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Plum tree ID needed

Posted by Lee-in-VT none (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 10:42

Help! I bought this plum tree 5 years ago along with a required cross polinator plum. The nursery has lost it's records so I am trying to ID it by appearance of the fruit.

The fruit has a distinctly pointed tip, light green when young but turns a deep, red with tiny white speckles (see picture). The flesh is yellow/orange and very sweet, the skin slightly sour. The two leading contenders I've come up with so far are Alderman and Superior.

I need to know because the cross pollinator became diseased and needed removal. I replaced it with a Stanley plum but I'm worried it won't cross pollinate the other plum.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Lee,

I would stick with the Japanese type of plums: Santa Rosa, Fortune, or Beauty for cross pollination.

Tony


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Any guess as to whether a Stanley plum could cross fertilize this plum? Here's what the unripe fruit looks like.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Its not Superior. It could be Alderman. It will not be pollinated by any European plum, Jap and Euro have different chromosome numbers.

Scott


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

In Vermont you might want to use a Jap/American hybrid. Of course you don't want to get the same one you have. I would first take a fruit to the nursery you bought it from and see if they can identify it. This will narrow it down to what that specific nursery would have sold you.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

I am leaning toward alderman because it is heart shaped.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Thanks all. I do think Alderman is the closest match. Does anyone know if a Stanley plum can cross fertilize an Alderman?

Otherwise, the cross pollinator plum that I had to cut down is growing back from the rootstock. I might just prune it into a bush and hope it will flower enough to pollinate the Alderman.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

  • Posted by eboone 6a - SW PA (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 22:47

Stanley is a European plum, and does not pollinate any of the Japanese plums or the hybrid American - Japanese plums(like Alderman). I know that other hybrid plums like Superior or Kaga or Toka or a non-hybrid American plum are usually recommended for polllination; I think there is some cross pollination between the hybrids and the plain Japanese varieties if they bloom at the same time, but those are not hardy in the far north.
Not sure what your rootstock is, but that might work.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

This plum in Superior, a Japanese plum. At least this is how my Superior plum looks--with the distinctive point at the bottom. My Superior plum is the first to bloom in the spring and is covered with blooms. I did not get plums until I planted another Japanese plum , Shiro in this case.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Can I assume that the rootstock variety would be a compatible cross pollinator for the Alderman, since the grafted tree was? Since the Stanley (which I planted as a replacement) is not compatible, I'm thinking to keep this rootstock growth pruned into a bush, just for pollination.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Hanna, the fruit on my tree is distinctly pointed at the tip, even when ripe. The pictures I see of Superior plums (which do look quite similar) seem to be more rounded at the bottom than the Alderman. Do you know any definitive way to differenciate a Superior from an Alderman (some leaf detail, bud shape, etc.)?


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

This is Superior:
 photo IMG_8974.jpg

That is not Superior. Superior is very easy to recognize because the tree is very weeping... Also the fruit take on a very crazy purple hue when ripening. i'm also not sure if its Alderman... I have a tree full of Alderman right now and they are not pointed...they are more rounded at the end.

All kinds of hybrid plums out there:
link


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

While we may never know for sure what plum tree you have, wild american plums may be the best pollinator of all the japanese/american hybrids. According to professor Alderman of the university of Minnesota, all of the hybrid plums accept pollen from native plums. Specifically, Prunus Americana and Prunus Nigra.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Wow, I thought it would be simple to ID my tree based on ripe fruit, especially being so pointed at the tip. Frank's picture of Superior above looks a lot more like my fruit than other pictures I've seen of Superior. Not sure if you'd call this tree's growth 'weeping' although it tried to lean over a few years ago and needed bracing. The fruit is very sweet and delicious golden yellow.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

I hope to photograph my loaded Superior tree and its fruit today and post it. My Superior tree is weeping in form as was mentioned by others. These plums are not yet ripe here in Michigan, but they're getting there.

I have tree identification problems of my own from wrongly labeled scions(apples)--but the investigation turns out to be interesting and fun.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

I retract my "not Superior" from above, it doesn't look like my Superior but they seem to have different looks based on the climate. Mine never get anywhere near as red as the top photo. The way I recognize a Superior is when they are fully ripe they squirt juice all over you :-)

Scott


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

I cut my superior with a sharp knife or else they just make a huge mess...they are almost too juicy..


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Here are pix of my Superior as grown in Michigan:


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

The weeping habit of Superior:


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Hannah-

Are yours ripe? I've probably had about 20 that were ripe...

Maybe the plum above is Pipestone...


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Hannah, that sure looks like my fruit, especially the pointed tip and the purple "blush" mentioned above. My tree's not as "weepy" as yours, though my fruit set is relatively light so less weight on the branches. Pipestone seems quite similar but lacking that distinctive pointed tip, as best I can tell from online photos.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

I found a few that were ripe, and some have fallen to ground. But most are still trying to get there.


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

I'm harvesting delicious, juicy fruit. But most of the fruit is cracked. Anyone know why this happens?


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RE: Plum tree ID needed

Lee, a sudden change in moisture levels in the soil (and roots) is what usually produces cracking. This is usually from a dry period followed by a good rain.

Scott


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