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 Fruit tree from the sky 
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:45 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Camas, Washington
Post Fruit tree from the sky
Over the years I have had a lot of seedling trees pop up in my (fairly wild) backyard. I usually mow or pull them, but a few years ago I decided to let one grow so I could see what it is (they all look very similar). To my surprise, last year it produced fruit which looks just like a yellowish cherry. The fruit is tasty but the flesh seems a lot more like a plum than a cherry. Is this some sort of a cross between a plum and a cherry? However the leaves seem smaller than any cherry or plum that I have ever seen.

Here is what the fruit looks like right now:
Image

I assume the seeds were planted by birds, but I don't know of any cherry trees in the neighborhood.

Any advice, wisdom, or speculation would be appreciated.

P.S. I live in Camas, WA


Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:46 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1329
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
Hey Dave,
I have several cherry trees in my yard, planted by me, in the compost, birds, or whatever. Some look like a cross between cherry/plum.

THere are many species in existence somewhere on earth that are called "cherry plum" as they are closely related.

I tried to bud graft onto mine. One of them took Jubileum pie cherry, so I guess it must have been a pie cherry. I have a couple that are fruiting, so like you, I will be trying to see what they taste like this year. I'm excited. Like yours, mine look a little different than sweet cherry, pie cherry or plum, so maybe something in between?
John S
PDX OR


Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:19 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1329
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
Hey Dave,
I have several cherry trees in my yard, planted by me, in the compost, birds, or whatever. Some look like a cross between cherry/plum.

THere are many species in existence somewhere on earth that are called "cherry plum" as they are closely related.

I tried to bud graft onto mine. One of them took Jubileum pie cherry, so I guess it must have been a pie cherry. I have a couple that are fruiting, so like you, I will be trying to see what they taste like this year. I'm excited. Like yours, mine look a little different than sweet cherry, pie cherry or plum, so maybe something in between?
John S
PDX OR


Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:12 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:01 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
There is indeed such a thing as a cross of plum and cherry, called a pluerry.

That said, your fruit and leaves look just like my sweet cherry, so I'm betting your fruit is closer to a cherry. If the fruit is real big, maybe it does have some plum DNA in it, but if not it's probably just a plain jane cherry, of unknown variety although it doesn't matter all that much because a lot of cherries have pretty much the same flavor anyway.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:50 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
That's a nice find. There is such a cross between a cherry and plum. They're more common in Europe though are called Myrobalan plums. Some are small and look like cherries and some are bigger and look like plums, but I've heard they all taste like plums. It could be a seedling of a wild native American plum also and that's probably more likely than a Myrobalan. And actually, those leaves look just like the ones on my Italian prune plum.


Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:07 pm
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:45 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Camas, Washington
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
The mystery fruit is ripening now. I shared it with a few people and they gave it good reviews. It definitely seems closer to plum than a cherry. I took some photos.

The tree is right up against the fence:
Image
Image
Image
Looking up into the tree:
Image
Image
Image
Image


Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:00 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
Dave: This time you have enough to show us it's not cherry because these are plum leaves even though it is not clearly distiguishable in your oldest post. Double check next spring by making a note of the flowering time to make sure as all plums other than a very few are a bit early blooming compared to cherry. Also the pistil in the flower of plums are very slender compared to all edible cherry types. I do lots of hand pollinations is why I know.

About what DMTaylor brought up about myrobalan plums being cherry-plum is misleading too. Myrobalan plums refer to prunus cerasifera so in botanical terms they are a species of plum not cherry. The name probably originated in old english England (where they are native) and because they produce small fruits the size of cherry. I think the reason they have become common in SW Washington are that they are introduced as an understock to red leaf plums as street or landscape trees. Then when they get cut down the roots come back and usually produce mostly yellow plums and green leaves.


Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:05 pm
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:45 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Camas, Washington
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
Thanks for the info Rooney, I think you nailed it. That would explain why these are always popping up in my yard.


Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:33 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
I'm only too glad to help and now that I have a good track record with you I'll say you have only two choices to consider. Either remove each volunteer that stems from the massive root system with roundup each September for a few years or keep the big one and graft Shiro plum on it and let it be pollinated by the myrobalan plum. We can supply winter scions of plums for you or anybody each spring at the HOS scion exchange. My Shiro plum in Vancouver is entirely populated in fruit every year from volunteers from my neighbor on the south side who cut the red plum tree down and left one of those of yours stay there. Shiro is almost too far past prime picking today!


Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:57 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
Post Re: Fruit tree from the sky
The fruit resembles the Early Golden plum I have, yellow with a red blush. I grafted an Early Golden plum onto a Manchurian Apricot that never fruited. First couple years the fruit was small like in your pictures. This year the plums were ripening July 13 to July 29 and bigger, about 1 1/4" - 1 1/2".
Pits are flattened on your photos, same as plums. Do any cherries have flattened pits?


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Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:18 am
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