Valor hits 27%!

To which I wonder, how could a plum discovered in upstate NY be ripening now, all the way down in MD after you’ve harvested all your Valors, while I, in downstate NY, am still harvesting them?

I know it is considered a late, but I’m pretty sure they’d also classify Valor as a late.

There is a lot of overlap between the annual report and the “The Plums of NY”, as they are written by the same organization. It is strange that the book doesn’t mention the brown rot resistance, while the report does.

From the report:
“…reports are scant and fragmentary and none do it justice, though in “The Plums of New York”, published by this Station, an effort was made to bring it prominently before fruit growers.”

And Scott, I badly need some vigorous wood from your tree. I don’t have as much trouble controlling BK on E’s as on J’s but I do want to see if it is better than Valor. Hard to imagine it could be better than the really good ones on my two trees. The ones with high sugar are completely different than ones on the tree without- even in texture. The low sugar ones are more mushy- I have had better Stanleys.

Sure, ask me in Feb or so and you shall receive…

I haven’t had a really ripe Valor yet so I can’t make my own comparison. More generally, I have found the difference between a perfectly ripe Euro and an imperfectly ripe one (of the same variety) to be greater than the difference between two perfectly ripe ones of any variety. Put another way, every Euro plum variety I have ripened to perfection I thought was pretty awesome. Well, excepting the Damson and Mirabelle plums.

I agree that they sweeten up a great deal between barely ripe and dead ripe- it’s a compelling reason to grow your own. This year I am finding a huge difference on my Valors even between equally ripe ones, but I didn’t thin enough. Usually a lot more drop off after thinning than this year.

I’m starting to get in over my head in my own orchard and may soon become like the cobbler with shoeless children if I don’t scale down my orchard or my business.

It will probably have to me my own orchard.

Thats been me since I started :slight_smile:

I am finally going downward in the number of varieties, and its a genuine relief. I am eagerly looking forward to this fall and winter when I can remove 50 or so varieties.

Doesn’t that hurt?

I got a mislabeled Orleans Reinette that I need to pull because I need that spot on my espalier row. That mislabeled apple was no great shakes and I am having a hard time thinking about it.


I’ve got a mislabled tree (Pomme Gris, which instead has large red apples, possibly Melrose). It’s now a nice large (for me) tree and I’m happy to have so many grafting spots for next spring.

Why not graft over the non-Orleans Reinette instead?

It used to hurt so much I wouldn’t remove anything (or, I’d chop but then graft something to it next spring). Then it hurt but I winced and chopped. Now I attack with a big grin – it means fewer varieties I need to pay attention to. I planted the trees close enough that any gap quickly fills in.

I chopped down a 12 yr old Bosc and Comice tree recently. It has yielded a couple dozen undersized fruit in that time. Way over due for the axe. Also took out 5 nectarine trees. Threw away blueberries and figs. I chop out one or more fruit trees almost every time the season changes. Only one original tree remains from 2005 in the greenhouse. It will be gone in a matter of weeks. But I did plant almost 200 fruit trees in the last two yrs.

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I want a full Orleans espalier and was thinking that planting a bare root would give faster results.


FN, Scott

A new take on “survival of the fittest”, I guess.

Mike :slight_smile:

I’m not sure that a bare root would be faster. I think that it may depend on how well the current tree has been growing. It is an interesting question.

I have a couple apples which have runted out, all the worse in that I left the most space for them (~7’ spacing in full sun). Rather than getting them growing again, I may decide to take them out, graft the varieties onto a stronger growing tree (like the mislabeld one above) and plant jujubes and euro plums in their place. That’s the stuff I’m getting excited about now and I’ve realized that I have way too many apple trees (40-45 off the top of my head) .

Of course, since they haven’t put on much growth, I can probably dig them out and cut them way back, so that my father or brother can find a space for them (my parent’s yard is much bigger and my brother’s isn’t full yet).


If I get lucky and get a whip with many stubs I won’t have to head it too low and if I plant in April, I have found that by continuously performing corrective and suggestive pinching I get a huge amount of well directed growth. ( all if I am lucky and get a good quality tree). This means pinching practically every weekend either directing or eliminating wrong or weak growth. Each time I pinch new growth emerges and at least one is in the perfect spot

It seems as if the tree wakes up raring to go and if I frustrate its headlong dash to grow every which way, it “funnels” the growth energy/imperative according to my choices of where.

With luck I might just get all my 8 scaffolds set in one season.

With grafting… not so much



Good point- grafts have a lot of variability and risk. Even if there isn’t a problem where it doesn’t take, it can sometimes put on very little growth. Of course, I’ve also had grafts put on 4+ feet of growth in the first summer and look huge (particularly with pear and plum, apple being 3rd). Normally I make a bunch of grafts, leaving the central leader as the original, with the limbs being the new varieties. That reduces the risk of one or two bad grafts. But, if you are looking to replace the whole tree with a low graft, I can see why the replacement might be a faster alternative.

Empress is as good as it gets for Eric of Plum Hill Farm but I can’t seem to find one that gets higher than 20% from my tree. I believe a really good Valor trumps a really good Empress. Empress is a tad more reliable though.