Do plums ripen after being picked?

westover(Portland OR)August 9, 2009

This should be an easy question to answer, but I'm not finding it so. My experience is that plums, unlike peaches, don't ripen after being picked, neither the hard plums I sometimes buy in the grocery stores, nor the softer plums I buy at the farmers' markets'. The vendors at the farmers' markets all assure me that they continue to ripen. On the internet, I find contrary opinions. Yours?

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alan haigh

Apples and pears have starches that convert to sugar after being picked. Stonefruit do not- they usually soften so you can call this ripening. Many new breeds of stonefruit get up plenty of sugar while still firm to improve storage life- this seems a primary quest of the Zeiger work and other programs seem to be achieving the same goal.

Older varieties of plums that I grow have to be soft on the tree to achieve maximum sugar and be what I consider "tree ripe". Even small growers do not find it practical to try to market such soft fruit as it can almost burst from its own weight.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:50AM
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I have to harvest my plums well before they are ripe or the racoons & squirrels eat them all. Unfortunately, I haven't had good luck w/ ripening them off the tree. They are much sweeter if ripened on the tree.
If anyone has found a solution to either the racoon/squirrel issue or the ripening of the tree issue, I'd love to hear it.

Here is a link that might be useful: trailsnet

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:36AM
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