of the so-called Apriums, Nectaplums, PeachXPlums, Peacotums, Plumcots, Pluots, Cherry Plums, Pluerrys and others?
Many thanks to all of you for all the excellent advice and helpful community atmosphere.
I grow splash, geo pride, flavor king, flavor supreme, flavor queen, flavor grenade, emerald drop pluots. Spring satin plumcot. Flavor rich, leahcot apriums. Spring satin is the easiest to grow, flavor king is the best to eat. Removed sweet treet pluerry, never set fruit in 3 years. Spice z nectaplum does well for me so far
Flavor Grenade, I just added it, but seen reports it does well in the east. Flavor King is hit and miss, but worth trying, wonderful! I have one scaffold and it’s a good year with about 30 fruits on it. Last year I had five. Not many do well here. Many are not tested for very long. Dapple Dandy does well too, and probably some others in the Dapple series might do well. I added Dapple Jack this year.
I have Nadia, and it grows well, but fruit set so far is very light.
Nectaplum does well for me, but the fruit is rather bland in my location. It may be better in yours? It’s a good fruit if you have lot’s of sun. Also my area is dry so often even though I’m in a cold zone, The Northern Midwest, fruits that do well here, may not in the Northeast or South, even though it is warmer.
I’m afraid you may need to test many cultivars yourself.
We have many members in your area, so hopefully more will chime in.
Thank you very much for your excellent and detailed feedback. I am impressed with the depth of cultivars you have tried. I too am hopeful to hear about other’s experiences. I am always impressed with the generosity of this group in terms of their willingness to share their experience. Thank you again for your help! Have a great evening. Russ
Some of the older pluots are now off patent like Flavor King, no need to buy a whole tree when you can trade scion here. A good way to evaluate as you can test a lot more cultivars with scion. I’m taking a major branch off of Dapple Dandy to make room for added grafts, and anything I have I can supply wood.
I would not rule out the plums that work in your area, or others. On this site is some good threads about the best plums, peaches, etc worth seeking out and reading.
Thank you very much for the generous offer of scion wood. I sincerely appreciate it, and I will no doubt be glad to take you up on this. Our general goal for this “incubator” is to test many different species and varieties to see what is most well-suited to our particular climate and disease profile. Along those lines, both European and Asian Plums are definitely in the mix. Currently, I am systematically reviewing cultivar recommendations for each species and trying to narrow-down each list to the 10-12 cultivars which appear most promising for our area. As you might imagine, there is not a lot of published literature (that I have found anyway) that speaks to the inter-specifics, so that is why I am so glad to have this forum resource to learn from you all who have been “in the trenches”.
Thank you again for all your help and advice, and have a great day!
As a follow-up to this thread, I received the following information from Bay Laurel Nursery:
“According to our most current information from Dave Wilson, almost all of the interspecifics are cold hardy to zone 6. I would, however, stay away from Cot-N-Candy Aprium, Tri-Lite peach x plum (questionable cold hardiness) and Flavor Supreme (blooms very early). We have not heard from anyone saying that they have had problems with disease on any of the interspecifics, even in high humidity areas and low light. Because they are hybrids, they may have greater disease resistance due to hybrid vigour.”
I gotta raise the BS flag on Bay Laurel. Or maybe they just don’t know any better. There are disease issues in humid climates even in spots with full sun. And hybrid vigor doesn’t make them more disease resistant. Many people here will vouch for that. @scottfsmith
Very true. Disease is constant here, my opinion is here at my location, no way to grow interspecific fruits without sprays. They are very prone to disease, but they can be grown if you are willing to spray
Wow, that is shocking indeed! In fact I would say it is more the opposite, they are less disease-resistant because they were bred and tested only in California. Over half the pluots were a waste for me. They are also not really interspecifics, they are nearly all plum genes according to the genetic analysis. BS on top of BS!
Thank you for your feedback. This is why I appreciate the forum- you can learn what is working with real-life fruit explorers in your area. Thank you for setting-up and maintaining this forum. Happy Independence Day!
I’m colder and drier than you, but I’m testing a few new ones myself. I agree with Steve and Scott, but some do work here. That advice is not just for inter-specifics but for all Zaiger developed fruit. I raved about Arctic Glo nectarine. It works very well here, but in some areas it does not work, so I learned to always preface with it working in this climate! Even zone info tells you little. Here we have the Great Lakes warming the air in winter, and cooling it in the summer. Summer conditions are near perfect, although the winters is what limits my choices, as they grow great in the summer only to be killed by our Midwest winters. Only getting 32.8 inches of rain a year on average it’s easier for me to up brix than many places, although the lack of sun can hurt us. It’s possible though to get into the 30’s brix wise on some pluots if conditions are good. This year is another dry year for us, I have 2 inch cracks in my soil right now. I lost a black raspberry, Niwot to lack of water. I lost Allen a few years ago too. Seems black raspberries like their water! Jewel is holding up, and the wild black I have from Ontario is doing well too. I’m watering everyday except the fruit trees, which look terrible, but are loaded with fruit. My tomatoes are disease free, which is the first time that in July I had no septoria spot, it’s just so dry this year. I’m going to have a huge crop!
My blackberries are amazing this year. I should test brix! Now to find my meter…
Drew51: Thank you for your response. I hope you had the chance to watch fireworks?
I am impressed with both the depth and variety of things you are growing. As I alluded to earlier, I am glad to have the opportunity to hear everyone’s first-hand experiences, which are more grounded in the realities of fruit growing life than you often get from the nurseries.
That said, I think Fruitnut’s comment about nurseries not knowing is likely accurate, given that it seems there is not much in the way of published trials of interspecific growth, yield and disease profiles for the Eastern United States.
Thank you again for your great input, and have a great evening!
Yeah a small display on the St Clair River, only one barge (Sunday night). It was fun. In Detroit they have them even earlier as we celebrate Canada’s independence also. We are right across from Windsor. My poor dog hates them and is a nervous wreak!
My wife was working today so i had some free-time. We could not pass up double time! She’s an ER nurse, no blown up hands tonight, a good year! Easy money, a very slow night.
That does sound like a good night. My brother-in-law used to work for Ford in Deerborn, and we once went to Windsor only to discover he couldn’t find his driver’s license as we were preparing to come back. Suffice it to say we had an interesting (and uncomfortable) conversation with the Border Agent!