Plums 2015

Burgundy is always outstanding here. Another overlooking plum I think. Used frequently as a cross-pollinator for the more fancy interspecifics, but usually outperforms all of them.


Yes, ‘Burgundy’ is a proven performer here too. It is spicy if picked early, holds well and takes on a rich silky flavor as it holds. A must have for low-chill So Cal.

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That’s a perfect description, Clint. Plus, I like it because the skin isn’t super tart, and neither is the meat near the pit. I hate that in stone fruit, and only really started to like stone fruit with some of the interspecifics that started hitting the market. Love this plum, it is my husband’s “go to” stone fruit, he can’t wait until it is ripe, and eats them even a little underripe, and they are as you describe, sort of “spicy”.

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Gee, it sounds like I should try Burgundy! I’m not sure why I never put it in. Most of my California plums came from a batch of scionwood that our dear departed friend Aceofspaces brought back from a CRFG swap for me. I have grown out over a dozen California varieties of Japanese plum, and while about 2/3 were failures to some degree in my climate, the remaining third are some of my favorites. Satsuma and Laroda in particular are probably my two best plums.

Oh gosh, sure miss Grover. He was helping me with a large tree buy he had just completed for me. Burgundy is one of those highly underrated plums that gets named as the cross-pollinator for everything else. Sort of the Cinderella of plums. Not only is it one of the best tasting of all my stone fruits, it is a reliable and prolific setter. I’m not sure if the flavor is a regional thing and just exceptionally good for those of us in S. Calif. (I think me, Clint and Jennifer (puglover75), or if it will perform well everywhere. I think fruitnut rates it as just “good”. But I know for me, it is just exceptionally delicious. And I am a very picky stone fruit person :slight_smile:

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I’ve been monitoring reports on Burgundy; trying to decide if I want to plant it too. It’s a favorite of Tom Spellman at DWN. He says the flowers have a beautiful fragrance, and the fruit matures well in Calif.

But it seems virtually unknown back East. I would love to hear from anyone east of the Rockies regarding their experiences with Burgundy…

Have my best Burgundy ever this yr. Brix is pushing 30 on the one I just ate. Size 1.5 inches. This from a huge water deficit that cut fruit size by more than 50% compared to an earlier tree that had much bigger fruit. The high water deficit has delayed harvest by 4-6 weeks. Or at least greatly increased fruit holding time on tree. I’ll have to admit these are very good fruit but I don’t think there is any chance of doing this outside of drought stressed SoCal.

If you put the same water deficit on some of my pluots I think they’ll be better. My Flavor Supreme this yr were better flavor, for my taste maybe not someone else, because they have some tartness and higher flavor profile along with high sugar.

I think that’s probably the key to delicious Burgundy plums, fruitnut - lack of water, which is a natural decline for us as the plum ripens with increasing temps and decreasing rainfall for us out here. Yes - there are some pluots/interspecifics that are a bit better - Flavor King, and Spicezee Nectaplum are two for me. I haven’t gotten my Flavor Supreme to set, yet, so I am anxious to see how that fares for me out here. But, Burgundy is in the top 5 for sure for me.

‘Burgundy’ when dead ripe has a richness of flavor that is hard to describe. I will just say that it’s what a plum should taste like.

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Man, that is such a heart breaking report on plums in your area, Scott, that I am surprised anyone grows them there.

I’m not at all surprised you like it Patty since you don’t like the tart side of flavor. But for me it’s not anywhere near top 5 even at 30 brix. That’s very high for a sweet cherry much less a plum. Out East it’s much more likely to be 15 brix, based on Bob Vance numbers for similar fruits, than 30. At 15 you won’t even recognize it as the same fruit because it lacks flavor. I think in your area if left to hang long enough with severe shortage of water it’s more like dried fruit.

Severe water deficit can change the flavor profile substantially. Sometimes better and esp past a certain point of drought, sometimes worse. Maybe you are getting a taste I’m not. And I’m sure opinions of the changes would vary.

While I’m at it let me say what I see this post pointing out. IMO water is by far the biggest factor in quality of certain fruits, mainly stone fruit. Lots of posts here about other factors like fertility, soil health, soil fungi, etc. None come close to water as a factor in fruit quality IME.

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On my few tried and true varieties I did fine as always - I’ve been up to my ears in great plums. But, the combination of rot and bugs is pretty bad and it limits what varieties as well as what growing/spraying conditions will work. Most backyard growers I know around me just talk about their failures with plums. Commercial growers spray all summer and you can get a crop that way, but that is a big commitment. For my European plums I need to get more sunlight into the fruits, that has become all too clear in my years of experimenting. Maybe espalier is the way to go on them.

Anyway next time you are grumbling about all the high-chill stuff you can’t grow, remember all the high-rot stuff that you can :smile:


Well I want to point out rot here is not as big a problem so far. I have only produced around 50 stone fruit lifetime now, but no rot on any of them. And when i was young and my dad grew peaches, we never had rot. This summer humidity has been as low as 30%. Rot is not a major issue here, or at least easy to control with backyard fungicides.

I have a question about Flavor King. Mine will be ripe in about 2-3 weeks. I want to make sure the pluots are Flavor King! They started out yellow, and grew a little, now they have a red flush, is this how this fruit develops?
The nectaplum will be ready in about 10 days. I only have like 5 on the tree, but at least I’ll get a taste.

Flavor King drops off the tree when ripe. I put foam pads under the tree to catch the ones I’m late finding. Before they drop twist the fruit a touch to see if it wants to drop. Mine are very dark when ripe. Normally I test ripeness with a gentle squeeze. A little give indicates ripeness.

Thanks Scout and Bob for sharing the plum report. As always,looking forward to see it every year.

Thanks, it has been an issue, being new to this and figuring out when they are ripe. Both the peaches and nectarines seem to go from super firm to soft and over ripe. Yikes, difficult to tell! Usually one will be over ripe and the rest were firm, but ripe. Once off the tree, they really were not that firm, just hard to tell.
It seems with plums the shoulders become softer or as you say start to give.
It still is dry here, very very dry, they should be excellent!
Yeah I’m totally out of rain water, and have been for 3 weeks.


I can’t say water deficit has helped my Flavor King. By that I mean I don’t remember really drought stressed ones being great. I don’t think I’ve had that many in that situation. The big ones, some nearly 0.5 lb, with adequate water and 20 brix have been excellent because it’s such a high flavor pluot. I’m hoping to grow some higher brix FK and see how they turn out. It would be nice if you had a weight and brix on yours.

I will buy a meter I want to know myself, could you please point to something that will work. I know you have before. i thought I saved the link, guess not. I see so many on Amazon, unsure what’s OK to use?

Amazon has one about like mine for $30. These things are very easy to use and trouble free IME.

Item ordered, I wish I could test those Arctic Glo;s I bet they were very high. I ate the last one Sunday. That whole series is a good one. Cool that Glo work’s here.
I also have satsuma, and Santa Rosa plums, and Nadia too. Plus I want to test the blueberries too. I saw it’s tough to do them, but I’ll manage.