True identity of "fake" Valor plum from ACN

I think I’ve figured out the true identity of the plum that was sold as “Valor” by ACN for several years. I think @alan may know which years, but mine was planted in 2014.

Before I found out that it wasn’t really Valor, I sent out wood to a number of people, including @mamuang, so several people could be interested in this.

The good news is that while it isn’t Valor, it is still a very good plum. I just harvested my first ones today (yes, year #8…Euro plums take their time for me). Coincidentally, a graft on the next tree over from 2016 also had fruit for the first time. In fact, it had apparently identical fruit, which has the same size, shape, ripening time, and approximate brix (18-20 for the Valors and 20.5 for the MR).

One of these is a Mount Royal and the others are ACN’s Valor, See if you can pick the MR out of the lineup :slight_smile:

Here’s a view from their bottoms. They both have the same dimple. Note that the fruit in the next two pics is darker, as the bloom has been washed off.

I didn’t notice any significant difference in flavor, other than that which occurs in more or less ripe fruit from the same tree.

Of course, the first thing I wanted to verify was that I didn’t accidentally graft the Valor in place of the Mount Royal. So, I checked a few places online and their MR pics look pretty close to what I’ve got.

Raintree:
image

Johnson’s (who also had another pic with elongated plums, but both nurseries describe it as round):

10 Likes

Bob,
It never dawned on me that this fake Valor is Mount Royal.

This could be because my experience with another MT. I grafted that MT (scionwood from @galinas) and recalled Galina said her MR was unproductive.

Her graft set fruit but only a couple of fruit. They were small, (probably from new graft) . I let them hang until shriveled. They tasted jammy good. Because they were small fruit so I quickly removed the graft.

Had I kept it and it became more productive, I could have been able to compare them like you do.

I grafted your MT to two trees, one on top of the tree, the other was one a low branch. The fruit from both look the same and taste the similar but the one on the low branch (got filtered sun) were noticeably smaller. The graft bore fewer fruit, too. I remove the tree and that graft was gone with the tree.

The graft on the top of the tree has become more productive. It is loaded this year. The fruit are larger than the obscured graft. It is a small to medium size plum. I think mine will start to ripen in about a week. Unfortunately, look like I am going to get some rain (again) tomorrow and this coming weekend. These MT and mirabelles may crack!!

Thank you for your detective work and the graft. I love this plum. It taste like what a good (Euro) plum should taste like. It matches Fedco’s description.

2 Likes

Here are mine. Quite productive this year. The tree under the Kootanay cover so it did not get any spray. It suffered aphid infestation and other things. Leaves look very ratty. Fruit got some issues on their skin.


You can see black knot on the branch. I let it go fro the fruit.

Here is another bunch of plums.

5 Likes

It don’t believe it’s Mt Royal, which at sites around here ripens a week or two later than fake Valor. MR also isn’t as good a plum but crops more consistently with heavier crops of fruit (might have something to do with not being quite as good). Unless, of course, the Mt Royals I’ve gotten in the past were all mislabeled. They were from Hilltop nurseries, which at the time had a very good rep with commercial growers. Maybe they still do.

Where did you acquire your Mt. Royal wood? From what you are saying, I’m guessing it was from a mislabeled tree. Wonder if it was acquired from ACN. I don’t think their mistakes are necessarily accidental, although they would never own up to that. It’s very difficult for nurseries to produce the right quantity of a wide range of varieties to meet demand. Home growers get the short stick, I suspect. They aren’t supposed to know any better.

Mt. Royal is one of the most cold hardy of E. plums and Hilltop had lots of customers in cold regions.

Ripening times this season are all over the place compared to “normal” years, incidentally. Some varieties are late and some are right on time.

There were two Mt Royal trees at the site I took you to in Westchester with two large orchards. I planted them there and managed them closely for over 20 years. It bore fruit as consistently and heavily as Castleton and is the only prune plum I can say that about. Fake V doesn’t fill that bill. It even was loaded last year.

2 Likes

I got it from Jesse in Feb 2016. He’s from Maine, so it makes sense that Mt Royal is pretty hardy. I noticed on one of the nursery descriptions that it is from Quebec in Canada.

The only plums I got from ACN were Vision, Valor, and Bluebyrd (since died, when it snapped at the graft union, though I have some other varieties grafted onto the rootstock).

My MR graft only has 2 fruit on it, so it isn’t a big sample size. But one was ripe now and the Fake Valor seems to be coming into ripening as well. So they seem pretty similar to me. But, as you said, ripening times can be off this year, so that doesn’t mean too much.

Maybe next spring I’ll graft MR onto the “Valor” to get a better comparison. Though being one tree away is pretty close.

Neither the MR, nor the “Valor” has all that heavy a crop for me this year. Maybe that is why they are both quite good. I’ll be interested to hear how good the fruit is from Tippy’s packed tree.

By MT did you mean Mt Royal or Valor? I don’t remember sending out any MR wood, as my graft is still relatively small, even after 5 years.

And if anyone is wondering, the fruit from the Mt Royal graft is the one my thumb is touching in the above lineup.

Edit: I updated the pic of the cut fruit. I somehow managed to mess up both the brix and the names in it.

1 Like

Bob,
I grafted two fake Valor with scionwood you sent me. One I grafted high on a branch on Coe’s. The other I graft ed low on a branch on Castleton.

My Mt Royal scion I got from Galina. I put it on Mirabelle tree. It had fruited for one or maybe, two years. Only a couple of fruit. All I remember was that I let Mt Royal hang very late. They were small, sweet and jammy.

I won’t be surprised if my fake Valor crop this year is not as sweet. So much rain. Nothing taste very good so far. Last year, they were productive, too, and they were excellent.

I liked both “valor” and MR. Anything close to 20 brix is generally pretty good. But, mine self-thinned, so I’ve got nothing like the crop-load that you have.

I just finished my Castletons from the counter. I thought I had picked them all 4-5 days ago, but I found a few more on Monday. They were 19-21 brix.

3 Likes

To give you an idea how thinned they were, here is about 85% of the total produced by the tree, in one quart basket. Yes, I picked what was left on the tree (good sized, as it was planted on Myro in 2014). I figured that 20 brix is good enough that I didn’t want to tempt fate with a tropical storm/hurricane coming in a day.

Actually, 2 days ago, I finished the ones from earlier. I stumbled across the handful that I picked on Monday (the fruit flies on the damaged Lavina lead me to the box). Some had started to shrivel, but they were probably the sweetest fruit I’ve had this year. One of them registered a tad over 26 brix. They were wonderful. So much better than the iffy apples, peaches, and pears that I’m growing a ton of.

7 Likes

I went out and tugged on my fake Valor, nothing came off. The fruit are very firm…

I picked this variety in 2019 on 9/12 and in 2020 on 09/16. So, mine will be at least 3 weeks from ripening.

You must be behind me by at least a week or two. A few of mine were softening on the tree (without any damage). After that, I only waited a few days before taking it as the sign to pick the rest. They probably could have hung longer, but I’m happy with that decision. I just had a few which I picked 2 days ago and one was 23 and the other was 24 brix. And who knows what 5" of rain will do, even if the wind isn’t as bad as was forecast (the worst of Henri looks to be going a bit further East)

I think the big difference between Euro plums (at Least Castleton and ACN Valor) and most other fruits I’ve been picking is that they self-thinned. It’s a huge difference between 9 brix peaches, 11 brix apples, and 20+ brix Euro plums. Lavina, Ersinger, and Late Transparent Gage all did a pretty good job, while being massively over-cropped, but it makes me wonder how good they could be if thinned.

I would say I’ll wait 2 weeks after you picked yours. I am not confident in quality of any of my fruit. Yesterday two Pearl plums dropped. They were so bland. Fortunately, I had them last year and they were excellent. If this was Pearl’s first year fruiting, I may have a negative thought about it.

This constant rain has been tough on my fruit. Only apricots and cherries esp. the rainthat did not started until late June.