Best and worst of new 2013 fruits

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXSeptember 21, 2013

I had several things fruit for the first time this year. Here's by ratings.

Orangered apricot: a 10 for flavor but so far weak on production. I'm hoping for a full crop with more chilling this winter.

Crimson Royale pluot: an 8 for both flavor and production. The flavor is different and unique.

Snow Queen nectarine: Can't go over 7 on this. Very sweet but lacking in flavor. Good production and medium size.

Craig's Crimson sweet cherry: Another 7 for flavor and size. No more than an average cherry. They all make upper 20s brix and this fits right in.

Ruby Kat pluot: A 5 or 6 and who cares. Don't go out of your way looking for this one.

Sweet Bagel donut peach: My first donut and I was under whelmed. Every fruit is running 13.5-14 brix with average flavor and texture. In my book that's a 4 overall. The only plus is it's very late, just harvesting in the greenhouse.

Flavor Royale pluot: Another 4. Supposed to be earlier and sweeter than Flavor Supreme, ha! A dismal failure on both counts. But worse yet it doesn't deserve the flavor moniker.

Sweet Treat pluerry: I'll be generous and give this a 3. 24 brix and 20 grams doesn't add up to much. Maybe it will grow up next year. If not good riddance.

Tardirouge apricot: Dry and mealy gets you a 2. Isn't working for me.

Always remember YMWV...your mileage will vary!!

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You've grown a lot of varieties. Do you find much difference in Year 1 compared to Year 3 fruit from the same tree (flavor wise). On the Figs4Fun forum some people claim it takes a few years before the fruit starts to get it's true taste.

Wondering what your experience is with this...

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 12:30AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I haven't found a consistent difference by age of tree. But the sweetest most flavorful fruit usually comes from well rooted trees that can sustain a water deficit all summer long. That usually doesn't happen until the second leaf.

I've grown a lot of fruit varieties in pots and on several in-ground trees for multiple years. Having one variety from several trees facing differing water regimes is educational. There are usually significant differences in the fruit eating quality. But it doesn't always work out the way you'd think.

My in-ground system with well rooted trees in the greenhouse yields mostly high quality fruit. But I've had trouble consistently growing the highest quality of a few varieties. One is Flavor Grenade. I've grown a few that were superb at ~25 brix. But some trees yield mostly 18-20 brix soft fruit. One tree on dwarf root produced 30+ brix when they didn't shrivel and fall off over stressed.

The best figs no doubt come from older deeply rooted trees that can sustain a summer long water deficit. People have learned this over centuries without really understanding what is going on in the tree. It's mostly about water but I'm sure other factors enter in.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 12:54AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

I am going to top work the 20th century Asian pear next spring because all the fruits crack this year and the flavor is so so! In addition, the Red delicious apple will be top work also.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 1:29AM
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I had exceptional production in fruit size and quality from my 3 producing pears, Ayers, Maxine, & Pineapple. I had many fruits as large as my entire hand, fingers and all, and the tastes were superb. I limed all 3 trees in december and I really believe that raising the soil PH helped them take in the nutrients along with the extra rain that we had all summer long. I've never seen pears this large. I bought some pears at a high end grocery store yesterday and couldn't get over how small and tasteless they were compared to mine.
This was the first crop that I've gotten from Maxine and Pineapple, and I'm really tickled pink that I chose these varieties.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:46AM
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I was very disappointed with my Pristine apples this year. The fruit taste was excellent, tart an sweet but the size was so small. The tree was thinned very well, but the final apple size was under normal. My black currants 'Ben Serak' are the stars of the orchard this year. The Italian prune plums tasted just as they should, very good! My enterprise and jonagolds are still on the tree and seem far from ready to pick. The Enterprise are exceptionally small as well. I don't know what this is due to in my two out of 6 apple trees. The Motts Pink apple was 'standout' as to taste. It was great. Just picked the one 'elberta' peach yesterday. That speaks for itself. One stinking (really smells so good) peach! Raspberries,Caroline are excellent as always. Am in love with my Ouachita huge blackberries. The Concord grapes finally fruited after three years. The first crop was over six pounds. Many of the grapes were on the small side due to being planted in semi-shade. I also had to pick them a bit early as the birds were so into the grapes they were getting hammered! Even after bagging them, in my new 'organza' bags, I'd find that the birds pecked the organza, ruined a few grapes then would move on to another bag. Anyway the six pounds of grapes turned into 5 half pints of fab grape jam. 12 half pints of Black Currant jam, and 8 half pints of Italian plum jam. Not bad since my orchard is only 7 years old and I am still waiting for fruit! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:02AM
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I expected better from the Snow Queen nectarine. David Karp describes it as "dense, melting, juicy; flavor very sweet, rich, floral and complex."

Think I'll move it from my "must have" list to the "to be considered" list.

Waiting for Fowler Nurseries to put up their 2014 list to see if I can get an Orangered and a Robada.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 4:19PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Snow Queen this year fit perfectly into the way some people view low acid fruits, sweet with no flavor. Maybe it will do better next year, if I keep it. The tree and fruit looked great this year and the water situation seemed perfect. Fruit had the sugar speckling and was sweet enough.

Other low acid nectarines I grow like Arctic Star, Honey Royale, and Honey Blaze have great flavor. The best of anything. Maybe Snow Queen is that way in another situation.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Thanks for the report fruitnut. I am curious how my pluerry will do next year.

Here are a couple interesting things I got first fruits on this year, or first full taste evaluation.

Newberry blackberry/raspberry hybrid: This berry was memorable, perhaps the best berry I have ever eaten. It has the aromatics of raspberry with the depth of flavor of a good blackberry. Wow. 10.

Orangred apricot: exceptional well-balanced flavor and very juicy for an apricot. I had a fair amount of rain at harvest time so they were a bit diluted in flavor but still great. 9.

Weinberger (also has some other name now, Hasse?) plumcot: A treat for the eyes, purple fuzzy skin with brilliant orange flesh. Excellent flavor as well. 7.

Lavinia plum: small but very flavorful with some unique flavors I can't really put my finger on but sort of like papaya. 9.

Late Crawford: I have fruited this peach before but it has taken several years to get up to quality. Now it is producing very large classic yellow-fleshed peaches with a nice acid bite: just how I like 'em. 8.

Pitmaston Pineapple apple: I have fruited this before but not for a long time; it is back and I remember why I liked it so much. Very rich and sweet flavor, a league ahead of the bigger apples. Its like the short player on the professional basketball team: small size but it makes up for it in other dimensions in spades. 9.

Maryland Brown Turkey: my most tasty fig this year, very rich red fleshed fruits. Small however and too many ants on them. 8.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:10PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Great Scott, looks like you are batting 1.000!! It's a good year when I bat .300. But as long as there are new winners each year the lineup continues to improve!!!!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:50PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I ate a few very ripe Flavor King in the last week... That is an outstanding fruit...really has a flavor like nothing else i've tasted. They are gone now, but that and Dapple Dandy were my faves this year.

ACN isn't carrying Honey Royale anymore or at least I didn't see it when i looked.

This post was edited by franktank232 on Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 18:22

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 6:13PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

The only new interesting fruit I had was Pineberry Strawberries. They say they taste like pineapple. But I found white alpines taste more like pineapple. The Pineberries have their own unique taste. best cultivar was "White D". Prone to leaf spot, but responds well to treatment. Musk strawberries are notable in how hardy and weed-like they are. You need a male plant. .
On raspberries it's hard to go wrong no matter what you grow. Most are excellent, whatever the cultivar. I found some excellent standouts, but all the cultivars I grew (about 15) were decent. Prelude was best for me.
Thanks all for the reports. I'm going to add Newberry for sure. Sounds like a good one! Also I never grew black currants, only red and white. I'll have to give them a try.
The very best berry for me this year of all berries was wild red raspberries. They made the best jam. They don't even taste like raspberries. More like cherries.
Many of you guys have more sophisticated tastes when it comes to stone fruits. I would be happy with any backyard peach. After years of eating store bought, they all taste good to me!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Fruitnut, that was only the very best of what was new for me, I ran out of typing steam after that. Major duds included most of the ORUS blackberries I was trying, Helena apricot, Black Down currant, Pomme Raisin, Sierra Beauty and My Jewel apples, Yoinashi pear, etc.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Maiposa plum: Very Juicy and sweet, very nice aroma. 8.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:04PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Just ate my first Coe's Golden Drop plum. Even though it was a little early, it was excellent. Also ate some Green Gage plums as a side by side comparison. Green Gage were also excellent. Maybe slightly better than Coe's because they were riper. I have a feeling Coe's is going to be better when fully ripe.

Favorite peach was again the mislabled peach that I have no idea the variety. Even though this peach is terribly hard to grow (it must be sprayed with an antibiotic in humid climates) I grafted 2 more copies of it this summer. Last summer it was no better than other varieties that ripened in its slot, but this summer it was back to outshining all the other peaches in the orchard.

I finally cut down a peach called White County. It was a sub-acid peach some people loved, but this year was the second year in a row I had serious problems with the fruit. Rainy weather made the already sub acid weak flavor, even weaker. I gave some of this fruit away as chicken feed and tossed probably 2-3 bushel. I might have kept it but it also has to be sprayed with an antibiotic, which was already a strike against it.

My raspberries were losers this year. This is their second year and I didn't get any from Caroline or Tulameen. I don't understand that. I've not grown raspberries before, so I don't really know what's going on.

Triple Crown was very good again. It's better than all the Ark thornless uprights, including Navaho and Apache.

I can't grow any of those plum/apricot crosses a lot of you guys can. Wish I could.

Mrs. G, my Enterprise are still on the tree too. It's an Oct. apple here, but we got such a late start I wonder if it will ripen this year. The last peaches of the season (Encore) are still on the tree.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:20PM
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My Enterprise are nowhere near ready. In 2011 I picked it on Oct 17. As late as possible with this one, and then refrigerate another month before it's ready to eat.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Thanks Olpea and Itilton. My Enterprise were ready by the end of Sept. last year, again (weather) it was just a different year. My Motts Pink is supposed to be a late Sept. apple and the apples were falling off of the trees by the first week in Sept. Its just good to know that others are having the same reactions to their fruit ripening. Since I'll be off for a few weeks, I'm just going to leave them on the trees till I return. They are all bagged. The Jonagold's are finally 'bulking' up a bit, but just starting to get a blush of red. Thanks again! Mrs. G

Also Fruitnut, I would love an Orangered Apricot, your review is always excellent. I definitely will have to buy 'Newberry'. Thanks Scott for the info .

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I have found that commercial growers (1 Calif. central valley grower in particular) hype their "newest" varieties as being out of this world. This is perhaps good business...but often not the most truthful. This has been especially true with the low-chill fruit trees. Some of us have learned the hard way, and are thinning our duds out.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:18AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm also interested in OrangeRed apricot... have no idea if its as hardy as Tomcot, but i'm willing to try out. I'm down to 1 apricot tree (with multiple varieties on it)...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:43AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I forgot to mention, I really liked the white peach, Lady Nancy this year. Last year was the first year the tree fruited and I thought the fruit was very good, but more like a yellow peach. It's a sport of Jersey Queen - a yellow peach.

This year Lady Nancy was really outstanding. I'm wondering if I really gave this peach the credit it deserved last year. It's sweet and has plenty of acid too.

It's been mentioned L. Nancy has a tendency to rot, but I haven't seen any in the first two years of fruiting. This year it even rained a couple times close to its harvest. This year because of SWD, I started picking up fallen fruit, which may be helping against brown skin rot. I also spray for BR, so it could be different with no spray.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Hey I forgot to mention Lady Nancy as well. I got the first good taste this year and it is an excellent white peach. It is very similar to the Oldmixon Free peach, in fact it is so similar that I wonder if there is not a genetic connection. LN seemed to have a bit smaller seed but other than that I could find no appreciable difference: same blush, same ripening time, same fantastic sweet/tangy flavor. I have had no major rot problems on either LN or OF.

Next year I am going to compare these two varieties more carefully from bloom on.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:19PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Did you happen to notice the thin yellow line in the flesh, a distinction of LN? It always runs along the suture. Pretty cool.

For anyone interested I posted a pic of it from Clemson below.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Interesting. No, I don't recall seeing that yellow line.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:30PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Always nice to have a lady in the yard. Cool, another fruit that sounds interesting. I will have to add it down the road at my new place.
Any reports on good yellow peaches? Any surprises?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:53AM
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I had excellent results on Harvester this year, in a year of not very good production in most areas of SC. Large fruit that I let ripen on the tree. The three neighbors that I gave them to raved about how good they were.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 9:06AM
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First year for me for Williams Pride, Pixie Crunch, & Wickson Crab apples; also Cinnamon persimmon; all very good. Tigertooth jujube's were prolithic but bland

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:50AM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

Best year for Noir de Spain Black mulberry, Conference and comice pear, Akane apple, Garretson persimmon, Calville Blanc D'hiver apple, many mushrooms.
Worst: shipova, korean cherry, (diseases) Euro plums (not enough sun?), Belle de Boskoop (off year-no apples)
John S

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:57AM
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