[NAFEX] Tasty Japanese hybrid plums for hot and humid areas?

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Sun Nov 25 23:12:21 EST 2007

I have an old variety that I believe to be one of the old Burbank 
hybrids.  I use the "name" 4285 for the address where I found it.  The 
traits of the tree make it look like some sort of old Santa Rosa hybrid 
with one or more American species.  The original tree was of an age 
that suggest it came from the old Oregon Nursery Company.  It has a 
growth habit suggestive of an American hybrid, but is much more 
resistant than other American hybrids like Superior, Toka, etc. I've 
tried here.  It has failed to crop only once in over 35 years.  Even in 
years when Japanese plums were a total loss, it came through.  The only 
other variety that has done as well is Shiro.   The trees of the two 
are similar, though Shiro will get some brown rot when 4285 is clean.  
The plums are reddish-blue with yellow-orange flesh.   Crops are not 
heavy, but the trees I have are own rooted.  4285 might do better on 
something like Pixy rootstock.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to  http://www.grapeschool.com
For all other things grape,   http://www.vitisearch.com

On Nov 25, 2007, at 6:56 PM, Scott Smith wrote:

To follow up on this question I had asked earlier, I checked out the
"plum files" from the NAFEX library and found some good information.
The Southern Plum group was active in the early 90's and several
reports from that group were in the files.

- One surprise is that the Sprite cherry-plum cross does well in hot
and humid climates.  After my bad luck with pluots I did not even
think about trying that one, but it gets quite a few kudos.  I think
I will try it, but it may bloom too early for me.

- I did not find any standout recommendations for the AU series plums
or the new Georgia plums.  AU Producer was liked by some, but on the
other hand it got the lowest rating in a taste test in a 1993
article.  Rubysweet received the highest score in the taste test.
That is the one new AU or Georgia plum I plan to try.

- There were differing opinions on how disease-susceptible Methley
is.  One person and one study found it bad but another study found it
not so bad at all.  I may give good old Methley a try in the end,
perhaps the samples I have tried were not grown or harvested properly.

- Not many of the southern growers tested the northern hardy plums.
Since they are also native hybrids with more disease resistance I
would think they were worthy of trial.  I did find one good report of
Purple Heart from a grower in Mississippi.  I am trialing several
northern hardy plums right now, and am going to add a few more of them.

- There were many confirmations of how poorly the pure saliciana
(Japanese) plums do in the south due to diseases.

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