Does anyone have any experience with the plum strain from the USDA breeding program in Byron Georgia called Ruby Sweet? I found a table of plum varieties in a University of Georgia article which implies that Ruby Sweet may be a good strain for SE Georgia. Any thoughts? Is there any obtainable scion out there? Thanks.
There’s trees on Cummins and Stark Bros. It’s freestone, apparently, which is interesting.
Coming from Georgia, I wonder if it is black knot resistant?
Most likely. All the Byron Series plums are supposed to be black knot resistant. And I’ve never seen black knot on a Chickasaw hybrid which is what Ruby Sweet is.
The University of GA paper did not mention it being freestone which I think it would have if it was so. That would be such a unique and positive feature for an Asian X Chickasaw hybrid bred for the Deep South it would have warranted a mention int the comments column which only said “productive, good fruit”.
They could both be wrong, but Cummins and Stark Bros both claim it’s freestone.
I will try to do deeper research on that question. Usually there is a scientific paper in the literature giving details on the Byron releases. I’ll try to find it. Meanwhile, I’ve found two different sources of scion, so if it takes the bacterial stem canker pressure of my SE Georgia climate, I hope to know for sure whether it’s freestone or not in four to five years. For now, I will take it as a pleasant surprise if it is freestone based on what I know so far. But nurseries so routinely repeat each other’s nonsense about various expressly not self-fertile plum varieties as being self-fertile that I take everything they say about plums with a grain of salt.
I do have experience with Ruby Sweet since 2013. Sorry, but no chickasaw in it’s breeding. If I remember correctly, seeds were brought to Georgia from California and planted @ Byron. I’ll post much more data later, but I’m pressed for time this morning.
Introgression-of-Prunus-Species-in-Plum.pdf (325.6 KB)
Thank you. Any information you can offer would be welcome. Lack of P. angustifolia genes would explain why the UGA paper I saw indicated that pollen shed was so much better from it than what is typical of hybrid types from the Deep South. The Chickasaw cultivars I have, except for one, appear to be pretty much pollen sterile as best as I can tell from working with them for ten years and require the presence of wild-type P. angustifolia for a good fruit set.