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 Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 am
Posts: 2
Post Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
Hi!

I am considering planting an orchard just west of Philomath. The farm is located in the foothills of the coast range, near Wren.

I'm thinking I'd like to try plum varieties, because Italian prunes grow well there. I am hoping for crops that can be maintained with minimal organic spraying.

I am curious if any of you have had good luck with specific plum varieties, or have tried any pluot varieties in the Willamette valley?

Are they setting fruit consistently? Do the blossoms get frozen out in cold years?

Any advise or inspiration you can give would be great!

Thanks!

Jennifer


Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:21 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
As far as me personally I have had Shiro plum trees for 15 years and can truly say it produces the best and more than I ever eat from even one tree. I never have to spray for disease or insects. Shiro wants to be a big tree and after 5 years Shiro requires work in pruning it.

On the other hand I decided to go with Emerald Beaut plum since I wanted other plums later in the season. The problem was that it was never evaluated west of the mountains like Shiro, Methley, or other plums and I did not go by any recommendations. Now it's older and never crops so that one doesn't fit in here. Therefore I would suspect you would have problems with most of the other Japanese type plums that are traditionally cultured in the fruit belt areas. I don't know why that's the case since it appears healthy looking from all outward appearances, and the spring flowers are always there too.

Same problems and even worse can be expected from hybrids you speak of involving Japanese X apricots. I estimate that the agriculture station at Corvallis isn't testing any for the all reasons above. The only private individual that did was Lon Rombough in Aurora Oregon. As far as I remember he never had any fruit on apricot related anything. His plums that were backcrossed to the english myrobalan plums were pretty good though. People can do work producing better quality plums for our climates by going that route. I don't know anybody backcrossing now that Lon's gone. Shiro and Methley are each part myrobalan plum.

The italian plum types are hexaploid in their chromosomes and so are not at will to cross with Japanese types. Oddly the italian plum group are closely related to the myrobalan.


Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:20 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1361
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
Hollywood Asian plum produces well, and I've heard that Satsuma does well here too.

In general, what Rooney said is key: go with varieties that do well here, not in the San Joaquin Valley or some other dissimilar place.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:42 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:49 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
I planted a lot of plums/pluots on my farm in Roseburg Oregon. Best cropping Pluot was Flavor King. I got light to full crops every year. Howards Miracle plum also fruited well for me.


Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:56 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
Thank you all for your recommendations. I will look into these varieties, and trial some.

I'm starting to think that cider apples might be a way to round out the orchard.

Life is all about trying things, right?

Thanks!

- - Jennifer


Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:15 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:18 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
For early plums do try Early Laxton a reliable cropper here at river level,80 feet above sea level,near the Columbia River Northwest of Portland.For me it is a small tree.The fruit is firm so should market well.Early for a European plum.Next for me, in cropping order,is Methley. A cross of a Japanese plum and Myrobalan plum.Blooms later than my Japanese Plums escaping the frosts that keep the Japanese Plums from cropping regularly for me.Next is one I don't know the name of,followed by Brooks and Italian.Both are good producers. It is nice to have the harvest spread out so as not to have too much work all at once.And one should have Green Gage and French Petite.


Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:07 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
I think that's really neat that we get good tips from two recently joined people. I had never thought that any plum to apricot hybrids would ever crop well around here. Maybe Roseburg is protected down wind from another coast range. 100% apricot is one thing you never want here unless you can have artificial means of sparing them from rain. One of an apricot species which adapts well here is from the western foothills of the Alps which looking at the map equals Corvallis and north. The species is Briancon Apricot. I have noted some in Seattle that they are extremely late blooming and thrive better as an under story tree than full sun. They crop lightly and taste real high in citrus. If I was blinded I would not be able to distinguish a lemon from one of these. I think I froze some Briancon pollen so if you want to try that come spring then look for my link to contact me.

I am interested in grafting this Methley plum. Anybody close? I always care that scions are free of viruses which means more to the tree than you think. Short tree life span, poor takes grafting etc.

'kuban burgundy' and 'kuban comet' are also Myrobalan plum to Japanese plum crosses that I have heard produce well here. I would also like to know who might donate clean scions to myself of 'kuban burgundy' which is the later blooming of the two and is red fleshed as I think Methley is. Burgundy and Methley grafted on the same tree would be a good one I think.

The next idea would be a way to find 'pixy' which is a dwarf rootstock that I know does extremely well under plums here. Lon has pixy as an understock on some plums and the only problem is it's unavailable from any supplier.

Click here if you have anything for me or if you want to trade for other virus free Shiro plum wood;
http://home.comcast.net/~hollaus/HOS/Shiro.htm

I'll update the page if in the future I can think of more scions of possible interest.


Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:29 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:00 am
Posts: 143
Location: Crooked River Ranch, Oregon
Post Re: Plums and Pluots in the Willamette Valley
I had fruit in Kings Valley. No Asian plums, though. Prunes grow really well, as do apples. I had 20 apple trees, the prunes, filberts, pears, and blueberries. The neighbors were growing the same sort of thing.

You will have to let us know how your trees do for you.


Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:12 pm
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