New Member From NY

Hi everyone!

I’ve done a bit of reading here, and I figured it’s probably time to stop lurking and start interacting.

I’m located in central NY zone 6, and am working my way into growing pretty much anything I can. My background is in plant genetics, natural resources, and agroforestry, so I’ve had the opportunity to see some pretty amazing and wild systems people have implemented. Now I finally have the chance to settle down to plant my own.

Right now, I’m cooking up a dozen or so types of hardy(ish) figs, lots of pawpaw seedlings from improved selections, hybrid chestnuts, american persimmons, honeyberries, currants, cornelian cherries, some Sorbus domestica, aronia, elderberry, a few other fruits, and lots of native wildflowers and other edible plants. I’m working out how I might shift my family’s place which is covered in honeysuckle, buckthorn, and dead ash into a productive landscape with relatively low inputs. Luckily there are a few nice crabapples and hawthorns I might graft onto next year.

Some of my other hobbies include mushroom hunting, foraging, and filling the fridge with bags of stratifying seeds.

My next project is researching what varieties of plums and plum/apricot hybrids might do well here without dying immediately from black knot, also investigating seedling peaches, and learning more about honeyberry cultivars suitable for my area. I also might have some interest in growing maypops and hardy kiwis. Thanks for having me!





welcome. you’re in a good growing zone that you can plant the cold tolerant trees and also the more hardy heat loving ones like peaches. im jealous!

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Welcome! Sounds like you have a lot of fun projects you will be working on.

Keep us updated on your journey. We all learn together.



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One of my best apples came from your state, the Cortland, excellent for baking and long keeper. I’m always interested in gaining new plum varieties and exchanging cuttings and seeds, especially the native ones so keep me in mind
Kent wa

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My advice from the school of hard knocks: Get something reliable and productive first. The tricky stuff can come later.


As a newbie to plums, do they grow relatively true from seed? If seedlings still make decent fruit, that might be something for me to try this year.

Yep that’s a good approach. After years of being in genetics, I find it’s super easy to get lost in the weeds. But by the time I get to planting things, I end up with plenty of notes!

I agree start with what works best in your area. As you always have a harvest. Having said that just about everything you mentioned will work in your area.
I’m in zone 6a used to be 5b. I harvested pluots, nectarines, tomatoes, peppers, raspberries red and black (primocane fruiting-you got to love giant black raspberries in September!). Also blackberries and figs today. My goal was to have fresh fruit all summer and I now do. So yeah you can do all you mentioned if you wish. Sounds cool.
Welcome and keep us updated.

Todays harvest except the figs. I’m drying those, I like to eat them all winter long!

I keep my trees small by pruning two or three times a year. Most of my trees have multiple grafts. I like to dedicate a scaffold to one cultivar. I don’t need 80 plums at once. But by planning by ripening period I can have one tree produce plums from spring till fall. About 25 to 35 fruits for each cultivar.
Here’s one with pluots, peaches, and nectarines. The tree is Indian Free peach ( ripens in October)


Nice Fruits! What primocane black raspberry do you have? I’m also curious if you have your figs in-ground or in pots. I planted some in-ground for the first time this spring and its ridiculous how much more vigorous they are compared to pot culture. I’ll have to see how they fare the winter though.

I have only one in ground. Florea. The rest I grow in pots I also grow pomegranates in pots. Limited success, more for fun and experimentation.
On black raspberry I had Niwot but lost it. I did cross it with Jewel and a wild yellow cap from Ontario from a growing friend of mine. I’m less than 20 miles from Canada. Anyway I got two crossed and both have better tasting primocane berries than niwot. One is excellent (Jewel x Niwot) the other has good tasting giant primocane berries.


Those black raspberries are pretty big. Hope you’re propagating more of those!

I have fallen down on spreading these!
But they tip rooted all over and I’m removing some, contact me in October and I’ll send one to you.
See this thread for more info

The wild yellow cap seems to be resistant to diseases or asymptomatic. This cross is already at least four years old. I have heard of blacks dying out. Both Jewel and Niwot did for me. I suspect this cross will not do this. My yellow is over ten years old and lives in a pot.
Last year a purple raspberry appeared in a pot with a black currant. And it’s primocane fruiting!!
Weird how these things happens. I never grew a purple, heard they were bland. Mine tasted like a boysenberry! Top shelf excellent! I’m tip rooting a backup right now. Fall crop is not ready yet. Here is a photo from last year.

The only primocane fruiting purple raspberry I ever heard of. I have not named it yet. I was thinking simple like “primocane purple”

So Mother Nature shows my breeding of good to excellent tasting primocane fruiting black raspberries up, by producing the worlds first primocane fruiting purple with outstanding flavor.
Farmer Fred once said to me Mother Nature bats last! How right he was! Even in breeding!


I’ll set a reminder to reach out in October then!

Some other stuff to consider growing is the Canadian bush cherries like Juliet. Easy to grow and stays in bush form. Or if you can control the pH in a raised bed grow blueberries. The bushes produce for 50 years. Just add sulfur once in awhile.

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The bush cherries do seem worthwhile and pretty sturdy. It seems like they can be relatively easily propagated by root cutting or suckers too (plant patent stuff aside).

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Speaking of cherries I grow cornus mas. I needed a hedge so ten years ago I choose cornus mas because they grow well in low light which is a problem at my cottage. I have two gardens besides my main garden in Sterling Heights. It 3-5 degrees colder here on an island. A fresh water marine environment which has been a challenge to grow in. Anyway cornus mas has grown well. I have been harvesting cherries the last week and it should go on for another month. The seedlings all ripen cherries at different times. Reminds me I need to harvest today. I make a syrup with the fruit to mix in cordials and mixed drinks. Makes a good ice cream flavor too.
I freeze them after harvest and add to it as I harvest daily.


I love Cornus mas! I have around 20ish seedlings, some from nice varieties like pioneer and elegant. I’m curious to see how many of my seedlings from yellow-fleshed fruits come out yellow as well. I’ll let ya know in 6 or 7 years I guess. These are some first year seedlings growing under my cucuzza and thicket beans. Hopefully they can all be planted out in their final places next year, or otherwise pumped up to big plants in their own pots.


Welcome Jabberwalks

Upstate NY here as well, in the Lake George area. Zone 5 but really a high 4 some winters, especially when we dont get much snow.
I wanted to throw in a few words regarding the Plum choices and Black knot. I think I have tried just about every cultivar I could that was reported to have Black Knot resistance and I can honestly say that you cant believe the hype.
My allstars have been Alderman, Superior, and Bluebyrd. They have never had any Black knot.
My 3 NY 9 saplings were infested within one year and ripped out, The President had a knot within one year, that was cut off and hasnt returned this summer so we will see.
Seneca , early italian, and Shiro all had knots by their second spring in the ground.
Methley, Burbank, Black Ice, Stanley Prune (the most infested) Hanska, Santa Rosa, and Bruce outright were infested and were all removed.
Toka and Waneta and Oblinaga have been in two years without any knots yet. Also have one of the Au hybrids that hasnt shown any yet but I cant remember that name right off.
I have large native Black Cherry trees very close by that have a lot of Black knot and they are a constant reservoir of disease so there is no way around avoiding it.
The one thing I wonder about is if trees might develop more resistance when they get a little older . since all of my trees were between 3 and 6 ft when they were planted. This is the hope and only reason for me keeping the President, which is often reported to have the most resistance. It is planted under the canopy of a large Black Cherry, so it has some pretty high pressures to contend with.
I do have an Apricot at my parents house that is quite large (20 ft wide)but has never fruited and has never had a knot, but I honestly dont know the cultivar. It is alone and I think it needs a pollinator.
I think we need someone like you to cross a few of these great performers together and create a “Super Alderbyrd plum” tree for us in the Northeast where Black knot is such a problem.


Yes on your apricot needing pollination, graft a twig in. Bob Purvis could probably recommend a suitable one.