Hello, I’m new to fruit growing and this forum, I’ve been reading through old posts and finding lots of great info. I found this forum while researching jujube’s, I would really like to get some started here but they seem to be a bit more difficult to source than peaches and plums.
I live in the Memphis area (7b), and recently acquired a small 2 acre lot in West Memphis. I have a small beekeeping business and bought the place to build a honey house on. I have big ideas as far as landscaping, more ambitious than my ability and knowledge base allow, but I’m enjoying the learning process.
I’ve purchased 4 burbank, 4 bruce, 1 santa rosa and 1 methley plum, 6 peaches bellof GA and early elberta, 30 blueberry bushes sunshine blue and sharpblue as well as a few other varities that I purchased previously. I also have a few varieties of thronless blackberry, Arapho which ive had for years now, and recent additions triple crown, and prime ark traveller. I’ve only had success propagating blackberries so far, all of my blueberry attempts have been failures. Nearly all the trees and bushes were purchased 50% off from lowes.
Ive had some minor success propagating vitex which I will need a lot of for planned hedge rows. i would like vitex possibly alternating every so often with jujube for the side hedges. Ive purchased around 20 hollies for the back hedge also on sale.
I need lots more plants for all my landscaping projects, I would really like to learn more about propagation and grafting.
I have just one Methley plum tree which is self-pollinating, early blooming. Would like to add another variety. Wish that the big box stores would sell either the Satsuma or Elephant Heart varieties. I am more into apple trees than plum trees though.
Where do you intend to purchase your sprays from? I usually buy mine from Dan West Garden Center (nice selection of fruit trees too) but I noticed that a feed store on U.S. 72
had a nice selection of sprays.
Can’t say that I know enough about European plum types and to comment on the difference between them and the Japanese types. We could get @thecityman to write us a book on the differences of the two. He is a fellow Tennessean and likes to give detailed posts. He is also into the bees.
@GusMitchell welcome to the forum! I am new as well, but wanted to share my minimal experience on jujubes. I have a Honey Jar purchased from Edible Landscaping in Virginia that has grown well this year but still hasn’t produced fruit. They are a cool place to check out if you want to learn about lots of less common landscaping specimens geared towards a “food forest”. I plan to purchase another variety from England’s Orchard in Kentucky. I have heard only good things about his business and he seems to be very knowledgeable and has a great selection of jujube, persimmons, and pawpaws (which are my main focus at this time). There is a thread that I believe is titled Jujubes: our next adventure that I found to be helpful. Good luck with making your new space a sanctuary for your bees!
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about Sam. My posts are always brief, to the point, never stray off topic, and always contain great wisdom due to my vast expertise in fruit growing. And when you’re done reading this, I’d like to make you a good deal on a bridge over the Mississippi that I have for sale. hahaha
@GusMitchell Greetings from another Tennessean. However, in terms of climate we are going to be fairly different. I’m north of Nashville on the KY/Tn line. Sounds like you are off to a great start. I like most of your first tree choices very much. I’ll be to talk to you more about plums sometime. I have a lot of varieties but there are lots of people here who know more than I do. I will say now that overall I have much better luck with Japanese type that Euro’s. Don’t get me wrong, a really good Euro plum is better tasting (TO ME) than a good Japanese. But in my experience the Euros are much (almost double in many cases) slower to produce and size up, and much more susceptible to diseases- especially black knot .
ANyway, welcome to the forum and let me know if I can help. You can see my tree list in my profile, though I’ve added quire more trees since I last updated. You’ll find out how easy adding trees is! haha
Bruce for me has one problem that is 100% subjective- I’m just not crazy about the taste. I’m reluctant to say that, because many people thing its very good, and even though I’m not a fan, there is no clear reason I can explain for why I don’t like it. It’s fairly sweet, juicy, etc. Its like explaining why someone does or doesn’t like vanilla or chocolate ice cream when others do. I have the same issue with Toka (bubblegum) plums. Many people think they are their best tasting plum, but I don’t like them at all- less even than Bruce.
But hear me out on Bruce. The reason I’m so torn about telling you I don’t love the taste is that it has so many other great things going for it. First, its one of my very first plums each year- only about a week after my very first ones. Also, it is consistently a VERY heavy cropper. Even in bad pollination years that thing hangs full of fruit. Another factor in its favor is the size of the plums. It is probably my very biggest plum I grow. Another good thing about Bruce is it is a very healthy tree. That sounds like a standard prerequisite that you’d expect from any tree, but you’ll find that isn’t the case. Some plums just seem to have health problems and be more susceptible to things like brown rot, black knot, splitting, and so on.
So, as you can see, I’m rather torn on recommending Bruce. If you could try one somewhere and knew you liked the taste, its an all-out winner. But all those great characteristics I mentioned don’t mean much if you don’t like the taste. Hope that helps, but probably not.
BTW…are you starting to see why @tennessean was giving me a little ribbing about me “writing a book”? haha Its not because I have the knowledge to write a book, its just that my answers are long enough to be considered books! ha
I couldn’t tell you why, but for whatever reason the american/japanese hybrid trees fascinate me. I’m reading all that I can find on improved Chickasaw plums. They seem to be harder to source though. I have found Chickasaw seedlings relatively easily and cheap, so I’m contemplating trying my hand at grafting. Of course I am completely open to the possibility that I’m being to ambitious for a beginner, and not knowing what I’m doing. Unfortunately I have very little self restraint when I find something that interests me.
I actually dug up and replanted some wild plums that are perported to be Chickasaw, but I honestly there is no way to know for sure. They were on the land of an elderly man who says he grew up being told they were Chickasaw and certainly the photos I’ve seen of their fruits and blooms line up. But again, that isn’t real proof, so who knows, But honestly, I’m kind fo excited about them no matter what variety they are. Certainly they are a wild plum, they grow in thickets, the fruit is sour but palatable (I’m told).
THey were 12 inches long when I transplanted them 3 years ago and by end of this summer they are about 4 foot tall. They bloomed a lot this spring but didnt set many fruit and dropped what was set.
My goal was to see if they would make good rootstocks, since they send out runners making it easy to dig up and graft them. I’ve alredy done that twice and both of the grafted plums/pluots on my wild plum (chick?) took easily and are doing great.