[NAFEX] luscious plums

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Sat Sep 13 01:31:36 EDT 2008

Cummins Nursery has a lengthy list of plums and the descriptions seem 
more objective and more oriented to the eater than those of most 
nurseries. See


Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Eddie Earles wrote:
> Alan--thanks for the info, this is something I'm interested in.  I've 
> grown Asian plums successfully but have never even attempted European 
> plums.  I'll be moving soon to central Kentucky, and am planning now 
> which fruit trees I will plant, and have been wondering about European 
> plums.  If I have enough room I thought I'd plant one or two of the 
> improved Damson types (from the Geneva experiment station), because we 
> love plum preserves.  Asian plums are a fool's errand in Kentucky, 
> because of late spring frosts.  When does Valor bloom, in comparison to 
> peaches and Asian plums?
> Also, have you tried the variety called Seneca?  How does it handle 
> humid summer weather?  Can you recommend any other varieties that bloom 
> late enough to set fruit where Asian varieties fail due to frosted blooms?
> Thanks--
> Eddie Earles
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* Alan Haigh <mailto:alandhaigh at gmail.com>
>     *To:* nafex at lists.ibiblio.org <mailto:nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>     *Sent:* Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:42 PM
>     *Subject:* [NAFEX] luscious plums
>     One of the rarest fruits in the experience of Americans is tree
>     ripened European plums.  You can't even find them at farm stands any
>     place I've lived because they're always picked too hard.  The
>     varieties grown tend to be limited as well- around here it's mostly
>     Stanley, a reliable but mediocre plum.
>     The reason for this post is to sing the praises of my favorite
>     European plum of the 25 or so I've grown while there is still time
>     to order one for anyone out there in a similar zone to my
>     southeastern NY zone 6.  I don't know how it would do elsewhere.
>     The plum of which I speak is Valor, one of several introductions
>     from the Vineland breeding station in Canada.  It is a late, amber
>     fleshed, prune type plum which has just enough acid to go with all
>     that sugar and wonderful texture- juicy and rich.
>     On most of the sites I've grown it it is productive whether it's too
>     wet or too dry and even in wet years gets the brix over the
>     charts. Of course plums in general can handle wet seasons well. 
>     Valor is late for plums here and usually starts ripening in Sept. 
>     It is large for plums of this type, much larger than Italian or
>     Castleton, somewhat larger than Empress but not as huge as its
>     sister, Victory.  Because it is late, birds and squirrels usually
>     leave it alone. 
>     Valor has not been a hit commercially and I think the reason is that
>     it ripens its fruit very gradually, usually over a period of at
>     least 30 days.  This is great for the home orchard but a non-starter
>     for a commercial variety.  It colors up far before it is ripe and
>     you have to feel each plum individually to know if its soft enough
>     to have reached peak ripeness.  This is time consuming but its
>     exquisite fruit makes it worth the effort.
>     Adams County Nursery has some plants available last I checked if any
>     of you are interested in adding this variety to your orchard.
>     Alan Haigh, The Home Orchard Co.

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