Damsom plumb story and query

albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)January 8, 2014

To keep a very long story short, I was browsing Amazon and clicked on Damson preserves. 13 oz jar was $26!

My wife suddenly wants to start a Damson plumb orchard. How does one start?

Lat: N 39
Lon: W 119
Elevation (ft): 4723
Precipitation not worthy of mention, 9in in a wet year.

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


I attached the link below for you. Good Luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: Your Guide to Starting a Backyard Orchard

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 5:10PM
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alan haigh

Damsons are relatively easy but the info provided hardly settles what your climate issues are. Whey not just tell us the area?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 5:33PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Oh, sorry harvestman. We are near Carson City, NV airport. Climate in Wikipedia described as "a semi-arid climate ... with cool but not inordinately cold winters and hot summers. ... There are four fairly distinct seasons, all of which are relatively mild compared to many parts of the country and to what one may expect given its elevation. Winters see typically light to moderate snowfall, with a median of 8.9 inches (23 cm). Most precipitation occurs in winter and spring, with summer and fall being fairly dry, drier than neighboring California. There are 37 days of 90 ðF (32 ðC)+ highs annually, with 100 ðF (38 ðC)+ temperatures occurring in some years."

The idea is less than 24 hours old. We've not even gotten a soil test - seems to be mostly sand. Water costs may scuttle the plan before it even gets started.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:38PM
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alan haigh

The main question is frosts after plums have bloomed, but you can probably get local information about the odds of that. Euro plums are less likely to get zapped by frost than Jap. plums because they bloom later so that's a plus.

They shouldn't require more water than many ornamentals and a thick layer of organic mulch could reduce that.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 6:11AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

More than you really wanted to know about Damsons can be found at: www.daiv.co.uk/guidetodamsons.phpâÂÂ

Damsons are common in older gardens in the UK, especially in the North. They are pretty tough and often continue fruiting in neglected orchards long after most of the trees have given up the ghost.

You would only need one self fertile or two pollinator trees for your own use, not an orchard.

For a more practical guide the link is quite good. But remember that when it says 'full sun' it means full British sun ie not very strong. And irrigation is not mentioned because it's not needed. Semi-arid with hot summers is the antithesis of Northern England so I can't help thinking there must be some more regionally appropriate cooking plums out there which would make tasty jam.

Here is a link that might be useful: Damsons

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 6:52AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

@ harvestman ... Thu, Jan 9, 14 at 6:11 "The main question is frosts after plums have bloomed, ... "

This is the sort of alerts that I need. A previous owner of the property left apricot trees and we have seen blossoms before the last hard frost three consecutive years.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 4:50PM
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I would also look into how old the trees will be before they fruit. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:09PM
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alan haigh

Apricots are the most susceptible fruit to late frost because they bloom almost 3 weeks before a Damson plum would. Look up your cooperative extension and maybe someone there will know a fruit grower in your area who can provide some guidance.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Last fall I harvest my first blue Damson plum, just got a small branch top grafted..nice little plum.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:20PM
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alan haigh

When they become decent sized trees, I think Damson plums are the most beautiful ones in the orchard. The purple color of the fruit and the way they just festoon the branches is breath taking. We tested them and they did make the very best preserves of any plums my wife tried this season. A bit astringent for fresh eating but once they get dead ripe they aren't bad that way either.

If you get any in Nev. I bet they'd be even better under your intense and relentless sun- but you never know.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:33AM
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