Plum size vs expectations

I ask becuase this year I’m getting my first significant fruit harvest. Plums will be my first thing to ripen and what I’m noticing is that they just generally seam small. I feel like I’ve been pretty dilligent about thinning the crop so I don’t really think the small size is due to lack of thinning

Keep in mind my prior harvests have been very minimal due to frost kill so I don’t have a lot to compare things to.

What I’m seeing is a lot of golf ball size or smaller fruits. My kids and I ate several Methley plums today that are almost ripe but they are small. Sort of similar to the Verry Cherry plums I’ve gotten in the supermarket in past year’s. Shiro looks like it will be a little bigger than Methley bit not much. Nadia looks to be similarly sized to methley.

What I use for comparison is grocery store plums and pluots Which seem 50 to 100% larger than what I’m growing. I’m sure a lot of bulk market plums are large becuase they sell better. Despite being inferior quality.

I guess what I’m ultimately asking is are the plums I’m growing smaller than they typically should be or are these varieties just naturally small. Many of the pluots I’m growing dont ripen for another month so I’d expect them to size up compared to what is ripening now.

I should have the following plums to harvest this summer:
Flavor king
Flavor queen
Flavor supreme
Dapple dandy
Emerald Beaut
Flavor grenade

Which of these are typically small and which of those are typically large. What can I expect.

I used to grow the first six on your list plus Flavor King. They were on a small size. The biggest one among those seven was Shiro. It could size up to a medium size when thinned well.

Thanks Tippy. You said “used to”. Why is that? Didn’t care for them or was it black knot or brown rot related?

They were all grafted to my Shiro (17 varieties). The tree was in a partial shade spot. The growth was out of control and black knot became more of an issue. So, it was a combo of several bad things. It was not an easy decision but I would rather do it than hanging on.

I moved some varieties that I like to the two prunus americana rootstocks I have. Well, turned out, those two wimpy rootstocks cannot handle vigorous grafts. What a mistake!!

I also had Flavor Supreme, Flavor Granade and Splash, too, but they hardly set any fruit. Of your list, Stanley is the only one I heard is a black knot magnet. It took about 4 years before black knot showed up. It is worse on Euro than J plums. Brown rot showed up sooner but easier to manage.

Congrats on your fruitful year. Very happy for you.

Thanks for the info. I’ve been keeping a log of what’s ripening with notes. Next year I’ll have something to compare to.

All I remember was Methley first and Laroda is one of the late one.

Ones of the things I have learned is grocery stores have varieties that are bigger in terms of species and they have things that can stay on store shelves along time. The stores like big fruit because it is often sold by the pound. If you look on stone fruit listings and some other listing that help people decide on plants they will list taste rating, size, freestone vs not freestone, a general description etc. Some fruit is great tasting but you get very little per fruit and others is so so tasting but you get a bucket load per fruit.

Hi Dave.
I can speak with knowledge of the facts, since I have in my orchard bearing fruit for years all the varieties of plums and pluots, which you enumerate from your orchard.

They are very good varieties, but the vast majority are medium-sized varieties, except for these three varieties, which must offer a good size:

  • Laroda plum
  • Dapple Dandy pluot
  • Emerald Beaut Plum

I fully agree with elivings1 in the sense that the size should not be the most important parameter, but the flavor and texture.

“But”, (there is always a but) hahahahahaha. The size of the fruit is a parameter that is visually very attractive, and that is totally indisputable, since humans use our sense of sight a lot to choose food.

Do not think that there are many varieties of plums with very large caliber and that have good argonoleptic qualities, good texture, resistance to manipulation, etc …
If you want, I can make a small list of the large plums from my orchard that I know 100% sure are of excellent quality.
So quickly, I can tell you that the Mariposa variety (improved Satsuma) is much better plum than Satsuma and I have both varieties.
And these varieties of plums I are sure to like you:

  • Primetime
  • Ozark Premier
  • Autumn Giant

Let me review the lists of my varieties of plums and I will write down some more varieties that are interesting both for their good taste qualities and that also have great caliber.



Thanks Jose for the excellent info. I do not need to have big plums. My inquery was basically to see if the fruits I’m finding to be small are small for everyone else. I was really more curious if the plums I am growing are undersized for their type.

It would be interesting to see some images for size comparison ( with an item such as a quarter to compare them next to ) as your varieties are harvested.

My Italian Prune Plum only has a single plum. It is still green but beginning to see some color, and is only the size of a robins egg…