Questions on Mirabelle Plums

nw5gardenerSeptember 8, 2007

I just came back from Europe and had mirabelle lorraine plums. They are absolutely delicious and I would like to plan them. Does anyone know:

1. Where to purchase these fruit trees in Pacific NW besides from Raintree?

2. Raintree has 2 types of mirabelles - Mirabelle de Mertz and Mirabelle de Nancy. Does anyone know if these are the same as mirabelle lorraine? Which of the mirabelles above would you recommend? Would definitely like to get your experience growing them.

3. I would like to plant either (i) Purple Gage, or (ii) Imperial Epineuse as a pollinator but have a small garden. Any experience with either one of the above trees and do you know which is a smaller tree or more upright? Do you recommend any other plum variety that is smaller in nature as a pollinator for the Mirabelle's.

4. What is the lifespan of a mirabelle plum tree?

Thank you very much!!!

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franktank232(z5 WI)

Another question you should get an answer for is how long will one of these take to start bearing? I know "green gage" can take a long time to bear (10 years?). Are all European plums like this?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 8:42PM
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I bought a Reine de Mirabelle from Raintree last winter, and they sent a 4-5 foot well branched little tree. They describe it as the largest of the Mirabelles, possibly a cross between a Mirabelle and a Gage. For pollination, I bought a Kirk's Blue, a Rosy Gage, and a Purple Gage. They don't like our heat here, but have done okay so far with some shade mid day or late afternoon. It will be interesting to see if they fruit here or not, or even live.
Wikipedia states that the Lorraine is the area of France most famous for their Mirabelle plums, and that the two major cultivars there are the Nancy and the Metz. Of the two, the Nancy is larger, softer, and sweeter and is better eaten fresh, while the Metz is better for jam.
The two week Mirabelle festival at Metz sounds like fun. The dates for this year were from August 23- September 9. Is that where you were in France?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirabelle plum

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

All of the trees are big, no luck there. Some rootstocks make them a bit smaller but all plums are quite vigorous. The lifespan of plums depends on your climate; maybe 25 years. All of the trees you mention take a long time to bear. I got my first Mirabelle plum (singular) this year from my five-year-old trees. I have had no problems with my trees other than slowness to fruit.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:02PM
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Interesting on the years to bearing. I grafted Reine Claude de Bavay, a gage plum to my multigrafted europlum tree and it flowered and produced 2 delicious plums the very next year. Now I'm wondering if it will flower next spring.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:08PM
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I go up to the WSU agricultural station at Mount Vernon here in Washington and I have observed the way they train their plum trees. Every tree is pruned to a vase shape, even the European plums, and I think that is why they get fruit in a few years. The trees are all a reasonable height and most of the fruit can be picked without a ladder. The branches start at no more than about 20 inches from the ground. I am training all my plums to a vase shape and spreading the branches, but this is only year 2 (and the deer did some unwanted pruning last year that set them behind) so I don't know the results yet. Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation maintains a large display garden there beside the Master Gardeners area and if you are ever in the area you can stop by and look at the plum trees in the display garden. (There is a lot of other fruit and espalier to see there, too.)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:31AM
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From the looks of my picture does anybody think these are the plums? They taste like a plum and look like a Rainier cherry, they taste wonderful and I found them on a tree today walking along my exercise path. It appears the red ones that fall off the tree are over ripe and the yellow ones with a little bit of orange color that stay on the tree are the ripe ones. I also noticed it is hard to get the seed out much like a plum. Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you kindly,

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:56PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

All I know, have no Nancy, probably some wild plums, good
for processing, jam etc.

The fruit of the Nancy looks different and pits are pretty well free stone, I take them out with a cherry pitter.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:11AM
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smelser, those look too glossy and watery.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:00AM
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Prunus Americana...or a seedling from a discarded pit.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:18AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

What Appleseed said; more likely the former.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:00PM
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