Anyone grow Ozark Premier plum ?

rayrose(8)January 28, 2013

Would like to hear your experience in growing Ozark Premier,
especially in the south. Is it heat tolerant and how does it taste?

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Ozark Premier is an older disease-resistant plum. It is considered inferior in flavor to some of the more recent southern plum crosses, I have seen that mentioned many places but have not verified that myself. Still, its a decent plum and is highly adapted. I am testing some of the newer southern crosses (e.g. the AU series and the Byron program plums Ruby Queen etc) and so far I have not found a taste winner amongst them but I don't have all that many years of fruiting on them. Two years ago Ruby Queen was excellent but last year it overset and was mediocre. Based on what I know right I would say get a Ruby Queen and plan to thin heavily. Ruby Queen is also the only one of them getting an "excellent" rating for flavor in Ashton's Plums book. Rubysweet, AU Producer, and AU Roadside are runners-up in his ratings. Olpea here tried one or both of the AU plums and was not highly impressed, hopefully he will see this and chime in.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:27PM
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I've had both AU Producer & AU Roadside for 3 years
with no production from either one. But this year, I
expect to get a crop from both of them. I also have
AU Rubrum, which has been an excellent producer of
good quality tasting plums. I've read all of the hype about how large Ozark gets, and wanted it for the size, hence my post.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


I had an Ozark Premier for about 5 yrs from Starkbros. The fruit was huge but the taste was not as good as Santa Rosa, or Beauty so I top work it to a Fortune plum.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Double post. Deleted.

This post was edited by tonytran on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 17:06

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 5:01PM
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alan haigh

I consider Ozark Premier worth growing as it has good quality fruit that is really huge and bears reliably without too much cracking even when it rains into ripening time. I like the flavor better than Shiro and it certainly is a more attractive plum. Not the highest quality but, tree ripe, quite delicious.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:37AM
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alan haigh

I should also mention that it has an ideal growing form and is much more cooperative than other J. plums in easily shaping into a well branched, spreading, semi-dwarf tree.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 6:39AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"Olpea here tried one or both of the AU plums and was not highly impressed, hopefully he will see this and chime in."

Scott's correct, I wasn't that impressed. I had AU Rosa and AU Roadside. I can't recall which, but one was quite a bit better than the other.

I pretty much quit growing Asian type plums altogether because they bloom too early in our weather. So far, Euro plums have been more reliable for me, and some of them taste really good.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:36AM
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Olpea- just curious, which European plums do you like?

I've tried growing Stanley prune three times without success, have one Elephant Heart that should make its first crop this year. Also one Santa Rosa that had a few on it last summer. It would be great to find some more varieties that do well and taste good.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:02PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


I'm surprised Stanley has been tough for you to grow. It's generally recognized as precocious, self-pollinating, and a heavy cropper. Although it is very susc. to black knot.

I ordered a Stanley (spring 2013) as a pollinizer, but most people say the fruit isn't all that good for fresh eating.

Of the Euros I've grown (in terms of flavor) I like Kirke's blue (least favorite but still good) and President. The Gages are better yet. Rosy and Green Gage are very sweet and very good. I can't seem to get Coe's Golden Drop to fruit for me (don't know why). Some Euros I don't like are Early Fellenberg/Italian and French Petite.

I've started a new plum planting and am excited about some of the varieties (which have received high ratings for taste, by people who should know IMO). The plums are already in the ground or ordered for this spring:

Ouillens Gage
Imperial Epineuse
Gras Romanesc

I've also read high praise for Autumn Sweet, which is supposed to be another high sugar Euro plum.

Scott and Hman have more experience with Euro plums, but I'm not sure they've tried all the ones listed above.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:32PM
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alan haigh

I have tried all the ones listed above besides Gras Romanesc, which I've never heard of. It's been a long time since I managed any Imp Eps though- they are incredibly delicious but not very reliable croppers as I recall- but that's based on a single site, single tree.

At most sites I've managed it, Seneca has not been reliable and I've a ton of experience with it. Strangely, at one site it bears well every year and I've no idea why- it is not related to pollination. If it doesn't perform well graft it over to Castleton which performs well at all sites and almost all seasons I manage it and bears about the same time.

In my experience, here in the northeast, Stanley isn't that susceptible to black knot and I've not found literature on susceptibility to be at all equivalent to what I see. For instance, I've never read anyone from a University telling of how b. knot prone is Methely or how resistant is Italian.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 5:19PM
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HI Ray

I just had my first Ozark P last year. My first impression was that somehow I had planted a nectarine instead of a plum. The flesh is yellow and very consistant with store bought (meaning not yet ripe and won't ripen but go rotten first) nectarines. I actually liked it as I have been afraid to try nectarines or apricots due to disease issues. I also have Santa Rosa, and yes that is much better. SR has been very easy to grow except for producing cherry size fruit despite 3 rounds of heavy thinning last year.

I planted these trees in my earliest years of fruit tree planting. The first tree I planted came from Home Depot and was labeled Oz Pr standard. This tree has remained small and very manageable. Very easy care here in Cinti. Later that year I picked up 2 trees at Lowes that were labeled as semidwarf Santa Rosa and they turned out to also be Oz Pr but of a much larger growing variety. I've had a hard time keeping them pruned to size. Am considering top working them, but wouldn't what ever I graft also be large and fast growing like the base plant?

Olpea I'd love to hear more about why you don't care for Fellemberg. In a couple of my books it is called very resistant to black knot so I wanted to plant it as the base and graft a few other varieties onto it. I planned to mostly dry the Fellemberg. I like tart fruit, and have already ordered a Damson. Also have ordered Elephant Heart and a Starking Delicious hoping to extend my plum season longer than the current 3 weeks I have now between the Santa Rosa and OzPr.

Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:22PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Early Fellenberg wasn't sweet enough for me. At least I thought the skin too tart. As I recall, it also had problems with bacterial spot. French Petite also had problems with it.

Since you like tart fruits, you may well love Fellenberg. I'm not calling it tart, just not as sweet as some of the others.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:56PM
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Thank you olpea! No one had ever mentioned that Fellemberg had tart skins. Now I know for sure I want one. Also appreciate your mentioning French Petite as I was considering it since I can find one locally at a good price. I'll hold out for Fellemberg now.

Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

While I agree with Olpea on the lack of sweetness in Fellenberg, I have to stick up for French Petite which is one of my favorite European plums. It is very sweet and highly flavored. It needs to hang a long time to get good flavor. There are also many different versions of that plum floating around since it is an old variety, and I have heard that some are better-tasting than others.

Rosy Gage, Coe's Golden Drop, and Imperial Epineuse have also been excellent tasting plums for me. My main problem on the Euro plums is brown rot, all varieties are susceptible.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I decided to
order both Ozark and Ruby Queen to add to my collection.
I'll let you know how they do in a few years.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:38PM
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