We've had a huge harvest of plums this year. We have a small, round unnamed Asian yellow plum that produced a lot. They are the first harvest. Last year, the Methleys were the best they ever were. This year, strangely, they are tiny and so numerous as to not be worth eating. I only ate a few. The tree is now huge. Then the Shiros came. I think Shiro might be a disease. They took over large parts of the yard. I brought many plums to our church for poor people, brought many to my baseball group, and still had way too many to eat. I had to chop back the branches after harvest, as they tried to attack several other trees. The Hollywood plums were next. They were good and productive. The Santa Rosa plums were really good this year, and they have such a distinctive taste! The last big crop was the Howard Miracle plum. They are still producing now. They taste and look kind of like a peach. My neighbor gave me some of her peaches, and the Howard Miracles were better than her peaches. They weren't quite as good as a really good peach, but close, and much easier to grow.
Our European plums have started to come in, but they aren't nearly as numerous as the Asian ones were this year. I think it probably mostly has to do with the weather during their bloom.
This year was poor for European plums for me. I may not have gotten any. Both my Early Laxton, as well as Mirabelles, and Green Gage got hit hard with aphids, and either had little fruit set, or dropped what they had.
Nadia cherry plum, Splash Pluot, Au Producer, and Shiro did well for me. Unfortunately I was travelling when the Shiro ripened. Last year I juiced them, froze the juice, and really enjoyed that with soda in the Winter and Spring.
Howard Miracle did reasonably well.
My, probably Emerald Drop pluot, in spite of lots of foliage and bloom, only set one fruit and it was missing when I got back from my trip.
Got my first Flavor Grenade. Exactly one fruit. Awesome. I want to give it a dedicated tree.
Tried my first Hollywood. It didn't stand out to me, but the tree is young, and it was the first I've tried. Since I have 2 trees, I think I'll graft the smaller one over to Flavor Grenade.
Having scanned all the asian plum names mentioned on this page I can say I have most of the same ones and mine are behaving exactly the way yours have as far as fruits. As far as a scourge with 'shiro', that cultivar is naturally a large tree, and the only thing that will hold it in check is the very heavy cropping and drooping over of branches. For some reason it is not as prolific around Seattle as it is here. Which up there it tends to not be dropped over and thus gets very large. At Jafar: do you mix shiro juice with zero calorie soda?
My newest plums are 'nadia' and 'sugar twist'. The latter being my favorite this year in the aspects of the fruit. Last year it was a little too weak in plum flavor but this year it came in as best plums that I now plan to give a dedicated place in the yard. I have heard in past posts at fruit forum elsewhere that others around the NW plan on replacing sugar twist with another plum because of weak taste, but they were first impressions only. Maybe it takes more maturity to improve.
Anyways. My sugar twist is more reliably productive than nadia and more pleasant. The sugar twist skin is the least sour which might be a bad thing in the future should some kind of cherry maggot find a way to meal on them.
Nadia is productive and trouble free for me. 7 years old, made 3 gallons of large plums. No thinning. No bugs, no disease problems. Picked over 3-4 weeks with acceptable to very good eating quality.
Shiro is also dependable. It sets to heavy and requires thinning. This year many are fermenting on the tree because they weren't harvested on time.
I add a little sugar to the juice to bring the brix over 20, then mix with plain carbonated water for soda. I freeze the juice in 1/2 gallon plastic orange juice bottles.
Thanks Jafar, for the tip!
About Nadia. Being a hybrid between true cherry and plum, and having the first flowers of any plums then our Nadia trees set without intervention from other trees. You actually got that many gallons and I wonder if you were to try and put them to good use if they come up from seed true to the type.
Seems like all of these set flowers in the rain and still produced. Shiro and Nadia included in this. One of previous threads I ended up proving out that I bagged flowers before they opened with Shiro and fruits still set just the same as unbagged branches.
In all of these the question still remains what can come of the seed? Many years ago as we shared scions between ourselves I ended up grafting a triploid pear 'dabney'. Which is a branch now on 'orcas' pear as the main section. Everything in flowering was covered in snow and this resulted in 2 orcas pears. Thus at least proving that typical pears are not as rain weather fertile as these earlier flowering plum types of ours. However the 'dabney' branch has consistently bore many pears and even this years crop was good. I counted 2 dabney pears that had 2 seeds each. The other 10 were smaller by as much as 50% the mass and they contained no seeds at all.
So when you find good pollination in other years with less rain you get much more seeds from triploid cultivars of pome fruits in our area and I guess the lucky cultivar is involved in this; And thus/also I suppose less codling moth population. So I'm split on if nadia seeds we may have left from this year as being viable?
I haven't successfully propagated stone fruit from seed.
I've only really tried once, and that was shallowly planting peach seeds late summer in the dirt around some of my caged trees.
Do you have a system for juicing? Out local farmers market had a farmer that used steamed juicing. Pretty large and complex, but a lot of juice all at once.
I have a masticating juicer and a steam juicer,
The steam juicer is large and simple, much simpler than the masticating juicer.
For soft and juicy fruits, the steam juicer is the way to go, especially with clingstone fruit. It's surprisingly efficient at yielding juice, and much less work to process a lot of fruit.
The area where we live used to be prune plum orchards, and we still have wild ones growing on our property. They usually produce heavily and are very tasty. This year was the exception, no plums at all.
My Japanese plums were also negatively affected, since they were blooming when we got our freak April snow. Beauty produced maybe a couple of dozen fruit. Shiro was much better, but it was still a very light crop. Satsuma was a total failure. All three trees are lovely, though, and thankfully weren't affected negatively.
Shiro is well behaved in my orchard, it is staying small and has a weeping form. It's interesting that Shiro can get too large and that it can behave so differently in other areas. We can be, and often are, 10 or more degrees cooler than Portland and are near the foothills; I also rarely fertilize them. Maybe that plays a role, or maybe not?