re green gage plums on the western slope?

david52_gwJuly 10, 2003

I have a green gage plum tree, it is now 8 years old, and has, at most, popped two flowers a year, neither of which ever formed a fruit. The tree is now 15 ft tall, trunk diameter about 5 inches. It is grafted on some root stock, the nursery tag long lost.

Neighbors tell me that green gage plums do ok, but I have yet to find anyone growing them successfully. Also, most of these folks grow plums that are not grafted but are free spreading.

I followed several threads over on the fruit tree section, and there are some that mention that green gage is not all that dependable. I wondered if there was any experience around here. I will whack it out of there and plant something else, unless I hear otherwise.

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david52_gw

Oh dear, if no one will answer, I will myself to avoild the embarassment of having this post stay on top for so long.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2003 at 6:24PM
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Sugar_Snap(Werribee VIC)

Hi David, Wow what a long time without a reply! I suppose you have another plum too, for cross-pollination? We only had Green Gage & Coes Golden Drop for quite a while, and had only fair amounts of fruit, then we grafted a Prune d'Agen on, and now get lots of fruit (YUM!).

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 8:06AM
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david52_gw

Well, this year it had 2 flowers, but no fruit again. I am planning, one of these years, to cut the top off and graft something else on.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 11:16AM
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lucky_p

David,
My experience with GG is almost identical to yours. It's been in the ground here for nearly 10 years, is big as a house(I never fertilize it), and it has one branch that has sported a few blossoms for the past couple of years, but never sets any fruit. I have a couple other European plum varieties growing nearby, as well as some Japanese hybrids, beach plums, and Chickasaw plums.
Everyone keeps telling me, "They're worth the wait.", but I'm doubting it. I keep hoping for a good borer attack, so I can take it out and plant something worthwhile in that spot, like a pear or persimmon.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 11:12AM
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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

I throw my $.02 into a vote for replacing it with a SHiro plum. I bought one for 7.99 at a fall sale two years ago. This year I have a tree with a 1.5" trunk but enough beautiful, translucent golden fruit to make jam and eat and give away (tons!) on a lovely spreading tree. Fruit is sweet (when its good and soft its ripe) and skin is not tough. I am so impressed!

I live inside the front range (mountains to east and west) but I have the same (*&^% soil. It needs some supplemental water but really tough for a fruit tree.

GG plum sounds so ideal in the garden cataloges, but I'll stay away thank you after hearing about your experience. THanks for sharing it and good luck!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 10:37PM
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david52_gw

It is absolutely covered with blossoms this spring. I think standing in front of it with a running, snarling chain saw in March must have done the trick, the vibrations shaking loose the DNA for flowers or something.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 6:48PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

David52, I was wondering how the last few years have been. I've got a GG in a pot and I am wondering if I should bother finally planting it this spring. Any luck???

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 3:10PM
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david52_gw

Last spring, it had several hundred flowers, certainly not covered with them like the other plums around, and none formed. But we had several late freezes, and I didn't have a good fruit year at all.

I dunno what to say - I'm going to leave it in the hope that one of these years, it will get it's act together, because the few ripe plums I have picked are fabulous. I also have planted several other plum trees, some Asian ones I can't remember the names, French, and Blue Dameson. I also planted, last spring, some non-grafted Green Gauge I got from old, homestead-vintage stands in the neighborhood as well, which will form some kind of tall bush. But they won't flower for a few years yet - still too small.

None of them have been all that great with the late frosts. Last year two of the Blue Damson, out of 5, bore enough fruit to make a dozen pints of jam. A question of micro-climates around the place. Which is awfully good on pan cakes.

So, if you have the room, I'd go for it, but perhaps someone else knows of a reliably late blooming plum?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:26PM
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digit(ID/WA)

Well, I'm a little closer than Werribee, Australia but I want to re-enforce what Sugar Snap had to say. I had to check to learn what a Prune d'Agen was but I found this from the California Dried Plum Board (did you know there was such a thing?): "agriculturists brought the legendary Petite dÂAgen plum from Southwest France to California during the Gold Rush." So, I guess they have to be the same as what we call a French Petite.

I planted one at my home in the 1970's and then moved it to Dad's backyard. After it was hit by the lawn mower it was attacked by bark borers and finally had to be taken out. But by then, we had come to really appreciate the sweet, sweet fruit.

Dad bought another Petite French plum and it is now larger than the original ever was. Most years, there's plenty of fruit but some years, not so much. Last year was one of those but there was still about a gallon. So, I guess I can say that it has never failed to produce a crop.

digitS'

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 8:00PM
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billie_ladybug(5b)

I'm glad this thread popped up again. I just received a Stark Bros catalog. It seems that they have decided the economy is not very good and are giving gardeners a break on their prices, YES (little downward fist pump). I was looking through their catalog, like so many before it, and discovered they have our ever beloved Plumcot. Everytime I buy them, I am lucky to get one, maybe if I grow a whole dang tree, I can get two. Anyway they tell you to plant a japanese plum to pollinate. I am reading and worry about the GG problem with another plum too. I like the sounds of Starkling, Methley, and Redheart. Any particular likes or dislikes of them? We like a sweet plum.

Also, anyone know if the Plumcot will pollinate the plum? I know I can ask Stark when I order, just thought I would ask here.

I have never had a yellow plum (Shiro), is there a huge difference? Do the birds not bother them: like yellow raspberries or is it more like peaches the birds know the fruit is ready before the sun is even up and invited every bird in the state to your yard?

Thanks in advance for the thoughts

Billie

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:47PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

If you live in the Rocky Moutain area my guess is that you'll have more luck buying them from the store. I believe that any Asian plums or crosses bloom too early for the late frosts that we get.

Green Gages, along with the other European plums, bloom later. I found a good link that details quite a few plum blooming times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bloom Data Plum 2004

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 5:56PM
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billie_ladybug(5b)

Thanks for the link. I will check it out before I order anything. I have limited my catalogs to only states that are in zone 5-6, best guess as to where they are. So that should help too.

Billie

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 10:34AM
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suziekhunt

My parents have an old homestead here in NW MT and they have a lot of Green Gage plum trees....and when they don't get hit with the early frost they produce the BEST BEST PLUMS I have ever eaten. They only live 7 miles from me and I have tried to plant GGage with NO sucess....They are a zone 4 and I am 3! Plus I think that the original owners must have planted the GG from seed!!!! Their fruit trees must be close to 70 years old! LET US KNOW if you got any fruit from your GGage this year!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:22PM
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allaboutgrace_iprimus_com_au

Hello,
I have two green gage trees, just 3 years old now and they have not flowered at all. I also have a cross polinator plum tree close by and it has only had flowers on one branch.
Could there be something lacking in the soil perhaps? Also they keep pushing up suckers.
Any ideas will be very much appreciated!
Leeanne

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:45PM
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david52_gw

I'd wait a few years more - my self-rooting (non-grafted) green gage 'shrubs' are now 3 years in the ground, and have yet to flower, although they're getting rather large, 2-3 meters (6-10 feet) in height, with stems now a 5 cm (2 inches) across.

Keep pruning to get an open plant with strong stems.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:25AM
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