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Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Posted by linda_10 z10 So.CA (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 24, 08 at 19:40

Please share your expertise with pluots. I'm interested in Dapple Dandy or Flavor Grenade, pollinator Santa Rosa. I live in Long Beach, CA (zone 10), and I'm interested in planting ONE pluot tree. I've tried the Dapple Dandy fruit and its yummy. Have not tried Flavor Grenade but the description by Dave Wilson reads 'crunchy'. I LOVE sweet crunchy peaches and nectarines and thought I might like a crunchy pluot. I've visited Dave Wilson's site and read everything about all of the pluot trees. I think I read somewhere in this forum pluots can be finnicky. Now I would like to hear from you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

I really like Flavor Grenade but it's not that crunchy...in my experience. It seems very easy to set a large crop. I have had to thin off at least 90%, probably 95%. The tree lacks vigor so get the most vigorous rootstock you can. Dapple Dandy is very productive and a more vigorous tree. But in my experience it just hasn't been sweet. It must be good at times because I've seem high taste scores.

If you could find a pluot tree with four or five varieties on one tree you might be able to have both. Check the Dave Wilson Nursery website for retail nurseries near you that might sell such a tree. You maybe to late for this yr, the good trees sell out early in CA.

You need to be concerned if you have enough chilling for any of these cultivars.

The Fruitnut


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Chill-hours may be an issue in Long Beach, but this is out of my realm of experience.

Fruitnut, your "Flavor Grenade" fruits have not been that crunchy? I got my first harvest of this cultivar last year, and they were very, very crunchy. Picking and eating them was a somewhat bizarre experience, actually. All my instincts tell me that plums should be very soft for best sweetness, flavor, and eating quality, but those "Flavor Grenade" fruits tasted great even when hard and crispy. Very strange ... although I give full credit to the amazing breeding triumphs of the Zaigers, I am not entirely sure if I approve of this "crispy fruit" trend!

Out of the pluots that I have grown, I am beginning to think that "Dapple Dandy" is my overall favorite. ("Flavor Supreme" fruit taste fantastic, but the cultivar is an extremely shy bearer in my location.)

As for pluots being finicky, I think this applies more to other regions of the country, not California. As long as chill-hour requirements are met, they seem no more difficult to grow than any Asian plum.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Thanks fruitnut and ashok. Dapple Dandy has the least chilling hours (400-500) of all the pluots. Flavor Grenade requires 500-600 chilling hours. I think Long Beach is at 389 chilling hours thus far. Long Beach will be hitting the minimum chilling hours required for Dapple Dandy(I think). Maybe pluots would be a risky choice. Hmm.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Dapple Dandy develops their flavors much later when they start to feel soft on the tree, so you have to keep them on the tree much longer. They don't soften very quickly on the tree like other plums, so you have to sample very now and then until the flavor becomes excellent.

I bought the original 4-n-1 pluot from a local DWN retail outlet about 8 years ago. The first two years I have very few fruits, so I grafted many spur type scionwood of different plums. I interspersed the plums on the tree, hoping that pollinators will criss cross over them in the same tree, and indeed on the third year, they almost split my tree and I have several stem breakage even after extensive thinning. Flavor Supreme was always loaded ever since, but I don't know who the culprit is. I have perhaps more than two dozen small spur branches of plums grafted all over the tree. I did let the other plums grow to bigger branches, and these include the fruiting Vesuvius, Catalina, Wickson, Elephant Heart, Burgundy, Santa Rosa.

And by the way, someone mentioned that wild type native American plums could also be good pollenizers, and I have those in my yard. I don't know if those would be good pluot pollenizers. I wouldn't have any clean test as it is now, so will never know.

Same mileage here, I love the crispy Flavor Grenade. Flavor Supreme is a little too sweet for me, along with Flavor Queen which is just pure sweetness if it is soft, so I tend to go with a properly ripened Flavor King as the best, truly aromatic and right balance of sweetness and slight tartness, then followed by a properly ripened Dapple Dandy as the best, then Flavor Grenade, Splash, and others. The Dapple Dandy from the stores or farmers market has leftover bitter skin and sometimes flesh, and if not, they are simply insipid.

I have another multi-grafted pluot collection that I purchased from MidCity Nursery, another outlet of DWN, and also bought their latest Flavor Finale Pluot. There is much tasting to be done next year.


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RE: flavor king

Joereal: That is so cool!

Flavor King is the most popular pluot at the local nurseries. Chilling hours 500-600. One of its pollinators is Santa Rosa. Does it have the sweet flesh and tart skin like the santa rosa? What do you mean by aromatic?


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

"Flavor King" is also wonderful. In fact my favorite for flavor would probably be a toss-up between "Flavor King" and "Dapple Dandy". (I've also heard great things about "Emerald Drop", but I've never tried it.)

I think "Dapple Dandy" fruits hold on the tree longer than "Flavor King" fruits, however.

And "Flavor Grenade" fruits hang on the tree just about forever. In fact, I seem to recall Ed Laivo writing that "F.G." pluots can hang until Halloween -- pretty amazing! (Although I'm pretty sure that I would eat them all up long before then.)


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

There is a nice pleasant peculiar aroma with Flavor King that I really like. I can't trap that aroma into wine, however. It should be properly ripened in order to detect it.
The skin is only tart when it is not fully ripe, but disappears when it ripens and develops that nice aroma. I think a good pollinator for Flavor King would be Burgundy although Santa Rosa and Flavor Supreme are listed as pollinators too.

Flavor King is not as vigorous as the other pluots when they are multi-grafted, so you have to orient the tree so that the Flavor King faces the south, that way, it wouldn't be shaded out.

There is one truly aromatic fruit which for me is the best, way better than the pluots, and it has some tartness to the skin and super sweet core. It is the Flavorella plumcot! It took me about 7 years to find the perfect pollinator for it, and it has the habit of blooming right in the middle of week long rains, so generally fruit sets are poor. Flavorella is the yellow golden version of your Santa Rosa with tart skin and sweet core, just more aromatic and very pleasing. Well worth the wait. If you love Santa Rosa, you would love this one. The proven pollinators of this are these Apricots: Goldkist, Royal Rosa, Joe's Italian, Tomcot and Apache. They often bloom together. It is better to graft the pollinators on the branches than to be on separate trees for very obvious reasons of efficiency. The bee will not zip back and forth between two distant trees for the sake of pollinating the trees for us, but rather optimize its trip and so will hop from flowers to flowers on the same tree to collect pollens or nectar.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

linda_10:

My experience with pluots coincides with all the above posters. I think you have some good advice there stemming from real world experience.

Since you've stated that you want only ONE pluot tree, I'd also recommend going with a 4n1 pluot. Why fret over which one when you can have four?

I have a 3n1 with Flavor Supreme, King and Queen. All three are great for me with Supreme and King being just fabulous. Supreme is a bit shy on bearing for me but not terribly so and is certainly worth it's space on the tree. King is not as vigorous as Supreme and Queen, therefore I have to prune Supreme and Queen back each year to match the size of King. But it's not a big deal. And as joereal said, orient the King branch to the South when you plant the tree so that King gets the most sun.

Also, Supreme needs a touch more chilling but is worth a go in Long Beach IMO. I'm in Burbank BTW. Worst case is you top work the Supreme branch with another pluot or Japanese plum if after several years it doesn't produce. The chilling is known to be not exact and a new system is being sought. So the bottom line is the old saying, "You don't know it till you grow it."

All in all, I'd say a 4n1 with any of the following: (listed in order of my recomendation) King, Dandy, Supreme, Grenade, Queen. (the 4n1 that's available is: King, Dandy, Supreme and Queen.)

Tony


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Id second juniorpilots suggestion for a four in one pluot tree, if you insist on just one tree, and dont mind learning to graft. Raintree offers a Dapple Dandy, Flavor Queen, Flavor King, and Flavor Supreme.combo tree thats still in stock. Flavor King, Queen, Supreme, and Grenade all fruited for me last year just north of you. Not sure about this year yet. Flavor King is a slow grower, as mentioned above. People have posted here that Flavor Queen will dominate the 4x1 tree over the years, which is why I decided to plant the four trees together, getting the biggest Flavor King I could find, planting it in a south position, rather than a 4x1 grafted tree. Joereals suggestions for swapping the grafts around would work to keep the tree balanced. Grafting is a learnable skill, easy to do, and success comes with enough practice.

Im also trying a grafted 4x1 ZeeSweet Pluot tree from Raintree: Geo Pride, Flavor Grenade, Emerald Drop, and Splash. The Splash graft is down to the tiniest twig, and I have grafted all I dare take onto a rootstock in hopes of keeping it going. Geo Pride and Emerald Drop are in full bloom now. The tree is still too small to let fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: 4X1 Pluot (F.King/Queen/Flavr Supreme/DappleDandy)


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RE: Flavorella plumcot, apricots and Apriums

Joe, I am a little surprised that Tomcot would bloom with Flavorella, which I always thought of as having super-early bloom. I don't have a Tomcot, but in my climate I would guess that Royal Rosa, FloraGold, Goldkist apricot or Flavor Delight Aprium would be better bets for blooming with Flavorella. I like your idea of grafting pollinators into the Flavorella tree. With very early varieties, most pollinators are tiny non-bee insects, in my experience. When bees are around, they seem to prefer early-blooming apricots to early-blooming plums and Pluots.

I wonder why Dave Wilson doesn't put out a grafted tree with Flavorella plus pollinators? They could also include their new white aprium, which I think also needs a pollinator. In the years when Flavorella doesn't produce, you could still have fruit on the tree. They already have multi-grafted trees with Flavor Delight Aprium and apricots which you would expect to do well in similar climates.

I guess another alternative would be to plant separate trees really close together, pruning out crossing branches after pollination.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Another pluot which Dave Wilson should offer to the public is Flavor Treat. It is very late but maybe not as late as Flavor Fall. Treat is very good, Fall is a bust for my setup. Treat is very large, dark purple, meaty flesh, with an excellent sweet flavor.

There are many new cultivars of pluots that I haven't tried. I do have Splash, Flavor Finale, and Emerald Drop but they have not fruited yet.

Zaiger deserves a lot of credit; these are better fruits.

The Fruitnut


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On pollination

I agree with Joe that grafting or otherwise getting a lot of varieties packed into a small area will greatly enhance pollination. Flavor Supreme and Flavorella will set a lot of fruit if properly pollinated. I'd also suggest trying a hive of bumblebees if you are short on honeybees. The bumblebees work in my greenhouse even at temp in the low 40s. I think they would work outside if the hive has rain protection. They shouldn't fly too far as they are tried to their hive.

One thing I did last yr to lower the excessive sweetness of Flavor Queen was to leave way more fruit than normal. Doing this also eliminated the pit/fruit splitting. With somewhat less sweetness F Queen was quite good.

The Fruitnut


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

I've been to their taste test scores last year, and they do have new pluots, many kinds, but are not available for retail. The tastes are all outstanding.

I was surprised about the Tomcot that it bloomed together with Flavorella. Perhaps when you graft it to Flavorella, it would have that effect, at least here in Sacramento Valley.


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Flavor Queen

I tend to harvest the Flavor Queen early, so it is not very sweet, but it is crunchy, another desired treat for me. But once it turns its color from lustrous green to yellow green, it would be total sweetness, too much of it that you would easily give up after eating a couple of fruits.

All of you people knew your pluots very well!


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RE: Grafting plums, pluots and plumcots

WOW, THANKS FOR THE INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION! I learned so much and now I want to learn to graft. I will consider the multi-grafted pluot. My concern would be the 500-600 chilling hours needed for some of the varieties. Another favor, do you have a good resource on how to graft pluots, plums, and plumcots?


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

You are not allowed to graft patented varieties such as pluots, but you sure are allowed to graft at will, the heirloom, germplasm collection, and other non-patent cultivars all over the pluots. That is why I have to buy the pluots first, already multi-grafted, plant them and then I graft unto them. Most of my base trees are patent cultivars from DWN and then I graft over them. I have proof of purchase or keep the original labels for all the patent cultivars such as pluots and plumcots that I have.

I hope there is a way where one day we can graft the patent cultivars and pay the royalty fee directly to the patent owners instead of buying the whole tree and you really don't want the whole tree. Oftentimes the multi-grafted tree that they have assembled are a severe mismatch and you will have to be vigilant to balance them via corrective re-grafting.

Another is to wait just a little bit more, maybe 3 to 5 years down the road, most of the earliest patented pluot patents will expire.

For example:
Plant Patents
It states that:
"A plant patent is granted by the Government to an inventor (or the inventor's heirs or assigns) who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. The grant, which lasts for 20 years from the date of filing the application, protects the inventor's right to exclude others from asexually reproducing, selling, or using the plant so reproduced."

Flavor King's patent was filed on: 06/10/1991
Flavor King Plant Patent Information
So it will expire on 06/10/2011. That is less than 3 years! Then I should be able to graft it to where ever I wanted and assemble better trees that are matched properly.

You wouldn't be able to graft it at will in places like New Zealand and Australia, it was patented there much later, so you may have to wait 15 or more years.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

JoeReal has some nice step by step pictures on how to do different grafts that you can link to from his member page.
Gardening clubs, like the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) group have classes at some meetings in grafting. They have also put out a DVD demonstrating different kinds of grafts. I've found it helpful.
The most important thing to do is to practice a lot. At first, some of the things JoeReal talked about were incomprehensible to me, but the more I grafted, the more they began to make sense. Last year was the first year I had apple grafts survive. This year, my plum/pluot/aprium/apricot grafts are looking good so far. It's a lot of fun. Good luck with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Techniques of Grafting DVD


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Some nurseries sell budwood so you don't have to buy the entire tree. I am not a Dave Wilson customer so I don't know what their policy is. I have purchased Brooks Cherry budwood before to regraft Bings to Brooks.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Many germplasms also supplies budwoods, sometimes for free. There are also some patent owners that you can purchase their patented budwoods directly, and they charge per stick royalty, which ranged from $0.05 to $2.50.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

  • Posted by bvbrown z9 Monrovia CA (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 27, 08 at 22:44

Linda: I would ignore the published chill hour requirements for pluots. I live in low-chill Monrovia, CA, and I don't get anywhere near 500-600 hours. Flavor Grenade flowers like crazy for me and produces lots of fruit (as does Flavor King).

I shared various fruit from my backyard with friends last year and hands-down the favorite with my friends was Flavor Grenade. I prefer Flavor King by a small margin (and also like Emerald Drop, which I can grow, too), but both are excellent. I suggest you plant 2-4 varieties in one planting hole, 24" apart as in the Dave Wilson backyard orchard culture method. My choices would be Flavor Grenade, Flavor King, Emerald Drop, and maybe Geopride, but I've never tasted Splash, which is reputed to be excellent, too.

Brian


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

I am reading this thread with great interest, since I am in the midst of planting a small (20 tree) orchard in my back yard to complement the citrus, fig, and mulberries that are already there. Last fall I replaced two climbing roses on an arbor with table grapes (Steuben and Bokay), and I am also planting a bed of blueberries. Just today arrived a box with four bare root trees, Dapple Dandy and Flavor Grenade pluots, along with Beauty and Burgundy plums. I plan to plant them tomorrow. I will be using the close planting method from Dave Wilson. In fact, most of the trees I am putting in are being planted in clusters, with wandering pathways between for easy access and aesthetic appeal. I come to fruit growing from years of growing ornamentals, and see no reason why my food plants cannot be every bit as beautiful as my flowers are.

Rosefolly


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Where do you get ahold of all these fruits to taste? We have some great local farmers markets, but we dont have all the new varieties of pluots. And honestly I still havent had a good one! They are always underripe and not sweet at all.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Called Dave Wilson and spoke with Tom. I explained I was new to fruit growing and asked which pluot he recommended for Long Beach. Tom's first choice would be a Flavor King and then the Flavor Grenade. Both grow well in my area. He said the Flavor King and Flavor Grenade are low chill- 300 hrs. (The Dave Wilson website reads differently). He recommended a close planting of Flavor King, Flavor Grenade and a Burgandy. He said I will be rewarded with a long fruiting season.

I will try the close planting. I will try the flavor king and plant so it gets the most sun (south) I was apprehensive about planting a Grenade without trying the fruit but bvbrown convinced me. Whats the growing habit of the Grenade tree? I'm not sure about the third. I visited JoeReals' awesome site and I would like to try grafting the burgandy when pluots are mature enough. Will also order the DVD.

I am definitely going to look into the Flavorella.

Tom Spellman will present Dave Wilson's new varieties at the Los Angeles and Orange County's California Rare Fruit Growers meeting. See 'Event Calendar' at the DW website.


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

To taste all these varieties I would 1) go to the Dave Wilson website and see when and where they have public fruit tastings, 2) go to Andy Mariani's orchard during one of his weekend fruit tasting events (andysorchard.com), or 3) go to a good farmer's market like Santa Monica's. Our local (Pasadena) market has up to 7 pluot varieties in the height of the summer season.

The growing habit of my Flavor Grenade is very upright, as is the Flavor King and Burgandy plum. The are easy to grow and maintain.

Brian


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RE: Dapple Dandy , Flavor Grenade and other PLUOTS

Fruitnuts suggestion about finding the right rootstock on Flavor Grenade is important. We have been discussing this in the thread here: "Pluots in Texas?", Posted by: scaper_austin z8 on Fri, Feb 22, 08. Try to avoid Citation rootstock for Flavor Grenade if possible. Otherwise, its a slow grower, as is Flavor King.
My Burgundy is too little to let set fruit yet, but Laguna Hills Nursery calls it their best plum for their area. It covered itself in white blooms last week, and would be beautiful just as an ornamental.


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RE: How about the Emerald Drop?

Do you have anything good or bad to say about the Emerald Drop Pluot?


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Pluot help in January 2014 ...false spring?

I'm in Sacramento and my garden is confused with the beautiful days we've been having! My "new" Pluot tree is about 3 yrs old (obtained from a neighbor) and it has done great the past few months after getting to it's new location. Although she had the tags for the 3-grafts (Dapple Dandy, Flavor King, Flavor Queen)...she didn't know which branch was which. So...I'm in for a surprise! However...1 branch has already set buds while the other 2 look very dormant. Would this be one of the earlier producers then...and if so, which one? (please guess!)


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