Tart plum tree suggestions for Zone 5

adambeck7February 17, 2013

Live in Boulder, CO so zone 5. Looking for a plum tree that has sweet fruit but very tart skin. Mostly for eating out of hand. Seems like most that fit the description are Japanese plums though which might not be hardy in Colorado. Santa Rosa fits the bill but don't think it would be hardy here (would it?). Is the italian tart at all? Help. Thanks!

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

You're right, ..most have tart skin. I'm thinking the Supreme Plum, Pembina, Patterson's Pride, etc. ..but why do you need tart skin?

Here is a link that might be useful: Lets talk about Plum

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:58PM
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That's what the wife loves. That or just a tart plum I suppose. But she was describing a plum tree her grandfather had when she grew up in California. Santa Rosa sounded close.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:54PM
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I have an Italian plum and the flesh is yellow and sweet but the skin is tart, that is why it makes an excellent tart. The 'wild' taste is in the skin. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Good to hear since I know I can grow them.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Superior is a very good tart plum. It was bred as a hardy plum, I don't recall the zone but its either 4 or 5.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

This wouldn't be an issue if your wife wasn't so sweet already.....

The american plums tend to have quite a tart skin. When fully ripe, the pulp/juice is very sweet and aromatic, but the skin remains quite tart. You might look at getting a native plum or a variety bred from the american plums.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:38AM
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a good suggestion might be the wild goose plum, a sweet tart native plum, available from oikos tree crops.
native plum need less care

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Wild goose plum sounds invasive and scary (thorns).

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:42PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


I have had no trouble with hardiness of Japanese plums here in Denver. The issue is not hardiness but bloom time; we usually get frosts that kill the blooms. I have Elephant Heart and Satsuma and my neighbor has Santa Rosa. We have had good crops the last few years.

The European plums, especially my Shropshire Damson, bloom later and therefore avoid the frosts.

I would have to say that it sounds like you are wanting a Santa Rosa. You will need a pollinator for it though. A Japanese hybrid would work well. But you should be prepared in case of frost at bloom time.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:46AM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Try persian plums ( green or red). They are very tart before fully ripe without the bitterness of other premature plums.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 2:29AM
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Various Native plums can be quite tart, and also quite hardy....

I think in Zone 5 - I would either go with something Native, or with an European plum of some sort or another.... unless someone specifically has Japanese plum recommendations from way up north... I would worry that J. Plums would winter kill in harsh winters...


    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 8:58AM
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