Opal Plum


#1

The last couple years have been banner ones for my plum trees, which though still young have produced hundreds if not thousands of fruit spanning mid August through mid October. This year, not so much. Cool rainy spell starting at petal fall plus my hands off approach (no spray at all this year) meant some nasty brown rot and curculio damage that wiped most of my trees clean of fruit. Interesting to see which varieties have produced despite the adversity, and the clear winner is my Opal which has been a light cropper in years past but now bends under the load of fruit, most very clean, delicious and ripening up presently. This tree is 7 years old and should yield at least a peck of fruit.
This fruit is easy to utilize in the kitchen as it doesn’t have the sour skin which characterizes my Japanese and p americana hybrids. Also freestone. Mildly aromatic and sweet. Plum jam, plum cake, plum pie, here we come- thank you Opal!


#2

I have a few grafts of that and gave away a graft… so am glad to hear your comments.

Dax


#3

Good choice for the north, very cold hardy European selection which I can now state has some good disease and pest resistance.


#4

Absolutely. I forwarded your comments to my friend in Northern Missouri zone 5b/6a.

Thanks Jesse,

Dax


#5

That’s great to hear. Mine is in year 3 and I think it flowered a bit this year, but didn’t have any set. In terms of disease resistance, it had a bit of black knot, though not particularly bad.


#6

I got my first opals this year. I expected them to ripen at the end of August, but they were ripe by the beginning. I like the texture and flavor, just wish they were bigger.


#7

Mine do seem larger than in years past…size ain’t everything either😀
Supermarket plums from CA set the bar pretty high. Compared to my marble-sized beach plums (another winner in a difficult season) these Opals are jumbo!


#8

Jesse, what other euros do you have that bloom with opal?. I have just Jplums and chums now but would like to get a few euros going and Opal sounds like a good choice. Actually, i’do like to get any plum to produce like yours! They are beautiful.
Do you, or anyone else, know if euros can graft to America Plum?


#9

Opal is early blooming here, but does overlap with my Stanley. I guess it is somewhat self fertile as well. I believe mine is on p americana roots (came from St Lawrence nursery which uses that stock for all its plums)


#10

American plum, Prunus americana, accepts:
Euro plum
Asian plum
Peach and Nectarine
Some apricots I’m sure but not all
Pluots
Pluerries

I must of had 10-15 takes of ‘Opal’ on Prunus americana this year. In the field and bench grafts.

Dax


#11

I have a three year old Opal on myro but haven’t got any fruit yet. I planted a second tree this year that I grafted onto prunus americana and I have another one that I grafted onto Marianna 2624 that is still in a root bag. Not sure if I need three, though.


#12

Cleaned off my Opal plum tree after grazing off it for the past week…birds, chipmunks had discovered the bounty so I decided it was time for them to come in. Now the kitchen work begins! I’m looking forward to trying @mrsg47 's plum jam recipe and comparing it to previous batch made with my Stanley plums, Opals are more delicately flavored. Brix tested between 18-20.


#13

It is so worth the effort! Also will make a great plum tart!


#14

Polish hybrid Opal x Cacak Beauty named Kalipso is also tasty.


#15

Calypso is also the name of a friend’s new daughter…sounds like a nice plum too!
I am saving all my Opal Plum pits to replant, who knows one might be worthy…or simply use for rootstock.


#16

Howdy, I’d like to pick up this thread again with a couple questions about grafting Opal plums because I’ve been offered a scion. I’ve read that I’d be better off ‘budding’ instead of grafting; and, I have a Toka, a Flavor Supreme, and a Satsuma…and after now doing a mid-post search it looks like I could graft onto the T and the S and maybe even the FS. I’m still posting this though just in case some part of this is nutty. I don’t know if the ones I already have will pollinize each other and/or the Opal. Any suggestions?


#17

@Seedy, Opal is a European plum, I’m not sure what will be its compatibility grafted on an Asian plum (e.g., Satsuma), pluot (e.g., FS) or Asian/American hybrid (Toka). In general, E. plums are very easy to graft on each other or on compatible rootstocks, I have 100% success with them.


#18

Thanks, Stan. The Asian/Euro plum issue is discussed pretty heavily on the forum with opinions and experiences of all kinds. After finding this thread, I’ve been reading around the site…oooeee, there are many viewpoints. At this point, with a scion available, I’m just going to go for it…unless I decide to get serious about Euro plums and get an actual tree, ha ha. Or both…:grin: Thanks for the reply. I probably oughta just get a tree.
…Steve


#19

Bottom line Steve is if the graft union is smooth then generally it’s okay. If the union is noticeably swelling then that usually indicates there is some incompatibility. Later down the road on grafts that show incompatibility but are still alive and fruiting, etc- a heavy crop or windstorm may snap that union. So that’s what you look for and know you should be thinking ahead to graft that cultivar elsewhere.

Dax


#20

I budded Opal to AU Rosa or AU Producer (not sure which) a couple of summers ago. It has grown fine, though I’ll need to check the union to see how smooth it is.