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Do plums ripen after being picked?

Posted by westover Portland OR (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 9, 09 at 10:36

This should be an easy question to answer, but I'm not finding it so. My experience is that plums, unlike peaches, don't ripen after being picked, neither the hard plums I sometimes buy in the grocery stores, nor the softer plums I buy at the farmers' markets'. The vendors at the farmers' markets all assure me that they continue to ripen. On the internet, I find contrary opinions. Yours?


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RE: Do plums ripen after being picked?

Apples and pears have starches that convert to sugar after being picked. Stonefruit do not- they usually soften so you can call this ripening. Many new breeds of stonefruit get up plenty of sugar while still firm to improve storage life- this seems a primary quest of the Zeiger work and other programs seem to be achieving the same goal.

Older varieties of plums that I grow have to be soft on the tree to achieve maximum sugar and be what I consider "tree ripe". Even small growers do not find it practical to try to market such soft fruit as it can almost burst from its own weight.


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RE: Do plums ripen after being picked?

I have to harvest my plums well before they are ripe or the racoons & squirrels eat them all. Unfortunately, I haven't had good luck w/ ripening them off the tree. They are much sweeter if ripened on the tree.
If anyone has found a solution to either the racoon/squirrel issue or the ripening of the tree issue, I'd love to hear it.

Here is a link that might be useful: trailsnet


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