I’m trying to track down a source for Opal plum trees for the 2021 season.
I’ve looked the ones sold by Raintree, and unfortunately the rootstock won’t work in my area. (Alaska). P. Americana or something as rigorous and cold hardy is a must for the root stock. Google has failed me and I’m hoping people with local knowledge of small nurseries can help.
If you don’t find an Opal tree, you might consider buying P. americana or Myrobalan rootstock from Fedco and grafting it yourself. You can also buy Myro rootstock from Cummins (although their website has not been updated yet).
I bought Opal from Raintree in Spring and grafted it to two Krymsk-1 rootstocks. I don’t know if K-1 will survive in Alaska. The tree I bought has not fruited yet, so I only have their word on the variety.
I’ve been doing research into Krymsk-1 and am highly considering using that as a root rootstock.
Any idea on the lifespan of something on Krymsk-1? With its cherry plum heritage, and cherryplums relative short lifespan, I’m wondering if that is an issue in K-1. I haven’t been able to track down any info on that subject myself…
Myro 29C (which is a variety of cherryplum) is the standard rootstock for Euro plums and I never heard of it having a short lifespan. I would guess K-1 was not around long enough to know how long it can live. I would go with K-1 as a rootstock for Euro plum if you want a very compact tree. If you want a large, vigorous tree I would go with Myro 29C.
Do you have access to Prunus Americana rootstock? And do you graft? If you can graft I would favor the native plums over Myro 29c, which is prone to grow in a leaning habit an likely to require staking for an upright tree; whereas, the native plums will accept many varieties and produce a nice upright structure. I have both and see no advantage to using Myro 29c, slow growth and leans a lot!
I read about Krymskl 1 and it appears to be the ideal solution for your area due to its cold hardiness. PARENTAGE: Prunus tomentosa x Prunus cerasifera (Chinese Bush Cherry x Myrobalan Plum)
Krymsk®1 rootstock is an interesting treefruit rootstock for providing vigor control and improved fruit size. Additionally, Krymsk®1 appears suited to areas requiring cold hardiness.
Krymsk®1 is competitive with traditional rootstocks such as Lovell as a rootstock for either European Plums or Japanese Plums. Early information has demonstrated good yield efficiencies and some enhanced fruit size. While not appropriate for high bacterial canker sites, Krymsk®1 performs relatively well under Rootknot and Lesion nematode pressure.
I given its parentage it should be compatible to graft almost any plum or hybrid plum variety. Wish you good luck. Have you found a source for scions? Another one that you may find hardy enough is Prunus Nigra. I have no experience with it but someday hope to find either rootstock or seeds so i can add to my wild plum collection.
I’ve got the rootstock in the ground last year and grafted Pembina and Brookgold. My source for Opal fell through so I’m going to attempt to source that through Bob Purvis this year. There is an unknown variety gold plum that started fruiting several years ago about 30 min north of me, and the taste is supposed to be spectacular. It’s crop continues to increase in size each year, and I’m in contact with the owner and hoping to get some scion for that. Lastly, I’d like to get ahold of some Greengage. I know it would be shooting for the moon, but we won’t know for sure unless we try. Any sources you have for Greengage?
Thanks for the heads up on Prunis Nigra - I’ll take a look at it, and have some more space for trialing it if it looks promising.
I have a green gage type that produces fruit but I do not know its variety because it’s a volunteer wild plum. I would be willing to trade several of my unknown wilds for the one you described if you wish. Here are pics of this year’s fruit. Both are clear stone and very sweet