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

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Nov 26 20:20:19 EST 2007


"4285J" (forgot the J when I described it) has tartness near the pit 
and under the skin.  It's clingstone.  The skin is somewhat tough, but 
not bad.  That toughness seems to lend it resistance to rot.  The 
flavor is definitely "plum", much more so than a variety like Shiro, 
and it's a good fresh eating plum.  It has more zip than Methley.  I've 
had some very nice preserves from it and made a batch of wine from the 
variety one time that took a very long time to become drinkable.   
Fruit size varies from about the same as Santa Rosa down to about half 
that, though most of the fruits are on the larger end of the range.
-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 26, 2007, at 4:59 PM, Anton Callaway wrote:

Lon,

I realize that flavor is very subjective, but care to take a whack at 
describing its taste?

Anton
Zone 8

-----Original Message-----
> From: "Lon J. Rombough" <lonrom at hevanet.com>
> Sent: Nov 25, 2007 11:12 PM
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Tasty Japanese hybrid plums for hot and humid 
> areas?
>
> 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.
>
> Scott
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