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 Can anyone help identify plum tree 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Can anyone help identify plum tree
Can anyone help me identify, or figure out how to identify, a plum variety? It was a mature tree nearly 30 years ago when my parents bought their home; another tree of the same variety is planted at a neighbor's, also before he bought, but I have never seen it anywhere else. Located in the Willamette Valley; never treated in any way, but doesn't seem to have pests or disease issues.
Tree is an estimated 30 or 40 feet tall, with odd-angled limbs; it does not seem to throw off suckers. Fruit is clingstone, sweet-tart, appearance that of a small, plum-shaped nectarine; gold with red blush. Flavor is unique. Fruit is on the small side; maybe the size of three or four cherries.


Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:42 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
You've done a nice job of describing the tree. One thing you might mention is if the flesh is a different color than the outside skin. I would think about the texture of the flesh too. The texture of apricot , peach, plum and nectarine flesh is different. I can't identify the fruit, but I will tell you that you will more likely get an identification if you include a picture.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:05 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
Ah, thank you. I believe the flesh exactly mirrors the skin, even to blushing in the same places, and I would describe it as a plum texture. I will have to wait until the fruit ripens to post a photograph.


Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:39 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
Am going to update this, in hopes someone can help me identify this plum tree. With photo, this time! If I can figure out how to attach it.
Tree was probably planted in the 70s, maybe earlier; it was mature 30 years ago (and is still going strong, although it looks gnarly). It's 30-plus feet tall. Green leaves. Extremely minimal suckering.
Fruit is yellow, with red blush; very pretty, looks like a nectarine, and fragrant. It ripens in July. Flesh is yellow, extremely juicy, clingstone. Small, rather flat pits. Flesh sweet; skins incredibly tart.


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Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:54 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 417
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
I don't know how long its been around, but the look and description sound a lot like Beauty plum. Do a google search and look at the images.


Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:50 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
A good way to get this done would be to go to the Bybee Howell garden Sunday at 11:00 on Sauvies Island, bringing the plums, because many ID team members will be there.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:03 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
wonderful; thanks! Fortunately, I have a few left. These do look like the photos I found of Beauty plums, but I don't think they ever turn purple, as the Beauty plums apparently eventually do. Will have to double check that, since the tree lives an hour away from me. One post I found about Beauty plums sounded very similar to these; others sounded quite different, which was confusing. Really appreciate all suggestions.


Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:28 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 417
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
Beauty is red over yellow skin. Do you have a source for the claim of purple?


Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:15 am
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
That was what the descriptions I was reading said (by people growing them). But the photos looked identical to my plums. Which, in case I failed to explain this, have the same coloring on the flesh as on the skin; the flesh blushes where the skin does. Also, they darken some as they get overripe, but they don't turn purple all over; they fall off the tree.
Failed to make it to Sauvie Island yesterday; too much family stuff going on. Maybe next year? Only have a few left in the fridge that have been holding there for weeks, and won't last much longer. Think the next step might be to see if I can get my hands on some Beauty plums for a taste test. Did wonder; our local nurseries, at least the ones I tend to look at -- One Green World, Raintree -- don't seem to carry them. Are they more common elsewhere in the country?


Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:43 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
Beauty is rated as one of the best to grow in the NW by none other than Doug Bullock of permaculture fame. You might try to bring them to the budding workshop/potluck, etc. on the first Saturday in August next year.
Thanks
John S
PDX OR


Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:00 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
I shall write that on my calendar; thank you! Also, will look up Bullock's comments. If this tree of my parents is indeed a Beauty plum, then I heartily agree; it's fantastic. Makes really wonderful jam; is productive nearly every year -- and has been going strong more than 30 years, and showing no signs of slowing down. I live in fear of losing access to it, should parents ever decide to sell the property.


Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:13 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
Don't fear. Take scions and graft away!


Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:23 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:10 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
I tried a year or so ago, and the grafts failed. Last year, missed the scion window. Onward! Maybe the third time will prove the charm.


Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:12 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: Can anyone help identify plum tree
It does take a lot of practice. I've found that cleft grafts are the easiest to do and are usually the most successful in my experience. Things can still go wrong though no matter how well you graft and seal.


Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:43 am
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