The Real Damson?

appleseed70August 4, 2014

Maybe 1 of these two trees are the real Damson? One of them has fruit and has for a few years. They're never any good just small hard marbles, although they do get bigger with each successive year.
The other has never fruited, nor flowered for that matter. I was just looking at their leaves and I'm thinking they're not even the same tree. I had studied them before and at that time I had thought they looked the same...not now. They are indeed similar, but there are pronounced differences that I think goes beyond normal variation.
One thing I'm certain, at the very least the non-fruiting one gets the axe.

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    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:57AM
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whole tree photo (the one with fruit)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:59AM
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other tree (never set fruit or even blossomed for that matter)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:01AM
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The non fruiting tree's leaves are narrower with far shallower serrations at the tip, lighter green in color and the tree overall is less vigorous. Both are in the same soil and have access to the same amount of water, nutrients etc

BIG QUESTION: Is the fruiting tree a Damson?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:06AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

What colour is the fruit when ripe?

I said on your other thread, Appleseed, that Damson isn't a cultivar. It is a subset of plums. There are numerous cultivars of Damson. Most are small and elliptical, not round. The flesh is greeny yellow. You can compare 5 varieties here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Damsons

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Yeah...I know floral. I told fruitnut wrong. I actually knew that, but had forgotten about the different cultivars of Damson.
The Damsons here are purple when ripe as pictured from the vendor and on Wikipedia. Damson gin is popular in your country (or was years ago) I understand, is also deep purple as is the jam/jelly I've seen.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:59AM
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floral...I don't know about the flesh color on these, but I'll check after they ripen.
Thanks for the info. If anyone would know about them it would be the English. I know they're pretty popular there...right?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Appleseed, that's what my Damsons look like before they ripen. Here in Virginia, zone 7, they would normally be ripe now. And there would have been early ripe plums dropping from the top of the tree weeks prior.

Unfortunately, for the first time in the five years I have lived here, this tree didn't bear any fruit. I think a freeze hit the blossoms, but honestly, I wasn't keeping track.

Here is a photo of my leaves. Something feasted on this tree.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:28PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It looks more of a Damson now,...mine is the real thing, leaves not as serrated.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:34PM
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So my previously "thought to be Methley" is, in fact, a Damson. Are we all in agreement on this?
Thank you graywings and konrad for the photos and info., I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:54PM
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alan haigh

In America, Damson is not a class of plums but a specific one- at least as far as Adams and other commercial nurseries are concerned. The tree was purchased in America and produced by an American nursery so it would likely be an "American" Damson. The only other Damson listed in Fruit, Nut and Berry Inventory is called French Damson. This is a pretty good reference as far as what's commercially propagated in the U.S. so you can be sure any other Damson type is pretty rare.

Those don't look like Damson to me- not round enough. I'm spraying a site tomorrow with 3 Damsons I planted that I purchased from Adams County Nursery. I'll take a look at them to make sure (they are loaded with fruit). Easier to identify ripe ones.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:20PM
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H-man take a small camera with you too and please take a pic. You cook with them (your wife does) lucky guy! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:29PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Harvestman - if that's the case I'll back out of the conversation because we have several named Damsons here and they are nearly all elliptical. I think that I'm trying to talk about a different fruit. Konrad's look just like what I would recognise as a Damson shape. They are a definite Autumn fruit not ripening until September /October. Contrast this with my Cambridge Gage which is ripening right now.

Appleseed, Damson Gin and Sloe Gin are common.

Here is a link that might be useful: A classic Damson

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:33PM
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Floral thanks so much for the picture. That is the plum I want to grow. I looks similar to my Italian prune plum but it makes a far better jam.

This is a picture of my Italian plum

There is a plum close to the center of the picture, they are hidden by leaves. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:40PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

This is my small first crop on a small multigrafted tree and the ID tag that came on the branch. Brady

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:52PM
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Appleseed, Damson Gin and Sloe Gin are common

Not here they're not floral. But then this is the US...not England.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:11AM
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H'man...what floral just said "sloes"...that's what I was trying to think of yesterday. I weirdly thought it was used in a turn of phrase...instead it was the English alternative to Damsons for imparting flavor into gins. A Brit told me they grow wild everywhere in the UK in hedgerows.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:20AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Appleseed - you got the wrong end of the stick there. Sloe is not an alternative word for Damson. It is an entirely different species - Prunus spinosa. It is a wide spread native hedging plant as your source told you. The fruit is very small and extremely sour. Both Damsons and Sloes are used for flavouring gin - here - which is where I am talking about. The photo shows a Sloe hedge just prior to bloom. You can see why it makes a good stock proof barrier.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:57AM
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I don't have the wrong end of anything floral. The issue at hand is that you need to work on reading comprehension. I never said alternative WORD...I just said alternative. Then you go on to school me using nearly the exact words I had just spoke to Harvestman.Now look floral, before you go busting out with the wonders of the British Isles ...and her majesty's long and storied history of gin manufacture...I don't care. At least I don't care to hear it from you.

Just like the lichen issue with beedie...your reply never even addressed that. YOU read things that were never there. that the American attitude you were referring to? Perhaps a little inward attitude examination may be in order.

That's the 3rd time in less than 24 hours you've told me I was wrong because you simply don't read well, or are so anxious to tell me I'm wrong that you jump to conclusions. Yesterday you even followed me onto different thread to tell me you had posted on the other thread that I was wrong. I and everyone else already knew that, I had acknowledged it already captain obvious.
Are you mental?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:53PM
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