Pembina Plum

marricgardensAugust 30, 2013

I've read that it is hardy to Z3 and even Z2. Even the Italian Prune Plum is only hardy to Z4. Has anyone ever grown Pembina? Marg

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I have a Pembina plum. My next door neighbour was supposed to buy another plum to pollinate it but she moved away before doing that. So...this plum does produce a few every year but nowhere near as much if there was an actual pollinator close by. No issues about hardiness but you have to have another plum that blooms around the same time. The plums have a wonderful flavour, and are very sweet, but the skins are tough...I never eat the skins.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Agreed on the sweet tasty flesh and tough sour skin. I've had a tree for over 20 years in zone 3. It used to only produce a few plums per year, then a dozen or so years ago I grafted on a two branches of Perfection plum as a pollinator and yield immediately went to 200 plums, some years it has been 500. My tree does now have bacterial canker or something on the main trunk and I keep expecting it to kill off the top growth, but so far it keeps chugging along. Here's some pics from this afternoon, I think they are self-explanatory:

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Wow, those look amazing! The article I read said that they were self fertile, guess not. Good to know I'll need 2 of them or can I use an Italian Prune Plum to do the job, I can get both here. Now I will be getting some for sure. I did read the thread Konrad started about plums. Very informative. Makes me think I'll have to learn about grafting. Marg

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:33PM
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For pollination you need another plum that flowers at the same time as Pembina. Note that using a second Pembina plum will not work, it has to be a different variety of plum. They usually group plums into early, mid, and late-blooming plums, I forget which one Pembina is, I think it's late.

I don't know if a European plum will work, or whether it has to be an American or Japanese plum or hybrid, Konrad can probably help you there. If you have a neighbour with a plum tree that blooms at the same time you won't need a second tree yourself.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 8:36PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I had a Pembina at my old house that my grandpa had planted in the 60s. He was always grafting things and I think it had a pollinator grafted on. Some years it produced so heavily that it ripped branches off. It eventually got old and died and I had to cut it down.

I am sketchy on this but it might have also been pollinated by the Nanking cherries in the yard.

I concur about the flavour, the fruit was very sweet and juicy inside and the skins were best thrown out.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I'd grow the Italian in your zone, some people have it in the city but some years they suffer badly.
I'm focusing more towards Euro plums, they have big advantages,..about 10 day's later going into blooming, [less frost kill] and these stay firm when ripe, better for processing, drying etc. most are free stone and self fruitful.

Think I have a Pembina also, the tree had such a tag but
when I took the plums to the growers festival I was told it's Supreme,...I couldn't tell the differance between the two.
My tree is pretty loaded this year, HUGE plums but I don't like them too much when getting soggy within a day or two after picking, this hapens to most Japaneese plums.

I have dried some,..if you like sour candy, times 2, then you might like it.

Right now I eat Green Gage, one's you have these you don't want to touch others no more, lol...I know, I'm spoiled.

Yes, you need a pollinator on the Pembina, I got so many plums that I don't know which one does it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:35PM
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I remember looking a couple years ago for a pollinator for my pembina plum and ended up buying a toka plum last year for pollination. This year my pembina died back almost to the ground I may end up trying my hand at grafting it onto the toka. I will let it be this winter and see what happens in the spring.

Oops! I lied it is a pipestone that died not a pembina I just checked.

This post was edited by CLBlakey on Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 16:11

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:31AM
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I don't know what to tell you other than hope for weather that allows pollination. Our springs the last 3 or so years have been late and full of wind and rain.

I haven't had much fruit set these last few years between my Pembina and Toka. Every spring when the flowers set the winds pick up and it usually rains during pollination time. I had no plums whatsoever on the Pembina, but I had two plums on the Toka.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 6:08PM
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Hey Colin where did you get that toka plum tree I've not been able to find one in last few years.

And pollinating a pembina requires a pure bred Japanese variety , pure American plum and or an apricot. There are many shrubs in plum family like the western sandcherry that will also pollinate it but from what I've known best are the first three listed.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

From today, one branch of this tree.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

This is on another tree, top grafted to about 4 varieties.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Italian plum is a blue prune plum,..I had Stanley and fruited good for some years but lost it. Mt. Royal is another Euro plum and grown allot in Canada for zone 3 and up. [hardiest]
It's a nice plum, the only drawback on Mt. Royal is that they're not freestone.

This Green Gage from today...around 2 inches in diameter.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:41PM
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That's an amazing bounty of plums! How do you keep them blemish-free? I noticed a few of my Pembina's had scaring on the skins. Any way to prevent it? It's not a big deal since I don't eat the skins, but it does look unsightly.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Usually they look like this,...unless we had lots of hail, what blemish/scaring do they have, splitting?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:04PM
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The area I'm in is open and very windy in the fall/winter. We've already lost a lot of crabapples and a few maples . Trees have trouble growing around here so I need something that is very hardy, that's why I wondered about the Pembina. I did find Mt. Royal here and plan to get it. I'll also try to find Greengage. We do have 2 pears that have so far survived the winter, one produced loads of fruit this year. The other one seems to be a later variety, smaller fruit. We'd like to add a few more fruit trees tho. Marg

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Hello Matt,

A couple of things about the Toka, it will be the last tree to put leaves on in the spring and the last tree to loose them in the fall. Ours has extra vigourous growth. As in 2-2.5ft of vertical growth a year. I trim it extensively in the spring. The leaves are not attractive to caterpillars like the Pembina. The Toka is susceptible to cobwebs. These are the same cobwebs you see on crab apple trees. The mites suck all the life out of the branch so you have to stay on top of it. However, combined with the vigourous growth it doesn't usually show that badly on the tree.

To answer your question, many nurseries carry the Toka variety in Saskatchewan. It all depends on how far you want to drive. These trees are at least 4ft tall or more so you will require a truck to haul them around properly.

I thought about longer commutes for plants but then I thought about the logistics like having a long box truck with topper so you could ferry them home while limiting wind damage. And when I get the space, I'll then make the investment. I enjoy tree hunting. It is like treasure hunting!

This post was edited by Collin001 on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 13:11

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:08PM
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I love tree hunting too. I found a couple pretty rare variety for Alberta.
Last year scored big and got two real good sized Italian plums
This year grabbed a shiro plum , it's the most amazing looking tree it's hard to tell them apart from apricots and taste amazing ,produce vigorous crops and don't get big. Here's a photo I took off google of the shiro plum. These picked ripe had no tart to the skin and sweet like candy.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Has anyone ever heard of the Vision plum? I bought 2 of them (they were on sale at a good price). I was told they were a European variety but they could find no picture of it. I haven't been able to find any information on the Vision. I also bought 2 early golden plums. It's a start. Marg

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Vision, Euro plum, from a website..
this late-maturing plum is a large, oblong-shaped, dark blue freestone fruit of excellent quality. It ripens about October 1 at Vineland.

Since it's a later maturing plum it might not ripen out for you some years.

Shiro, Japanese plum, from a website..
A round, yellow plum with a pink blush. It is very juicy, clingstone and fair in quality. It ripens 2 weeks after Early Golden.

I try to stay away from Japanese plums, [poor processing quality] especially when clingstone.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 12:47AM
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All the shiro I picked this year were pure yellow and best plum I've tasted . It's a variety from the 1800s one of the oldest plums around and many varieties have been created with it.
Techumesh is a shiro cross I've never tasted techumesh but grafted a bunch of buds this year to my brookred. Anybody on here taste techumesh?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Hardy Japanese plums link below.

Been doing some dehydrating..

Here is a link that might be useful: HYBRID (PRAIRIE HARDY) PLUMS

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:19AM
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We have Pembina plums growing here in Manitoba, yet to get any fruit , sheep seem to know when they are ripe, have to get a better fence.
Does anyone have any luck with old fashioned Greengages or with Damsons in Manitoba or similar?
Fruit we get in stores here is abysmal and they jokingly call it fresh, even after sitting in a truck for a week .
We have some small (one inch) yellow/reddish wild? plums that did really well this past summer, resulting in about 20 pounds of jam.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:09PM
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